Skip to content

WTF? On Film 5: A Franchise Too Far

SPOILERS AHOY Yes, yes, they often made loads of money; yes, *someone* out there must’ve liked them and yes, I can only hope of writing a film that gets this kind of attention!! But to wrap up my WTF? series, here’s some of the movie franchises I think just did NOT quit while they were ahead…
2 Fast 2 Furious. So we do the same movie – but this time ONLY with the really dull guy from the first? Puh-lease. Oh, but they’re still going: Tokyo Drift came after that and apparently there’s another in the pipeline, though Vin is back in attempt to save the franchise. Can he???

28 Weeks Later. I *heard* on the grapevine (though I never read 28 Weeks), the boy in a very early draft of this was called NEWTON. Upon watching the movie itself this was unsurprising to me, for the homage to Aliens here was obvious and clankingly dull as far as I was concerned. Which was a shame, because that farmhouse sequence at the beginning when Robert Carlyle spectacularly abandons his family was great.

Alien Resurrection. Space pirates, unwilling hosts, science experiments gone wrong – this could have been so cool and well, simply wasn’t. Probably because absolutely everything in it was so deeply flawed… Characters sucked (the weakest is the strongest! Link with the beast! The traitor is the saviour!), dialogue was as wooden as my Ikea coffee table and plotting verged on ridiculous: so you scientists have been working on the alien for 200 years, know full well they have acid for blood and you shove a bunch of them IN THE SAME ROOM TOGETHER and don’t think they’ll escape?? And to think Joss Whedon wrote this – though apparently he “cried many a tear over” what was done to his script. Me too, Joss. Me too.

Alien Versus Predator. So let’s get this straight… Predators presumably have their own planet, but they decide to build their very own pyramid on Earth. Underground. In Antarctica. And they have an Alien Queen down there too that hasn’t kicked their asses??? Hmmmm. I can *just* about go along with that, but for the lack of characterisation in here and yes – the fact that Predator didn’t blow the whole place up as he was supposed to (didn’t he know he’d been face hugged??) AND the elders didn’t scan him with their X Ray vision! WTF????

Alien Versus Predator: Requiem. Ah, now they’re killing pregnant women and children. Nice – not. ‘Nuff sed on this crap.

Austin Powers: Goldmember. What WAS the deal with Austin Powers? I never really got it, but I could just about go along with the insanity – at least Elizabeth Hurley knew how to take the piss out of herself – but then we came to this one and anything that was vaguely amusing about the franchise was sucked out and replaced with unadulterated pants.

Batman & Robin. Right, whose idea was it to cast George Clooney as bloody Batman? What the hell was that about? And don’t get me started on Arnie as Mr. Freeze. Didn’t they know ALL the good characters of the Batman franchise – Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler – were all gone by this point? Didn’t the filmmakers get that memo?

Chronicles of Riddick. A wankfest of the highest order – ‘scuse my French. And what the hell was Judi Dench doing in it??? A desperate disappointment after Pitch Black.

Die Hard 4. Bruce Willis gets to that age where he says: “You know what? My career isn’t what it used to be… Let’s revisit one of my best-received characters and for good measure shove some stuff in a lift AGAIN and update it by making one of the baddies a free runner.” Let’s not.

Honey I Blew Up the Kid. I know… Let’s do the OPPOSITE of what made the franchise interesting. WTF?

Ice Age: the Meltdown. The first movie was all heart and genuinely charming, but this one? A mammoth that thinks it’s a ferret (or whatever those stripey things are)? the sloth gets worshipped by mini sloths?? And the sabre tooth tiger is there for seemingly no reason at all? And let’s round it off with Scrat saving the day in one of the biggest Deus Ex Machina plot moves I’ve ever seen? SHOW ME THE MONEY.

Jaws: The Revenge. I never knew fish held grudges. Bloody hell.

Look Who’s Talking Now. I could just about get on board with the sister talking, but now the dogs as well? I swear whoever dreamt this one up was on drugs.

Police Academy. HOW many??? For the love of God, please don’t. Just don’t.

Men In Black 2. Everything that was great about the first movie? Let’s flush that down the toilet and have Will Smith talking to a giant subway worm. Kids will love that.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse. As controversial a view as it is, I actually enjoyed the first Resident Evil – it was an effective adaptation of an otherwise straightforward game, with enough thrills and spills to be interesting enough on a saturday night with beer and nachos. Plus the set was cool. But Apocalypse was convoluted and ultimately, dull. And can we PLEASE stop putting scientists in wheelchairs please??

Resident Evil: Extinction. We’ve done underground, we’ve done above ground – so we’ll do above ground again. Couldn’t it at least have been in the sea or something?? This franchise is still here despite running out of steam – WTF?

Three Men And A Little Lady. Even as a child I thought this was utter bilge: I walked out of Beverley Cornmarket cinema and went to the pasty shop round the corner. My Dad was mad as hell when he came to pick me and my friend up ‘cos like the eleven year olds we were, we imagined he could somehow read our minds and *know* where we were.

Underworld Evolution. The first one was a disappointment, not doubt about that: but this??? Even the sex scene was useless.
Any more for the list? Here’s some inspiration for you: Movie Franchises. Over to you….

UPDATE: And to celebrate WTF?, Zombies attack Austin, US.

Share this:

14 thoughts on “WTF? On Film 5: A Franchise Too Far”

  1. How about Highlander 2, in which they decided to ignore what actually happened in the original Highlander (the greatest Duran Duran video Duran Duran never made)?

  2. I haven’t actually seen that one DT – the first Highlander was WTF? enough for me: a French Scotsman? A Scots Spaniard? Yargh. Having said that, Highlander is SO mental it’s quite sublime…

  3. I second that. Not to mention that Highlander 3, 4 & 5 were absolute pants too.

    Also, Hellraiser. First one was great. Second one kind of followed on (although the house that was in London was suddenly in America) but from Hellraiser 3 onwards it died.

    Having said that, I recently discovered that the last in the series (well, it was the last when I looked so they may have churned out a couple more since then) Hellraiser: Deader was originally written as an entirely unrelated script and was then subsumed into the Hellraiser fold with the cenobites added in. I mention this because after yesterday's discussion about Die Hard and so on, I noticed that apparently the same can be said of Die Hard 4 – someone bought the rights to an entirely unrelated novel and said "Hey, let's change the lead's name to John McClane and get B-dub into play it. Call it Die Hard with a computer or something and we'll have a ready made target audience."

    Actually, they did the same with Die Hard 2 as well.

    Also, Star Wars prequels.

  4. OMG how could I forget the Stars Wars prequels??? I need to go out and whip myself plentifully. Though I should point out I never saw them, I just knew, instinctively, they would be a bag o shite.

    Hellraiser the original was AWESOME. Never saw the rest.

  5. The trouble is the films unexpectedly find an audience, make money so they figure, fuck it, let’s give them another. It would be easier on everyone if the producers found out where the people who watched the first film lived, went to their houses and held them at gunpoint until they handed over the cost of a ticket.

    As for Fast and Furious, here’s the trailer. More stupid car stunts and bad acting from that slappy-headed gaylord.

    When it comes to the Austin Powers or any Mike Myers movies, I still can’t figure out how anyone thinks that Canadian asshat is the least bit funny. The man is a complete tool. Luckily The Guru tanked so badly he should be in Hollywood Jail for a long time during which point he should hopefully be eaten by a grizzly bear or trampled to death by a stampeding herd of caribou.

    Others that you’ve missed would include all those tawdry horror flick franchises like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw and all the other nasty pieces of crap. It would be easier just to ask people to rub cat shit in their eyes than make another one.

    Scream went two films too far. What the hell is it with this idea of making trilogies. Who needs them? Most of the time the first film runs out of ideas so the next two are simply treading bilge water. Tomb Raider simply shouldn’t have existed in the first place but they’re nosing around to make another.

    Of course now it’s quartets, although they use that stupid word quadrilogy. That’s not a proper word. Some twonk has mixed up Latin and Greek when they should be using tetralogy. Obviously it either don’t sound sexy enough or useless bone-headed Americans would get what they were talking about.

    Oh, and I don’t want your head to explode or nuffink, but 20th Century Fox, in its infinite wisdom, is apparently going to let Robert Rodriguez “reboot” Predator. Quite frankly I’d prefer to piss blood for a year. Christ almighty, the man can’t direct! Banging on that the movies are made for thirteen bucks and a packet of nachos isn’t a decent excuse.

    As for scripts written for one film and made into another, wasn’t it strange how Die Hard with a Vengeance used Martin Rigs’ dislocated shoulder trick when John McCLane needed to escape from being tied to the bomb?

    Of course the one film that really deserved a sequel though none came… Big Trouble in Little China, baby! bring back the old Pork Chop Express!

    (I’m doing to have a lie down now).

  6. Yes, all of a sudden, everyone’s an alien and Sean’s back (can’t remember the convoluted explanation)

    Yep, I adore the original Highlander in all it’s blue-tinted 80s glory. It’s a very guilty pleasure.

  7. Blimey GD, I don’t think I have heard the words “slaphead” or “Gaylord” since school and there you are putting both of them in THE SAME SENTENCE. The PC Police have your address and are on their way right now…

    DT – now you have me intrigued…

    Drac – Never seen Matrix 3 except the end and only seen the middle of Matrix 2: talk about taking the piss out of your audience, they couldn’t EVEN BE BOTHERED to do proper animation in that one! As for Pirates, I was practically tied to a chair and made to watch the first… Was pleasantly surprised, but no way was I going back for more. Tell you what I LOVED by those two – Small Soldiers!! Why didn’t that do better than it did?

  8. Oh dears. I am in grumpybad mood this day. All these writer have did something many of us have not -their work is on the cinema screen, yes?


  9. Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

    Pirates 2 was a bad 15 minute short, padded out to God only knows how long.

    The rule about every scene contributing to the story… They must have made the film on the planet ‘opposite’.

    Either that or the planet ‘let’s make the script up as we go along, and shoot whatever we come up with right away, no matter how stupid it is’

  10. I too get disappointed with sequels. But I thought the point of a sequel just to give you another chance to see all the things in the first film that made it so good?

    e.g.the relationship between the two guys in Rush Hour, More sexy Christopher Lambert in a kilt in Highlander, to see Alien and Predator fight (I didn’t want to watch this film but kinda liked it when I did.

    What about Final Destination 2 and 3? The story is exactly the same but just a new bunch of teens each time. We watch because we want to see the inventive ways they die.

    So, I don’t think bad sequels are a bad thing from a commercial point of view. It’s just a way to make easy money.

    I think Omen II was just as scary as The Omen… Omen III was shite.

  11. I will defend the first four sequels on your list (and only the first four) to the death (or at least to a mild paper cut).

    The first one was a considerable improvement and wasn’t the same movie at all, if you think about it Lucy.

    I’m not suggesting you edit your list to remove the first four but I’d be very disappointed if you didn’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *