Dear Hollywood, be original again
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Ghostbusters,” and “the Mummy,” what do these films and movies have in common? They were told well enough the first time. Hollywood needs to make new movies instead of riding on the coattails of previous successes.
The box office is choked with a glut of cash grab remakes, reboots, and uninspired sequels to franchises that should be rest in peace. Instead of taking a risk to make the next great sci-fi series Disney is content to dig up “Star Wars.” A decision so poorly received that some fans are petitioning to have the movies erased from canon entirely.
The cinematic universe is an especially egregious trend in modern cinema. Started by the massive and bloated Marvel cinematic universe other companies are now attempting to jump on the bandwagon. The 2017 release of “the Mummy” was the failed second attempt to launch a ‘dark universe’ of monster flicks that would have surely resulted in a dozen thoughtless action movies disguised as supernatural horror films. Thankfully, the movie was a massive failure and so the shared universe idea was canned.
The main problem with cinematic universes, especially Marvel movies, is that all a writer has to do is write a mediocre film with a couple of witty one-liners and a big CGI fight and then throw in a 30-second post-credit scene to set up the next movie and then rake in hundreds of millions. This has led to the same uninspired summer blockbuster format being recycled over and over again.
This is not the first time Hollywood has slipped into a lazy sequel fest. There are 12 “Friday the 13th” films and 12 “Halloween movies” with one more on the way. While some of the earlier sequels are fine films the later films would devolve into lunacy, with “Jason X” taking the Camp Crystal Lake killer to space in a campy affair that currently holds a 19% on rotten tomatoes.
The clear trend is that the longer a franchise goes on the further it strays from the path and the worse it becomes. This is why reboots became necessary in the first place, so lazy writers could rehash the same stories without having to resort to sending their characters into space.
Hollywood simply refuses to take risks. Clever films like “Inception” or mind-bending action movies like “the Matrix” have been deemed outdated. Smart and thoughtful films like “Interstellar” have extremely high approval but seem to be a rare sight in the modern box office.
Sure, some original film ideas may flop but cultural juggernauts like “Star Wars” and “the Fast and the Furious” all started out as screenplays someone took a risk producing. It is time Hollywood started making art again instead of the brainless, action comedy that it has been pumping out for years now.