- Arts & Literature
- Science & Technology
By Aimee Cliff
There are very few things that can strike fear into the hearts of film fans. As your parents will constantly tell you, our generation of die-hard cinema-goers are immune to CGI-inspired fear, despite the terror that a plastic dinosaur on Doctor Who used to create in the good old days.
One taboo, however, still has the power to excite anxiety in the hardened movie fanatic: simply place the number “2″ after the title of their favourite blockbuster, and watch the madness unfold.
Sequels are inevitably judged against the quality of the film they are supposed to continue, even if they could, in their own rights, be considered decent pictures – if they don’t live up to number one, they disappear into the abyss of movies that should never have been made (The Phantom Menace, anyone?).
A quick glance at RottenTomatoes.com already tells us that Iron Man 2 is cowering in shadow of the 93% positive reviews of Iron Man, having raked in only 75%.
The sequel just isn’t the “breath of fresh air” that Iron Man was, the summary explains – but how can it ever be?
The excitement felt the first time you watch a film you love is not something you can easily recreate. On paper, the formula for a sequel seems simple, as you can assume that audiences just want more of the same, please.
Really though, isn’t it a little like jumping into a rebound relationship? Your new partner may have whiter teeth or a bigger bra size than your last, but can you ever recreate the butterflies you felt when you first came across the real deal?
Speaking of rebound relationships, another big sequel set to hit our screens this month is Sex and the City 2. There are two things we can safely predict about this movie: queues to see it will pour from the doors of cinemas nationwide, and it will almost certainly be deemed to be not as good as the first film, which in turn is frequently reviewed as “not as good as the TV series.”
So why stretch the franchise to fill the boots of such a demanding genre, when it can never live up to the original? I could be cynical, and write the whole business off as a moneymaking ploy, but at the end of the day, everyone has that one sequel which, in their eyes, outshone its predecessor.
Toy Story 2 is, in my eyes, a supreme example of this. But that only brings us to this summer’s upcoming sequel, and the problematic question: is Toy Story 3 just taking it a bit too far?