Title: The Mysteries of Sequels
Posted: July 19, 2007 (02:56 PM)
I am constantly at a loss as to why the sequels of a movie never seem as good as the original. From film to film, there are constant cases proving that more movies are not better.
Consider: back in 1977, thirty years ago, Star Wars came out. We all know what happened with that, now, don't we? It became a hit film (and, later, a cultural phenomenon), and many loved it. So, ol' George Lucas decided to milk the Star Wars franchise for all it was worth and make more movies. Yet the captivating mythos of the first didn't seem fully captured in the subsequent films. Episodes V and VI came out, and they were big, cash-cow hits, but they just didn't seem as good as the first one. And the prequel films seemed more like vehicles for look-what-we-can-do special effects than actual films that should be accredited to the Star Wars franchise. That's not to say that they were bad, they just didn't seem as fun to experience as that first film. And Jar Jar Binks? Unforgivable, Lucas, unforgivable.
And what about the Rocky movies? The first one won a Best Picture, for pity's sake, and it was a knockout hit (hahaha, pun!). And then, the next one felt more like a normal punch. The next was a jab. And the ones after that were, well, like getting hit by a very tiny fly. As for the recent film Rocky Balboa, I didn't see it, but I don't wish to, given the poor track records of the original's predecessors.
Unfortunately, it's like this with virtually all forms of media entertainment. Even videogames are not immune to badsequelitis; remember the first two Mario Parties and how good they were? Now go rent a copy of any Mario Party thereafter. See what I mean?
Got any idea as to why sequels never seem as good as the original films? Reply to this blog post and tell me.
Also, on a totally unrelated note, I have come up with a new idea for fanfiction. It doesn't really fall under a particular game, so it might not be posted here, but it's another Sonic one. I'll give you a hint: Metal Sonic.
Posted: July 19, 2007 (04:10 PM)
I think sequels are less thrilling because the writers start questioning what made the original great, and they lose their focus on telling a good story because they want to make it marketable.
Your Star Wars example was a poor one, though, since I know a lot of people consider the second one the best in the series.
Your Rocky one I can't comment on much, except to say that I've heard Rocky Balboa is really, really good (a lot better than 3, 4 and 5). So again, it seems like it may be a poor example.
Now, Mortal Kombat... that's a movie with a sequel that went downhill fast. The same is true of the Meatballs series of movies, though that can be explained by the mere absence of Bill Murray in the follow-ups. And then there's I Know What You Did Last Summer, where the reason to watch the second one could pretty much be summed up as Jennifer Love-Hewitt in a bikini. Mmm...
Posted: July 19, 2007 (04:56 PM)
I like Aliens (James Cameron sequel) more than Alien (Ridley Scott original).
Posted: July 19, 2007 (05:04 PM)
Terminator 2 kicked the hell out of the original. Remember the motorcycle chase?
How about the shootout where Arnold was capping fools with the knockout gas canisters?
The helicopter scene?
The chase scene in the little pick-up truck.
The exploding into shards of ice scene?
Yeah, more than that.
But I get your point, too.
The Neverending Story II.
Naked Gun 47+My Balls (whatever the second one was called)
Dirty Dancing 2, the list goes on.
Posted: July 19, 2007 (05:44 PM)
Episode V, while not as novel as its predecessor, has a better screenplay, better acting, better directing, and better special effects.
Posted: July 20, 2007 (07:35 AM)
Well, a lot of this is my opinions, but yes, sometimes sequels are better in both film and videogames. Terminator 2 is a good example (thanks, carcinogen_crush), and so is Sonic Adventure 2 (more fun in general than SA1). I don't know about Episode V of Star Wars, but it was pretty good, I thought. Slightly better than Return of the Jedi, but I just preferred the first one. Also, yeah, Rocky Balboa did get praised well, but I haven't seen it, so I can't accordingly comment.
As for why a lot of sequels (there are exceptions, I know) aren't as good, well, honestgamer gave a good point when he said that it was probably because the moviemakers forgot why people liked the first movie in the series. However, I think it's mainly because the filmmakers know that the film they made was a success. So, if they make another movie as a sequel to the successful first one, they know that they don't have to put as much work into it as they did with the first one, 'cuz they know that people who loved the first one'll just watch the sequel. And if they come away happy again, the producers, with swelled heads now, call for another one. And another one. And ano-- well, you catch my drift.
However, I still stand by my statement that what Lucas did with Jar Jar Binks was unforgivable. Because I think it was.
Posted: July 20, 2007 (11:14 AM)
Some better sequels:
Terminator 2, Aliens, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Evil Dead 2, Spiderman 2, Road Warrior 2, and moving to games, Tekken 2, Tomb Raider 2, Resident Evil 2, and Silent Hill 2.
I think the reason movies and games like these stand out for me is because the creators were not trying to recapture former glory. They were trying to push the stories and characters forward. At the same time, there are some titles, like Fallout 2, that don't really do that much different. The story is basically a rehash of the first, yet the game never feels stale. It's not like there is an exact science to describe it, but I think a successful sequel needs to find just the right balance between faithfulness and originality, nostalgia and progressiveness, and character familiarity and character change.