Long gone are the days of Hollywood taking a chance on a new, original IP for its summer blockbusters, instead preferring to ride the excitement, buzz, and overall clamor for sequels, franchises, and spin-offs. It doesn’t always bode well with regards to quality though, so here are five franchises that overstayed their welcome…
Let me start off by saying the first of the four main films was a groundbreaking piece of science fiction film, with its influence on the genre still felt today, with everyone doing their own take on bullet time, the fast and frenetic martial arts action and more. However, that’s where it stops, the second and third were parodies of their predecessor, simply trying to do too much at once, and trying to increase the scope of the story to a ridiculous point.
The most recent entry The Matrix Resurrections seemed as much a letter of warning to Hollywood with its meta-commentary about being forced to do an unnecessary sequel, as as it seemed intent on burning down the principles of the world in the films before.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Certainly an obvious entry in this list of five franchises that overstayed their welcome, and with a recently announced spin-off focusing on a fresh new character played by Hollywood’s go-to woman in Margot Robbie, we’ll be delving into the Pirates franchise once more. Hopefully, this latest entry will be considerably better than the last two we’ve been privy to, and unless it’s absolutely spectacular, I doubt it’ll get close to the first one in any way whatsoever.
A regular theme at this point, the first of the three films was a genuinely funny romp surrounding four men on a stag weekend, and the repercussions of a heavy drunken night where they manage to lose the groom. The next two, however, may as well have screamed ‘we don’t have a fresh story, we just want your money, as neither of them brought anything new to the table. Thankfully this franchise stopped at three, unlike the others listed here.
Credited with creating the shark-hating frenzy of the last fifty years, the original Jaws was a masterpiece in creating tension whilst only showing glimpses of the villain, something more recent creature features have forgotten. However, when you compare the first to the last Jaws film, it’s quite clear that the fourth was a cash grab, made by people that didn’t understand or even maybe care for the principles of the first. Michael Caine famously came out and said he hadn’t seen the film and wouldn’t, but was happy to see his paycheck. When the stars say something like that, you know the franchise ending movie really is poor.
Every single film in the franchise other than the first should never have graced cinemas, and some wouldn’t even deserve the straight-to-DVD treatment. The first film is a good mixture of gigantic talking robots from an alien planet fighting other gigantic talking robots, a human story with heart and humor, and some genuinely good story beats. The rest seem to focus on nothing but explosions, guns, gravelly robots saying threatening things, and more explosions. The first isn’t winning any Oscars, but at least it’s a somewhat comprehensible piece of cinema that ticks the right boxes… the rest… well, they’re why this franchise is included in a list of five franchises that overstayed their welcome…
I’m sure we could add another twenty entries on this list before we even began to struggle for entries on this of five franchises that overstayed their welcome, so what else would you have added?