Passing the torch is an on-going trend in Hollywood. But it’s not always for the best. Sometimes the one who succeeds is so damn annoying and appalling that we wish they were never there in the first place.
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Indian Jones, let’s face it, is not exactly in the prime of his life anymore. Indy had his fair share under the sun. It’s time he retires to the shade. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was supposed to be more than just a movie. It was supposed to be the debut of the next Indiana Jones. Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams, Indiana Jones‘ son, was supposed to be the new star of a new series based on his character. But the movie did not perform as well. Mutt Williams was pushed back into the pages of obscurity and Harrison Ford was called back to play the part in a slew of future movies.
Conan The Barbarian
Conan The Barbarian was based on Robert E Howard’s pulp fiction novels. When Arnold Schwarzenegger played the character, there was a different charm and tone to the franchise. The new actor, Jason Momoa, was already famous after his portrayal of Khal Drogo in Gam,e of Thrones. But he was nearly not popular enough to get out of the shadow of Schwarzenegger. Marcus Nispel’s movie was essentially a retelling of the classic Conan tales. And fans did not like it and never stopped comparing it with the cult-classic 1982 movie.
The Transporter Refueled
The Transporter series tells the story of Frank Martin, a former soldier and ace driver who could get anyone or anything anywhere for the right price. Based on the formula of getaway movies, the Transporter series struck a chord with many high octane action fans. Post Transporters 3, the studio believed they could still milk the franchise. Frank Martin was recast. This time Ed Skrein would take up the role in place of Statham. The Transporter series launched Statham’s career so making a prequel to the series without having Statham in it was stupid. It was not at all up to the mark.
The 1991 Point Break movie was the epitome of action in the 90’s. It had amazing stunt visuals and an equally amazing cast. Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze shouldered the movie and pushed it into cult classic success. It also had Katheryn Bigelow’s charming direction backing it up. The 2015 movie directed by Ericson Core had good visuals but that’s just it. It had nothing else. The movie was not well-received in the domestic box office. But since the 1991 Point Break movie was not as famous overseas, the 2015 movie escaped comparisons in the international box office.
Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II had the magic of Bill Murray, Dan Aykoryd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver. It’s tone, theme, story, and characters were all unique. It was a movie that was one of the first of its kind. The Ghost busters reboot tried to recreate that same magic with an all star female cast that are Saturday night Live alum. They tried hard. We will give them that. But just having an all-women’s lead cast does not equate to new age success. Even the critics said that the movie was too focused on riding the trend rather than catering to the audience.
XXX: State Of The Union
There’s something about Vin Diesel. The guy barely has an expression but he still manages to steal the show. The 2002 spy thriller movie XXX was what launched Diesel’s career as a true action mega-star. The movie was utter nonsense. It had iron clad action and too little plot depth. But it still made upwards of a quarter billion at the box office. The sequel, XXX: State Of The Union, cast Ice Cube as the new lead hero. Ex-Con Darius Stone failed to resonate with the audiences. The movie itself performed poorly. As a result, XXX: Return Of Xander Cage, brought back Diesel in the titular role.
Men In Black: International
Without Will Smith’s ineffable appeal and Tommy Lee Jones’ exquisite charm, this movie was doomed to fail as a potential successor. They movie was touted to be not a spin-off. Had it been declared as such, we would have at least paid heed. Chris Hemsworth was the only saving grace of this dumpster-fire of a movie. Tessa Thompson was abysmal as one of the two leads. This movie is living proof why some franchises are better left where they were and not mess with powers beyond human comprehension. Also, Studios should be a little less greedy.
The Bourne Legacy
The 2002 Doug Liman directed The Bourne Identity ushered in a new age of action movies. Action stars no longer were larger than life like John McClane. They were very much human and flawed. To top it off, the flaws only made them better killing machine. David Webb was supposed to be a nobody, a ghost. But somehow he ended up becoming the heart and soul of the action genre in the 2000s with the Bourne series. Using anything and everything at his disposal, Jason Bourne was a living weapon. Matt Damon became an overnight sensation. When Jeremy Renner took on the reins, it felt lackluster. As a result, the studio asked Damon to return in the next installment to the franchise – Jason Bourne.
Thanks to acting powerhouses like Paul Walker and Vin diesel, The Fast and the Furious became a household phenomenon. It spanned multiple sequels and spin-offs. It’s still going strong even after so many years. Even 2 Fast 2 Furious gets brownie points for linking up to the franchise’s mainstream continuity. But the third movie – Tokyo Drift, was a literal slap on the face. The movie tried to re-invent the franchise with a new setting. But the film was riddled with adolescent humor and not so incredible street racing. So subsequent sequels just ret-conned the events as a small part of a larger timeline.
Universal already had a Mummy franchise in the 1940s and 1950s. The 1990’s Mummy movies starring Brendan Fraser were actually reboots. So the 2017 The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, was the reboot of a reboot. If a movie has actors like Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe and still tanks, there’s something colossally wrong with it. 2017’s The Mummy led the stages wide open for sequels. But Universal never followed suit since it was not well-received.