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The Sequel

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Sequels! Why are they made? Mainly, to capitalize on the success of it’s predecessor and to dilute the charm that it’s predecessor had. Take a horror movie franchise like “Saw” or “Friday the 13th”. Same killer, new victims! Same killer, new victims! Same killer, new victims! It seems as though Hollywood executives take a successful movie, and have the marketing kick-start a line of action figures, soda, comic books, video games and the works. Then they rush through the sequel as quickly as possible and deck it with hype. Lastly, they vomit into theaters and anger moviegoers who walk out saying “this is nowhere near as good as the original.” However there are a few exceptions where a sequel could outshine the original. For example, the Batman series has it’s share of ups and downs. The first two movies directed by Tim Burton were dark, gritty, and delved into the minds of the protagonist and the antagonists. “Batman Forever”, was a generally mediocre sequel with flashy visuals but a pretty bland storyline and no interesting characters, with the exception of Jim Carrey as the Riddler. The next entry “Batman and Robin” became a garish neon light show as foul as a fly-ridden dog turd. “Batman Begins” resurrected the state of the dying franchise and retained the gritty look of the first two Burton movies, but it was not perfect, as everybody says it is. However, when “The Dark Knight”, came out, it was hyped out the wazoo, but it was actually much better than it’s predecessor and was able to outlive the hype.


Every entry in a film franchise is like a balloon. For example, if the first movie worked, than it floats steadily. But if it’s sequel does poorly, it implodes with a loud pop.

The Shrek trilogy is a perfect example of going smoothly for a few entries and then degenerating. The first movie was great because it appealed to kids, with it’s simple storyline and lovable characters and adults loved it for it’s pop culture references and innuendos. “Shrek 2” was a pretty decent sequel that retained the humor from the first movie and added new characters, and progressed the story further. The third movie was a little disappointing because it felt more like a rehash of the first movie with the whole scenario of Shrek having to find Arthur and take him home to rule Far Far Away. I thought that some of the gags, especially in the opening scene where coconuts were used to represent the sound of horse feet, came off as cliched. I think that the movie pleased me eyes, but I was not entirely satisfied with it. I just thought that there were too many characters and it did not have the appeal of the first two. But with the fourth one coming out, it might float steadily or pop. You never know!

The Godfather Trilogy has the same problem as the Shrek franchise. The first movie had a stellar cast, beautiful set pieces, great dialogue, and tons of action. Part II advanced the story and added an entire backstory to Vito Corleone and made us sympathize with him. Michael’s character was further developed and we also got to know Fredo, a whole lot more. It had a great script and is probably the best you could get out of any sequel. The third one was not bad, but it could not hold a candle to the first two movies. I felt as though that the plot was convoluted, I think some of the dialogue was banal, and the relationship between Michael’s daughter and his nephew really slowed the pace of the movie. I liked the action sequences and how it had some homages to the first two movies such as the montage of killings at the end and the use of Don Altobello as comic relief, which reminded me of how they used Peter Clemenza in Part I and Frank Pentangeli in Part II. Overall, it did not have what made the first two movies masterpieces, but it was a fitting closure to the trilogy and tied all loose ends.





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