appears to be running out of new ideas,” wrote Harry and Michael Medved in
1980. “The number of remakes, sequels and readily-recognizable spin-offs of
established winners has easily exceeded the tally of truly original concepts.”
The art of
whining about Hollywood’s output is older than most people reading this, and in
2016 finding sequels to gripe about is like shooting fish in a barrel. There was
The Conjuring 2, which after attempting to convince us that the Amityville haunting
was not a hoax, whisked the viewer to Enfield for a “true” ghost story full
of gor blimey accents and pop songs that didn’t fit the 1977 setting.
was X-Men: Apocalypse, a lot of sound and fury that attempted to gloss over the
fact that none of the characters looked much different than they did in X-Men:
First Class, despite the passage of some twenty years. Following an overblown
(yet oddly perfunctory) climax, the open-ended final scene conveniently left
the door open for further installments.
As far as
multiplex sequels went in the first half of 2016, this was as good as it got,
and as we will see, you could do far worse.