The old saying that too much of a good thing is never a good thing is never more true than in Hollywood. But Hollywood is famous for taking a series and beating it to death and then beating it a little more. In some cases, you can never have enough sequels (James Bond, for example), but those are few and far between. Too many times, sequels are more of an afterthought of some studio executive that wants to make a quick buck. So they cut costs, overpay the lead actor and then hope for the best. Below is a list of 10 franchises that should end, or in some cases, should have ended a long time ago. And for the record, I’m staying away from the hardcore horror movies because they would populate the entire list.
10. Happy Feet – It was a toss-up between ICE AGE and HAPPY FEET, but in the end, I had to go with the annoying, pointless, dancing penguins. These movies anger me on many levels, but none more so than when someone says they like them because “the penguins are cute” or “the message is positive”. Both true, but we deserve more from our animated films than cheap scenes of penguins dancing.
9. Tomb Raider – A scantily clad hot girl with big guns; I get it. But if Angelina Jolie can’t make the franchise work, then chances are good it’s not going to happen. Hopes of redoing the franchise with someone else is going to end in the same results; bad action and worse acting.
8. Beverly Hills Cop – Any time you have a third film in the franchise that is completely horrible (which is a common theme with this list), then you should probably just hang it up. Such is the case with BEVERLY HILLS COP series. In the beginning, it was fun to see Eddie Murphy’s natural humor and charm come through as an out of water detective from Detroit. But the third film was sad as a snotty, mature Murphy tried to play himself from 10 years ago. There’s talk of a fourth film on the way, but hopefully cooler heads will prevail.
7. Rocky/Rambo – I have to lump these together because they should end for the same reason; Stallone is too old and the characters are completely played out. I feel comfortable that Rocky is gone for good, but there’s still a hint that Rambo might make a comeback and I can’t handle that again. Let the guy retire down to Florida where he only has to worry about fighting with Medicare and Medicaid.
6. Scream – Admittedly, the fourth film was a nice revisit to what I thought was a franchise that was already over, but Wes Craven has to give it up at this point. I pretty much feel that all horror films should stop at two or three sequels, but it’s especially true for the Scream franchise. We get it; Sydney has the worst life of all time, let’s move on.
5. American Pie – I halfway like the idea of bringing everyone back together for a reunion, but after AMERICAN REUNION, the madness has to stop. AMERICAN WEDDING was atrocious and at this point, the Pie franchise seems a little sad, especially since no one from the original film was able to make it, with the possible exception of Seann William Scott.
4. Toy Story – I know many will disagree with this, but there’s something to be said for going out on top. TS3 was a perfect ending and revisiting it without Andy is going to come off like they’re trying to sell more toys (see CARS 2 for example). Let the franchise go down as one of the greatest trilogies of all time.
3. Die Hard – Sorry, Bruce, but this needs to stop. I’d be open to making a fifth film if it wrapped up his character in some way (maybe bring back Bonnie Bedelia) or showed him retiring. But going to Russia to save his son? Give me a break. The fourth film turned McClane into a superhero and the fifth looks like it’s going to turn him into James Bond.
2. Indiana Jones – I love Indiana as much as the next guy, but KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL ruined the franchise. There’s no way to recover from that unless you go back and pretend it never happened. But passing it off to Shia isn’t going to work and no one wants to see Indiana battle aliens. Throw him in another religious-themed mystery adventure and maybe I’ll bite, but I’d prefer to imagine LAST CRUSADE was the last time we’ll see Indy in action.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean – I know Jack Sparrow has his fans and all he really has to do at this point is walk around a beach for 2 hours and people will pay to see him. But On Stranger Tides proved that the franchise has no legs and that Sparrow alone isn’t enough to keep it going. Depp has all the money he needs, he shouldn’t relegate himself to another Pirates film.