Whenever you go to the movies these days, you’ll inevitably see a trailer that makes you groan and say, “They’re making another one?” The modern film industry relies so heavily on sequels and reboots that it feels like they outnumber original movies. Hollywood loves to milk a successful film for all it’s worth, and they have no shame about pumping out sequel after sequel until the cash cow has gone dry.
And sure, some of these franchises are actually quite good and we really enjoy seeing them–like even though we’re hating on The Fast and the Furious 8, we know perfectly well we’re all going to pack into the theaters to watch more hot people drive more cars–but for the most part, we wish they’d stop beating a dead horse. Do we really need another Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie, or for JJ Abrams to make yet another boring Star Trek reboot? No, we do not. Will we get them anyway? Probably, because these guys just don’t know when to stop. (Hint: it should have been after the first one.) With over thirty sequels and reboots coming out in 2017 alone, it seems safe to say that Hollywood has become too lazy to create original content. Why not just make a miniseries or TV show and release it on Netflix?
With some of these movies about to be released in a theater near you, we’ve decided to make a list of the sequels and reboots you DON’T want to see.
15. Pirates of the Caribbean
Trilogies are fine, but once you hit movie number four, you’re really pushing it. Pirates of the Caribbean was an iconic piece of early 2000s cinematic history, and the ensuing two sequels were just as fun. And we’ll admit, the fourth movie was pretty darn good, if a bit tired in places. But with the fifth movie getting ready to release, we have to stop and ask why Jerry Bruckheimer has to keep beating a dead kraken. Captain Jack Sparrow can’t bring anything new to the table–we know he’s just going to drunkenly sway around a ship, fire off witty one-liners, obsess over rum, and be a walking advertisement for waterproof eyeliner. And sure, we’re getting Orlando Bloom back, but at what cost? More of the same plot lines and in-jokes being parroted back at us?
Okay, we’re not going to lie: The X-Men were pretty cool. A team of mutants with special abilities who save the world plays on the classic “underdogs who use their differences for good” trope that everyone loves. But the thing is, the X-Men were cool; now, they’re boring.
Logan marks the eighth film in the X-Men franchise, and Deadpool 2 will make the ninth, and the franchise doesn’t show any signs of stopping. It’s ironic considering that the third movie was titled The Last Stand, implying that this was also the end of the X-Men movies–apparently, that ship sailed five movies ago. And sure, the movies are decent, but how many times are we going to see people with special powers fight each other? How many backstories and prequels do we really need to appreciate the first three movies? None, because the first three were great on their own. By constantly going back and editing and adding, it just feels like the creators are unhappy with their work and constantly trying to fix it.
Okay, we get it, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a robot who kills people, whoop-de-doodle-do.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. We’re not denying the coolness of the 1984 movie, because it was pretty awesome. But three sequels? A TV show? A video game series? Even a ride?! Why? Why do we need all of these things?
It’s not like Arnold Schwarzenegger is a particularly good actor or even that nice to look at (come on, even in his Conan days, he was overwhelmingly “meh” at best). So why did Hollywood not only squeeze two sequels, a television series, video games, and a ride out of it, but then make a fourth movie years later, now that Arnold is even less popular (and even less attractive) than he was in the 1980s? Maybe it’s time to terminate this franchise.
12. James Bond
There have been so many James Bonds that if they were all going to the same place together, they’d have to go in three separate cars, and frankly, that’s just way too many. It doesn’t even make sense–all James Bond does is look nice in suits, use gadgets, have beautiful women throw themselves at him, and order his martinis shaken, not stirred. That should only be enough to carry one, maybe two movies. So how the heck did we end up with twelve different actors playing James Bond across twenty six movies? Who, exactly, is going to see all of these movies? Who cares about the world’s blandest spy that much?
The only good thing that’s come out of it is that if you’re on a date and someone mentions that they’ve watched every single James Bond movie, you can take that a sign to run for the hills, because if that’s their idea of entertainment, they’ve got to be incredibly lame.
11. Resident Evil
Talk about another boring franchise. Maybe boring isn’t the right word–unoriginal, perhaps.
Resident Evil hasn’t done anything that no one else has. The story of a zombie apocalypse genetically engineered by an evil corporation is an old one (relatively speaking), and yet, films and television series can’t seem to stop making them. You can definitely argue that the first couple of Resident Evil movies were made before the zombie apocalypse craze really set in, but at this point we’re just tired of seeing them. Six films is too many, especially when none of them are doing anything new or particularly exciting. And even though the most recent film was called The Final Chapter, we’re doubtful it will remain the final film, given how most of these franchises tend to milk the cash cow for all its worth. We’re fully expecting another movie, a spin-off, or God forbid, even a prequel.
10. Mission: Impossible
Like James Bond, we’re not really sure what the appeal is behind spy movies like Mission: Impossible. The TV show was good ol’ campy fun, and the first couple of movies were a nice homage to the show with a cool, updated twist. But after five movies with a sixth on the way, the cool, updated twist has become old and tired. And like The Terminator franchise, we don’t understand why they keep bringing back Tom Cruise. Even though he’s definitely prettier than Arnold, his acting still leaves something to be desired. It doesn’t help that the guy is friends with the head of Scientology, and however charming his interviews may be, he’s still a religious nut. So why keep giving him money to be in the same movies with the same plot lines? Enough is enough. Let it die. Or let Ethan Hunt die and a new character step forward.
Alvin and the Chipmunks are an integral part of our culture. Everyone grew up watching the TV show and listening to them sing Christmas songs. We aren’t denying that the original Alvin and the Chipmunks were a lot of fun. But why do we need so many “live action” movies about them? (We put that “live action” in heavy quotes considering that the animation used for the chipmunks is somehow even less realistic than their cartoon counterparts.) They’re CGI chipmunks with obnoxious voices–how many shenanigans can they really get into before it becomes boring? Even the kids the movies are aimed at don’t enjoy them that much. Maybe it’s because kids today don’t find talking, singing chipmunks as appealing as we did–or maybe it’s because the chipmunk reboots are just plain bad. Why did the producers have to mess with a perfectly good childhood relic?
Three movies in a franchise are usually fine, but in the case of the Despicable Me series, one movie was enough. Sure, we all loved the first Despicable Me; who hasn’t said, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” or dressed up like Gru for Halloween? Even Despicable Me 2, while far inferior to the original, was kind of a cute follow-up. But it should have ended there. We didn’t need a prequel (seriously, what), and we definitely don’t need another sequel.
Our issue isn’t even with the Despicable Me franchise so much as it is with the Minions that have somehow become impossible to escape. The little yellow blobs are everywhere you go now, and they’ve rapidly lost their appeal to all but very young children and moms who spend too much time on Facebook. We now have a whole movie dedicated to them, and this summer will see the release of Despicable Me 3. Enough. We’re tired of Minions. Take them away.
7. 50 Shades of Grey
Granted, there have only been two films based on E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey series, but they should have stopped before the first one was even made. A bad Twilight fanfic that was republished as a smutty book series, the Fifty Shades franchise features an emotionally abusive man manipulating the blandest college student in existence and engaging in a hilariously inaccurate BDSM relationship with her. Not only that, but the books are just poorly written, the dialogue is stilted, and the protagonist is impossible to like, making her a very frustrating narrator. Many people reacted to the announcement of the first film with scorn, asking how they could turn the book into a movie without it becoming a straight-up porno. Frankly, we’re stunned they’ve released a second film, but there are four books in the franchise, so who knows: we may, unfortunately, be looking at two more movies.
6. Live-Action Disney
Listen, Disney is just fine as a company. Even if they are really commercial, we can’t deny that we love the movies and sing along to all the songs. But why, O Gods of Hollywood, do they have to make so many live action versions of their cartoons?! And will they ever stop?
Granted, Maleficent was an amazing spin on one of Disney’s oldest stories, but what exactly have Cinderella and The Jungle Book done differently? They’re telling the exact same story as the original cartoons, and if the trailers are an indicator of what’s to come, then Beauty and the Beast is practically a shot-for-shot remake of the original. Why are these remakes worth pouring millions of dollars into? Especially when the CGI looks as bad as it does–which is unfortunate, considering that basically every Disney movie utilizes animals. There are rumors that the next movie on the list is The Lion King, and that’s just unacceptable.
Okay, but really: the Marvel and DC universes need to stop. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films were pretty cool when they first came out, but now we have like ten million Batmen–and Supermen, and Spidermen, and Ironmen, and…well, you get the idea. In the last ten years alone, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has produced 14 films and has at least 12 more in production. And that’s just the MCU alone.
And you can argue that the MCU and DC films are trying to tell a great story (which I guess they are), but that’s not why the studios are making these movies. I mean, think about it. You have to pay around $10 for a movie ticket, and if you’ve gone to see every movie in the MCU so far, you will have paid $140–and you can expect to pay another $120. And that’s if you only see each movie once.
Transformers was probably one of Michael Bay’s better movies, but the series really shouldn’t have turned into a series at all. Honestly, the fact that the first Transformers not only spawned three sequels but also has two more in production is astonishing. I mean, how many times can robots transform into things? (Not very many, if you look at the Hasbro toys.) They should have stopped after Megan Fox opted out of the films, and they definitely should have stopped when the series’ star, Shia Labeouf, also opted out of the series. And not that Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci aren’t great, but why have they suddenly become the stars of the series? It was meant for kids, something that was reflected in Shia Labeouf’s age when starting the series–grown men like Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci are not only taking away the kid-friendly factor, but alienating fans of the original.
3. Jason Bourne
Jason Bourne isn’t nearly as suave and sophisticated as James Bond, but the two characters have a lot in common. They’re both top spies, their initials are JB, they appear in countless stories, they are usually played by “studs”, and we wish their creators would just stop already. Sure, there aren’t nearly as many Jason Bourne movies as there are James Bond, but it’s not without the realm of possibility. There have been five Jason Bourne films released so far, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight–especially since the fifth movie didn’t even feature Jason Bourne. There could be a whole series of spin-offs. And that isn’t even a stretch–there are fourteen Jason Bourne novels, and almost definitely more on the way, so there could potentially be at least nine or even ten or eleven more Jason Bourne movies. Let’s hope, however, that the creators stop before they get even more carried away.
Like Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Smurfs are another cartoon series that should never have been turned into “live action” movies. And granted, there have only been two live action Smurfs movies, but that is two too many. Apparently, audiences think so too, because the third Smurfs movie was cancelled and Sony announced that it would be doing a computer animated film instead. But that’s just the thing–instead of cancelling the movies completely, Sony is trying to find another way to make them happen. Honestly, we wish they’d just leave it alone. The old cartoon should never have been tampered with or updated; whether it’s live action or computer animation, it should have been left alone as a golden childhood relic. The new Smurfs are practically unrecognizable from their earlier counterparts with the exception of being little blue men (and one Smurfette), so really, what’s the point? Focus that energy on something else, Sony.
1. Indiana Jones
Listen, we aren’t denying that the original three Indiana Jones movies are cinematic icons, because they definitely are. Even The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones were a cute homage to the trilogy. But it should have ended there.
The fourth movie was, let’s face it, terrible. Even with Indiana and Marion back in the game, the movie was beyond repair. It was met with an overwhelmingly negative critical response–so why Disney is working on a fifth film is mystifying. We can only hope that Disney is able to salvage the franchise much the same way they salvaged Star Wars, because let’s be real: the prequels were terrible, and the new movies might never have happened if not for Disney’s intervention. Fortunately, the new movie isn’t slated to come out until the summer of 2019, and a lot can happen in two years. Like, for instance, cancellations.