There’s been a debate concerning movie sequels that has been ongoing for some time now since a lot of people happen to like sequels while others think that they’re inferior by design. Every now and then there is a sequel that ends up being better than the original movie, but while it’s not rare it’s not entirely common either since the original movie tends to set the bar fairly high for a sequel and therefore makes it almost impossible to reach. There are a number of reasons why sequels just don’t work, and they typically stem from an underlying reason that’s given a cursory look and possibly disregarded or is never looked at in the first place and is seen as something not worth worrying about until hindsight reaches up and smacks the filmmaker in the back of the head as a none too gentle reminder that sequels aren’t always the answer to a blockbuster hit. Sometimes it’s the timing of the sequel, other times it’s the fact that the actors might not want to come back, and other times its other things, but the problem is that a lot of sequels simply suffer from the idea that they’re not as good in one way or another as the original and in the eyes of the fans, they never will be.
Here are a few reasons why sequels aren’t quite as good as their original movies.
5. Not all main actors tend to come back sometimes.
This could be due to other commitments, a lack of desire to work for a different director, or because they simply didn’t care for the movie in the first place and were looking for a paycheck. Then of course there are movies that are just bad enough to the point that actors don’t want to return because they’re worried that such a return might ruin their reputation. In any case, getting the same cast back for a movie usually requires a very well-drawn out process that entails a movie that will be shot in two or more parts and will usually be shot back to back or at least close enough together that it would make sense for the actors to keep coming back.
4. Different directors have very different visions.
This can be seen between recent movies as well as past endeavors since The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi went from being slightly disagreeable to absolutely hated. There are those directors, more than one would think, that simply don’t care about the source material of the original movie and will want to do things their way from the start as they try to come up with an entirely different narrative than the first movie in an attempt to tell their own story. Unfortunately for a franchise this often doesn’t work and for a sequel, it’s the first death knell that ends up being the procession to the end of the idea.
3. The story gets watered down.
How many different ways can you tell the same story? This is often seen when movies go past the sequel and into a third, fourth, fifth, and so on and so forth movie as they continue to churn out material that’s barely able to say that it has any originality and has become a poor copy of a less than perfect copy. Eventually, the story becomes so watered down that the need for a remake or a reboot is about the only way to bring the movie back to prominence, and even that’s not a foolproof plan. Unfortunately, this practice has been used over and over throughout the years as people have still kept faith in directors and studios when it comes to their favorite movies.
2. There’s too big of a time gap.
A lot of sequels are meant to be made right after the original movie, but if this doesn’t happen then there’s the problem of a serious time gap that takes place and requires an entirely different story to be written. When more than a decade passes between the original and the sequel the problems arise with getting the original actors back if they’re still around, coming up with a believable story that can connect the two, and of course, getting the audience excited about the idea again.
1. Studios believe they have a cash cow they can keep milking.
The unfortunate part is that this isn’t faulty thinking, but has proven to be a sound strategy in the past. The churning out of one sequel after another has kept fans hooked in a big way since they’ve been loyal enough to keep watching even when the movies have become so horrible that sitting through them is more of an endurance trial than a joy. Franchises such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th are great examples of this since they’ve only gotten worse with time, but there are many others that should never have been made.
Some people enjoy sequels, but the rest of us just ask ‘why?’.