12. Sequelitis

Oh, what a fitting tagline for a film. At face value, it’s a generic advertising tagline to justify the fact that they’re making another Bourne movie without…you know…Bourne. But on a deeper level, it’s a subtle acknowledgement of one of Hollywood’s most treasured scams – sequels.

Hollywood is a business. Probably a shinier and more decadent business than the one you work at, but a business nonetheless. As such, they have one goal: make a large amount of money. In the oldley timely days, that wasn’t so hard. Going to the movies was an almost universal hobby.  Momma, Papa, Crazy Uncle Jethro, your teachers, the bus driver, Richard Nixon: They all went to the movies. As such, movie companies actually had to make an effort to create quality films featuring things that no one had seen before in order to get people to keep coming back. Of course, that doesn’t mean sequels didn’t exist.

There are eleven of these.

Nowadays, it’s different. Now that we have Netflix, torrenting, and cat videos on Youtube, going to the movies now seems archaic and boring. Over the years, Hollywood has realized this and has started economizing ruthlessly. “Did it make money five years ago?” says the Hollywood executive, watching in horror as repo men take his antique furniture and platinum fish tanks, “THEN FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, MAKE ANOTHER ONE!”

There are fifteen different films showing at my local theater. If you eliminate all of the movies that are sequels, remakes, or adaptations from books or TV, there are four. Five if you count Ted, but I refuse on the grounds that it is the closest thing we will ever get to a live action Family Guy movie.

The biggest thing that annoys me about sequels is that they slowly destroy the integrity of the original. I remember how excited I was when I viewed the very first Saw film. It was  dark, bleak, and filled with suspense and had a killer twist at the end. Finally, a modern horror movie that’s worth a damn. In less than five years, I can hardly enjoy any of those aspects because Hollywood started mass producing Saw sequels and clones that ripped off nearly every facet of the film that made it unique.

Somehow, Hollywood made this boring.

Hollywood is the cowboy that will find a good and powerful horse and then proceed to ride it forever until its hooves have eroded and its legs are covered in rattlesnake and chupacabra bites. Even  after the horse has collapsed in exhaustion, foaming at the mouth, Hollywood will continue to dig its spurs into the sides as long as it continues to shit money in its death spasms.

I could hear the gavel fall on Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy when I heard that Bill and Ted was getting a second sequel. Remember Bill and Ted? That wacky 80/90’s time traveling buddy comedy starring a pre-sunglasses-bullet-dodging-“whoa”ing-Keanu Reeves and one of the vampires from The Lost Boys? To date, the last Bill and Ted movie came out in 1991. That’s when I was born. There is absolutely no goddamn reason that a film that deep in the annals of history needs a sequel, unless that’s how long it took to find Alex Winter.


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