Second sequal problems for Pirates and Shrek

According to reviews, the new Pirates of the Caribbean 3 film is an absolute turkey. On top of early reviews from American suggesting that Shrek 3 is also a miss rather than a hit and the widely accepted view that Spiderman 3 is also the weakest of the three films in that series (although I liked it best), there seems to be something of a trend developing in serial films which are not based on books.

Films based on books (Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Harry Potter) or scripts written many years before (Return of the Jedi) don't seem to suffer from second sequal syndrome. Why is this ? Perhaps it is like third term government (like we have now) in that they lose direction.

Historically there have also been some duds from third films (Batman), but also some which have improved the franchise (American Pie : The Wedding - Back to the Future 3).

I am just hoping that the new film in the "Bourne" series, out in August will not suffer the fate of Shrek and Pirates. Then again, it is based on a book so it should be great.

1 comment:

Neil Walton said...

It all depends on the source material. Books develop a rich background, especially when they are a series of books, and so provide a rich source of sequel storylines. Long running comic books have an even more varied and in depth source of stories.
Spiderman has been running for 40 years with monthly stories and the last time I went into a comic shop, runs to 4 comics a month, not to mention the off shoots. Spiderman 3 could just as easily have introduced other iconic villains from that history, or brought in some of the emotional stories instead. I think that they went the right way with Harry Osborne, Venom, Sandman and the ways that power can corrupt, only lightly touched on in the other 2 films.
Also, bear in mind that Spiderman shares the same comics universe as the Fantastic Four, X-men, Daredevil, Blade, Electra and Ghost Rider as well as Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, Avengers and many more.
The comic books share villains and I would rather see the hero films stop killing off the villains at the end. It is not necessary for the villain to be killed, only defeated. That way, they can come back and plague our hero again in a brand new way, in a brand new episode or film.
This is necessary if the film is to become a proper franchise and not just a series of similar stories.
A final bit of praise for the comic book based film. Remember that comic books are not just about superheros. Men in Black and Road to Perdition were both based on comic books as was Sin City and V for Vendetta. 300 was also out as a comic book before the film was made. The ALiens and Predator films were developed within comic books, with several Aliens vs Predator series before the film was made.
Comics, like books and films and TV shows are a medium for telling stories and they can be anything. One of the most powerful stories I have ever read in comic book form is Maus by Art Spiegelman. It is one of the few books that I beleive everybody should read. Look it up, read it and weep.