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Unequal Sequels

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again reaches Oswestry in late September, the screenings are already starting to sell out and if you liked the original, you’ll love it. Forgive me for being a spoilsport, but to my mind it’s the very definition of the lazy sequel. This is the sequel that exists for one reason only, to make money. It doesn’t need to exist, doesn’t pick up a hanging thread of storyline, doesn’t expand our understanding of the characters, it’s just….there. Other examples include Taken 2, and Taken 3 while we’re here, various Home Alone’s, Iron Man 2, The Blues Brothers 2000, most of the Die Hard series, I’d go on but where would I stop? All of these films take beloved characters from a successful film, throw more money at them and hope the audience’s love for the original will carry the whole thing over the finish line. Who cares about the story making sense when you’ve got lovable little Kevin McCallister goofing around, or Bruce Willis punching people in his own inimitable way. Not only are these sequels lazy, they actively ruin the goodwill you felt for the original. I’ll admit it’s no cinematic great, but the first Taken was a surprisingly exciting and fun genre action film that had us all thinking “Liam Neeson in an action film?! Well, it works somehow!”, whereas the second and third films were shoddy rubbish that made you wonder if the first really was that good, Taken didn’t rest on its laurels, it set fire to them and blew the ashes in our faces. Enough about lazy sequels, next week’s column (Which is a sequel!) will look at what makes a great sequel. Prepare for Vin Diesel, Tom Cruise and of course, Woody and Buzz!

By Michael Hudson

From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer

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