Thursday, July 30, 2015

Topic Of The Day: Why Some Sequels Don't Work

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. You know how whenever a sequel comes out, sometimes people think "Was it really needed?" or "It was worse than the first one!"? Well, for today's topic, I will offer my own insight as to why that is.

Now sequels are meant to be a continuation of the same story and characters. But one main reason some sequels don't work is because they don't feel like a continuation and recycle the same storyline. Take, for example, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I thought it was entertaining, but it didn't really feel like The Avengers 2, per se. But rather The Avengers 2.0. It didn't have its own identity. You also have Terminator 3. It had the same plot structure of the second one with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator protecting John Connor from an evil Terminator with the only difference being that the terminator in the third is female.

We have also seen plenty of comedic sequels that never measure to their predecessors. The main reason that is is because they either recycle the same jokes and of course, the same storyline. Take for example, The Hangover: Part II. It is an exact blueprint of the first one with a different setting.

Plus, a lot of horror sequels, like all those Friday the 13ths and Halloweens, literally have the same exact story: Killer hunts stupid teens one by one, killer gets killed off, comes back in the next sequel. Exact. Same. Storyline.


One great example of how to do a sequel correctly is without a doubt The Dark Knight. Its predecessor, Batman Begins, was mostly a simple origin story. But The Dark Knight was more a character study that served as an allegory for post-9/11 America with the Joker acting as a terrorist leaving Gotham City in panic like how Americans were in a state of panic after the plane crash on the Twin Towers. In the film, the different figures of justice (Batman, DA Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon) use their own methods to stop this act of terror, questioning their own morality in the process. The film's sophisticated storytelling has it surpass its predecessor.

Another great example of how to do a sequel correctly is The Empire Strikes Back. While the first Star Wars is a fun spectacle that reminds us why we go to the movies, The Empire Strikes Back is even better because it has a little something for everyone. Of course, it has great action. But it also has a bit of romance, suspense, horror, and is a bit of a tearjerker. Plus, it manages to successfully be a continuation of the same story with Luke slowly learning the ways of the force and doesn't feel like a recycled version of the first story.

So those are my thoughts on why certain sequels don't work. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!