After Disney bought LucasFilm last year rumours started circulating about the rejuvenating of the Star Wars saga.

Now it is confirmed that there will be a series of new films with the first one being directed by JJ Abrams. However, it has also been announced that there will also be several spin-offs focusing on specific characters. This makes us look back to the sequels of famous movie franchises, hoping to succeed on the basis of the popularity of their predecessors.

As a result, sometimes these sequels do not always strike gold and even manage to ruin the successful reputation of the films that started them. Here is a short list.


Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Clash of the Titans was not a great film. Although it was obvious that quite a lot of work had gone into designing and transferring the myth of Perseus onto the big screen, the story and characters were not developed well. This is why when Wrath of the Titans came about the only good thing about it were the improved 3D effects. Otherwise, the plot still seemed like a simplified retelling of popular parts of Greek mythology despite the presence of otherwise strong performers such as Ralph Fiennes as Hades and Liam Neeson as Zeus. In the end, it turned into a simple product of the entertainment industry with little value. However, since it did fairly well financially, we are expecting the next film in the trilogy.



Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

This film followed the immensely successful trilogy created by the likes of director Gore Verbinski (The Weather Man, Rango, The Mexican), screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Apparently Disney could not leave behind the unique character created by Johnny Depp, Captain Jack Sparrow. After the third film constituting the initial trilogy, Disney ignored the previous plots and characters and started anew. On Stranger Tides features previous characters such as Barbossa and Gibbs, but starts a whole new original storyline. However, probably the only reason for Pirates 4’s financial success is its release in 3D format, since the storyline was rather too simple for the film’s length.



Dirty Dancing: Havana Night (2004)

This movie sequel was definitely an unnecessary one. The original film from 1987, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, was hugely successful along with the title song (‘The Time of My Life’ performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes). The second one not only resembled the plot of its predecessor but those of other films. Patrick Swayze made a brief appearance as a dance instructor, only to remind of his previous character. Diego Luna and Romola Garai, who portrayed the two main characters, were only a vague copy of the original Baby and Johnny, once again proving that making a sequel of an immensely popular musical is not a great idea.



Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

This sequel followed the original some fourteen years later. Catherine Trammell moved cities (the second film takes place mainly in London) and the plot was just as graphic as the original (maybe even more). However, the film never developed the story or Sharon Stone’s ultimate contemporary femme fatale. Although it featured some new figures such as Morrissey’s Michael Glass and David Thewlis’ detective Washburn, it simply appropriated the original plot and staged it exactly as it initially was but a few years later.



Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

After the massive success of 2001’s Ocean Eleven (a remake of the original film of 1960, starring Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr) 2004 saw the release of its sequel. It followed the storyline of the first film, claiming that it was now time for Danny Ocean and the rest of the characters to pay back Andy Garcia’s Terry Benedict. Although there was a more European feel to the plot and characters, mainly due to the presence of Vincent Cassel’s Franois Toulour, the story seemed incomplete and patched-up. It was full of jokes such as Tess impersonating Julia Roberts (who she actually was) but even new characters such as Toulour or Catherine Zeta-Jones’s Isabel could not salvage it.



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My main interests include film/contemporary art/visual culture, which is on what I mainly concentrate when writing and in my spare time.

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