Ride Along 2? No Thank You.

What has happened to the idea of originality in film?  Every time I turn around there’s another unnecessary sequel. Fast and Furious 7, Ride Along 2, Dumb and Dumber Too…none of the original ones exactly required another. If I remember correctly, the first Ride Along didn’t exactly blow up at the box office.

Not only is Hollywood pumping out ridiculous sequels, they’re also creating remakes that nobody every requested. Ghost Busters is about to be rebooted (although this time it has an all-female cast, which is super cool for equality). Last year Jurassic World was released. Annie was rebooted in 2014. A few years back we saw a remake of Footloose. We’ve had a never-ending list of Godzilla films. I could go on and on.

The confounding thing is, we keep seeing these films. I myself am guilty of paying money to see a sequel or a remake from time to time (I have a particular weakness for superhero films. Thanks Marvel). The two highest grossing films of 2015 were Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World. Although I thoroughly enjoyed watching both films, I couldn’t help but notice they were both sequels to old franchises.

I can see the lack of originality and the ways in which these films make money, but I can’t help but wonder when Hollywood lost its creativity. It seems like there are more book adaptations, sequels, and remakes than original films. Where are all the Alfred Hitchcock’s? The Orson Welles’s? Not that any directors could ever replace or even replicate their brilliant films. My point is, where are the people that actually care about the art form?

Of course, we have directors that strive to create original films and form their own ideas, like Tarantino or Scorsese. But every time I see a trailer for a movie like Ride Along 2, I think that original filmmakers are growing scarcer. I understand why studios pump out unoriginal remakes and sequels. It’s easy and a lot of times, they make money.

I suppose that we’ll always have money guzzling sequels. Marvel seems intent on draining my bank account of its funds. I just wish that in addition to the countless sequels we are bombarded with, there was a little more originality.

-B

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