By Celia Block ’20
Guardians of the Galaxy-again. Thor- seen it. Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars, The Incredibles, James Bond-all again. If you need proof Hollywood is struggling, reaching for high ratings and money just look at the box offices of the past few years.
The power behind sequels, remakes and reboots are essential, in the idea of branding. A brand that is connected with a film means more tickets, shirts, posters, toys and an overabundance of additional merchandise. The effort, time and process Hollywood puts into talking every penny out of a brand is becoming ridiculous, to the extent of movies about Legos and Emoji faces.
One of the worst movies I saw in 2017 was “Smurfs: The Lost Village” and I promise this mind-aching, kids comedy was not viewed on my own behalf. I was in the midst of babysitting avoiding the numbing repetitiveness and awfully written screenplay. The Smurfs themselves became far too genetic and plainly predictable as the story progressed. Not only was the movie painful to experience, but it was a disappointment to the Smurf franchise.
If new movies were to match the artistic work of their predecessors there would be no complaint. Remodels of “Ghostbusters”, “Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles” and “Man of Steel” have driven far away from the original screenplay’s ideas and values. “Superman: The Movie” is shaped around a young man who is guided by his belief in goodness to save people and even reverse time to help others around him. The knockoff, “Man of Steel” never established a superheroes moral code and the actor has no guilt of destroying a city with his reckless behavior.
The creation of good, reputable spin-offs has not been lost, such as “Captain America: Civil War” or “The Bourne Identity”-which made 1.15 billion and 2.14 billion- which were both fresh, exciting and enjoyable. Both films offered a strong, central plot and an unpredictable timeliness of events. Bravo, Hollywood.
What Hollywood needs is innovation, creativity, and growth. All common factors of what pushes an industry to create new plots, characters, and ideas. Repeats just don’t make the cut.