Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Film Yap: Sequels I Actually Want

Hollywood loves to tell us that we want a sequel. In the book world I often hear fans asking authors if there will be another installment with their favorite characters, but those conversations don’t happen too often with film fans. Mostly it’s because the sequels are expected or, in most cases, unwanted.

When Step Up ended there was no chatter in the lobby about counting the days until they can go 2 the Streets. The studios looked at the box office and interpreted that as the fans wanting more dancing. It was announced this week that there are plans to making a Karate Kid 2 and a Ghost Rider 2. Stop it Hollywood! Just because we liked the first one doesn’t mean it warrants another movie. If you really have to make sequels, pull from this list because these are movies I would actually like to see another edition of.

Before Sunset

Nobody thought this would work, but it ended up being masterful. Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy revisited the two romantic characters from Before Sunrise and found them in a new point in their lives. Their psychological ramblings have changed with age and I would love to see them again ten more years down the line. They have proved they know how to respectfully make a sequel and I would love to see them continuing to grow.

Gone Baby Gone

This is one of my entries that I can safely suggest because there are more stories already written. This was based on a novel by Dennis Lehane and its actually the fourth entry with Patrick and Angela. One of the reason I would love a sequel is because they cast those two leads really well with Casey Afleck and Michelle Monaghan. I really enjoyed the novels Darkness Take My Hand and Sacred. Also if Hollywood wants to directly treat it like a sequel, Lehane is having a new book come out this fall that talks about the little girl from this movie.

The Great Mouse Detective

We’re all in agreement this is the greatest animated film of all time right? No? Just me? Fine, but we can agree that it’s an underappreciated blast. This could have been a very fun franchise where Basil of Baker Street and his faithful Dr. Dawson solve rodent related crimes. The trickiest thing would be replicating the animation and finding a villain that’s as fun as Vincent Price’s Professor Ratigan.

The Incredibles

There are a million super hero movies out right now and only a few really had the heart like this one. This wasn’t exactly based off any previous material, but heavily inspired by comics like Fantastic Four. Everything about this movie was so well done that I would love to see more adventures with this family. Also the way Pixar has treated the Toy Story franchise gives a lot of promise to continuations of its other movies. I know Brad Bird is now off making another Mission Impossible, but I would hope he would return for another go at this because his action scenes were fantastically inventive.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Before Robert Downey Jr. snabbed every franchise in Hollywood, he made this great movie with Val Kilmer and Shane Black. This was a very funny mystery with a clever meta voice over. The mystery in this movie wasn’t a very big case so it won’t fall into a trap about constantly having to one-up itself. Sequels don’t always need to be bigger; they just need to be new. People want to return to see more of these characters. So if there’s a sequel to this, I’m buying a ticket to see more of Harry Lockhart and Gay Perry not them trying to save the world.

Matchstick Men

I love con men movies. This was one that slipped under the radar and didn’t deserve it. Nicolas Cage gives a great performance as an OCD conman who discovers he has a daughter. Cage and Alison Lohman had great chemistry and it would be a lot of fun to see them teamed up to pull off a con together. Con movies are always difficult because the audiences has been so accustomed to them, but this one could work because it’s more about revisiting these characters, not who they could scam.


I’m more of a fan of funny Mel Gibson over serious Mel Gibson. It’s easy to forget he has a great sense of humor when he keeps releasing movies where people made the bad mistake of messing with his daughter. I don’t know why this one worked so well for me, but him bantering back and forth with Jodie Foster and James Gardner was a delight. If they all agree to come back, it could be a treat. Why not, bring Alfred Molina back as well.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

There are at least twenty books in this series. The first movie combined two of them into a really fascinating movie. So why not make this a true intellectual franchise? Peter Weir has rumored about returning to the sea and I hope he does. Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany need another hit and this could be a smooth return to some of their best performances. I would like to see their relationship tested in new plotlines. Also there aren’t too many nautical action scenes out in cinemas lately. At least ones without Krackens.


I was trying to think of a movie like Before Sunrise, Scenes of a Marriage, and The Hustler where it was really satisfying revisiting characters many years down the line to see where they ended up. Rushmore really has the possibility. Jason Schwartzman’s Max was such a well formed creation that I would love to see where he would be after attending Rushmore. It may be a bit forced to include Bill Murray’s and Olivia William’s characters in Max’s life 10 or 15 years down the road but it would be nice to see them too. Perhaps they could reunite after Max sells a play about his childhood.


This movie really helped start the poker boom back in the 90s. It introduced it in a really slick way with Matt Damon as the gambler getting back into the circuit to help a friend. With poker tournaments now available on various ESPN channels, I’m curious to see how screenwriters David Levien and Brian Kippelman will handle the new nuances of the sport as it has adjusted to its new popularity. Also it would just be fun to see John Malkovich reprise his villainous Russian role.


It’s amazing this movie even got made. The beloved Joss Whedon show Firefly was (of course) canceled by FOX but somehow the fan community’s screams were heard by higher ups and they made this sequel to the show. Serenity tied up some of the loose ends from the sci-fi western. The movie focused on an assassin going after River (Summer Glau) so the rest of the ship has to avoid him. Even with its smaller budget, this managed to be a really exciting adventure. There are plenty more stories in this universe. Without spoiling anything in Serenity, but I know a lot of fans would actually prefer a prequel instead of a direct continuation.

Shoot ‘Em Up

Clive Owen kills two different people with carrots. Why wasn’t this movie a success? Writer/director Michael Davis made a movie that mixed the creativity of a Looney Toon sketch with R-rated violence. The movie realized how silly it was and just went crazy. Owen kills a whole set of bad guys while having sex with Monica Bellucci. He shoots off an umbilical cord when a baby is born in the middle of a battle. He also has a pretty cool monologue about turn signals, which wasn’t violent, but still pretty awesome. I don’t know how they’ll pull the money together, but this would be another fun go-around. Especially if they have a simpler plot.

So how about you? What movies would you like to have a sequel?

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