The Mistake Many Sequels Make…
There is one thing that has always been on my mind when it comes to sequels, and that is why some, if not, most sequels bomb, when the original is usually a really good film, warranting the sequel in the first place. No one really has the answer, but I do have a strong feeling why!
So, why is it that some sequels are just not as good as the original film and some are, if not actually better? I genuinely believe that during the creation process, “they”, I don’t know who, either the writers, director, studio or all of them combined, think that more is better. They work out what was great about the original, whether it was the action scenes or a character in particular, and ramp it up. Providing you with 10x the amount of this chosen highlight from the first film.
The one film that cemented this feeling was when I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and more specifically the handling of Drax. Drax was a huge surprise in the first GotG, with his child-like sense of humour and inappropriate laughing; especially the laughing. That was one thing that put the enjoyment in for the character and one thing that took the enjoyment out of GotG2 for me. His laugh just got tiresome. It kept happening more and more. Don’t get me wrong, some people love more, but me, I think it is possible to have too much of a good thing. I loved Drax in the first film and the things stated which made him unique, but now I am already pretty much done with the character.
So that is one film, what others have suffered from this theory? Let’s think back. The first Transformers movie, whilst never going to win any awards, a lot of people enjoyed it, so what Bay decided to do with the sequels was ramp up the action to an unbearable amount, as well as add a countless amount of transformers on both sides of the war. The original film had 5 Autobots and similar amount of Decepticons. With the sequel, transformers just kept appearing out of nowhere, making it all wear very thin. Anchorman 2 focused a considerable amount on Bric, where he was just a complimenting character to the first film. When you look at The Matrix, every aspect which made the first one good was heightened, such as it’s manipulation of gravity, the religious tones to the film and the sexual-fetish hints to the clothing. I could go on forever and list countless sequels which took a dive on the ratings due to this theory, but I think you get the idea.
So for me to be able to solidly prove this point, I would have to tell you why other sequels are successful, and I feel this is simple. Great sequels don’t give you more of what you love, they take what you love and create a new story around it, putting your favourite characters in new situations, where you get to know them better, or the story we enjoyed from the first film is extended on. I am going to use my favourite film as an example, which just happens to be a sequel, The Dark Knight. With TDK we don’t get even more of Batman than we did in Batman Begins, nor do we get an increased amount of action. We get a whole new story which tests our hero in a completely new way, a new villain which shows us a different side to Batman. The action is different, but we don’t get loads more of it than that of the original. If you look at Terminator 2, one of the best sequels of all time, we don’t get more of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T800 hunting down Sarah Connor, we get the T800 in a completely different way. In the first film, we see what he’s like when he is a hunter, and in T2 we get to see what he is like as a protector. We also get a villain just as scary but in a completely new way, he’s not bigger and stronger than the T800, he’s quicker, me agile and in a liquid form other than a solid one.
The reason for why I am launching this blog now, is because I worried that Deadpool 2 would suffer from this theory. Deadpool hit the sweet spot with its unique style of comedy. It had never been done before. I worried that they would over do it with the breaking the 4th wall and just give us too much of a good thing, as I think this style of comedy walks a thin line of easily becoming annoying. Luckily it wasn’t and in my opinion Deadpool 2 was just not, if better, than the first one.