Raiders of the 80's - Why Ferris Bueller Day's Off 2 Should Never Happen

Why that Honda advert should be as close to a Ferris Bueller's Day Off Sequel that we will ever get.

The sight of a 49-year-old Matthew Broderick saying, €œHow can I handle work on a day like today?€ last week caused a big stir the Internet, as millions contemplated the comeback of their favourite cinematic truant. When the teaser clip turned out to be for a new Honda commercial, not a sequel to Ferris Bueller€™s Day Off as hoped by many, some felt disappointment, some felt relief. One thing though is undeniable. The 1980s is a cash cow, a not-so-lost ark. From parodies to remakes to homages, the decade is there to be raided, more than any other, it seems. But why? Why do we get Ferris Honda€™s Day Off and not There€™s Something About Honda, or Honda Almighty? Is it because Matthew Broderick€™s running low on cash, DVD sales of Inspector Gadget drying up? Maybe, but the answer is no... he€™s married to Sarah Jessica Parker; they€™re doing all right. The reason for this canny piece of marketing is simply that many of the twelve-year-olds that watched John Hughes€™ definitive bunking-off flick can now afford to buy a new Honda. One can€™t help but suspect that the new €œFerris€ ad was inspired by Nike€™s recent Back For The Future campaign, which features Christopher Lloyd in that yellow raincoat, looking about two months older than he did in 1989. Nike€™s baby was targeted at those old enough to remember and love the original Back to The Future films, specifically those with enough money and desire to own an actual pair of Nike Mags (the aim to raise money for Parkinson€™s, but it wasn€™t bad publicity for Nike either). So, it seems, our favourite 80s flicks have invaded the world of advertising. But there is plenty of money to be made on the big screen too. The last few years has seen a flurry of direct remakes; A Nightmare on Elm Street, Footloose, Fright Night, Halloween, Friday the 13th and we could go and on. It is no secret that Hollywood producers are betting safe these days, and what is a safer bet than rehashing a 25-year-old film that middle-aged people will watch out of curiosity, and teenagers will watch because they€™ve heard the original was good and, hey, that chick from Melrose Place is in it. Then there€™s the belated sequel, another guaranteed money maker. It is hardly surprising that when Harrison Ford picked up his old bull-whip four years ago the result was $787 million. If Ghostbusters 3 ever happens, it will make a profit, as all the above films have done and probably a gigantic one. There€™s an argument for leaving the past where it is: in the past. 2010€™s A Nightmare on Elm Street was a turkey. 2011€™s Footloose is scarier than the original Halloween. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull made ol€™ Mr. Lucas a lot of money, but it also made a lot of people unhappy (some of the cast included). At least Honda Bueller€™s Day Off is harmless, a nice piece of marketing (7 million views on YouTube and counting) that hasn€™t ruined anything for the children of the 80s. There must be, however, a way to bring the 80s back to the big screen and achieve critical and commercial success (doesn€™t one entail the other?). There is. By doing something original. Films such as The Wedding Singer, Donnie Darko and We Own The Night, three very different films, have managed to take the 1980s and make something new of it. The stories are original. The characters never seen before. Only the songs and the shoulder pads are directly lifted from days gone by. Following in this vein is Nicolas Winding Refn€™s stylish and, at times very violent, Drive (take away the mobile phones and basically it€™s set in the 80s), which goes one step further by adding a soundtrack made up of new but very 80s-sounding music. Drive, made for $15 million, has, in four months, made $70 million, which goes to show, we do like something €œold€. But we also like something new. And something very good. Please let this be as close to a Ferris Bueller's Day Off Sequel that we will ever get; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhkDdayA4iA
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Simon Patrick Harwood hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.