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‘Tis the Season of Sequels

Juliana Mare

Wed Dec 05 2012


THERE’S nothing better than seeing a movie, falling in love with it and then finding out there’s a sequel in the making. Juliana Mare’s put together a list of the top movie sequels to look forward to. And some not-so-great sequels that aren’t worth your time.

These upcoming sequels, and “threequels”, are highly anticipated, despite some of their originals being over a decade old. But the buzz is so great the only choice left is not whether to see it or not, but whether you’re keen enough to brave the queues to watch them!

The Hobbit

Who can resist the appeal of hobbits, dwarves, dragons and Middle Earth? The Hobbit – the prequel to one of the biggest movie franchises in history, Lord of the Rings – is one of the most anticipated movies of 2012, with fans from across the globe flocking to Wellington for its world premiere on November 28. Nearly a decade has passed since the final instalment of the LOTR trilogy so fans are undoubtedly eager to see Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Gollum once again. In Australia, The Hobbit opens in cinemas on Boxing Day.

The Hangover Part III

We loved watching Phil, Alan and Stu pick up the pieces after their drunken exploits in Vegas and we loved watching it happen all over again in Bangkok. Now, set for release on May 23, the trio is back for a third film, rumoured to be set in Tijuana. According to Zach Galifianakis (Alan), in his interview with Rolling Stone, the third film is moving away from the setup of the first two, instead involving busting his character out of a mental institution. Either way, we’re excited.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

For anyone who has read the book series, the second novel, Catching Fire, is just as thrilling, dangerous and drama-filled as the first, just with the added bonus of characters like Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason. Catching Fire picks up where the first film finished as Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch prepare for the third Quarter Quell. Fandom mayhem erupted when we got the first glimpse into the new set. Photos of the new (and wet) arena plus the newest cast member – Sam Claflin as Finnick – were released and needless to say, the fans are already excited. No doubt, the midnight screenings on November 21 will be a sell-out.

Thor: The Dark World

Set after the events of The Avengers (2012), the second Thor movie sees Aussie hunk Chris Hemsworth return as the Asgardian superhero to fight off a new enemy known as Dark Elves. After the success of The Avengers, superheroes seem to be the newest movie trend, with a third Iron Man, a new Superman, more X-Men and another Fantastic Four movie all in production for 2013. The buff, hammer-wielding, super-strength hero Thor is returning to cinemas on November 8.

Monsters University

After 12 years, John Goodman and Billy Crystal are back as the voices of Sulley and Mike in a prequel to the 2001 animated film Monsters Inc. This time around, the duo isn’t the very best of friends while they attend the Monsters University. All your favourite monsters are back so if you’re up for a bit of childhood nostalgia, Monsters University opens in cinemas on June 20.

And now, these are the sequels that didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by their predecessors.

Speed 2: Cruise Control

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock starred together in the 1994 action flick Speed. It had all the makings of an epic action film – car chases, explosions, mystery, tension and a dash of romance. Three years later, the sequel, which has only one returning cast member, Bullock, is a huge letdown. IMDb users gave the sequel a rating of 3.5 whereas the original scored 7.2.

American Pie Presents…

Tara Reid and Mena Suvari at the Melbourne Premiere of American Reunion. Image courtesy of Eva Rinaldi on Flickr

Basically, the first three American Pie movies were decent teen comedy flicks. It was entertaining to watch the lad’s awkward dating experiences, right up until Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle’s (Alyson Hannigan) wedding. But then they released The Naked Mile (2006), Beta House (2007) and The Book of Love (2009), all of which seem to just have increased amounts of nudity to compensate for the not-so-funny jokes. That being said, there is some redemption in the 2012 American Reunion which has the original cast of the first three back together for their high school reunion.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

The fourth instalment of the POTC franchise, On Stranger Tides has to be the worst of the lot. There’s no Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and no Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightley), instead we get Penélope Cruz looking a bit too cowgirl in her pirate hat. The most redeeming quality of the movie is the cute romance between the mermaid and a human, but even that is cast aside to give Jack Sparrow room for sassy quips and remarks.


In the 1987 original, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a muscly, rugged soldier who fought off the alien species. Chock full of macho fighting sequences and brutal battle scenes, Predator is a genuinely epic action movie. The 2010 sequel Predators falls short of the expectations set by Schwarzenegger. A group of the world’s most elite hunters, killers and soldiers are dropped into an alien jungle where they must survive against the Predators. The plot is quite similar but the characters are just a bit annoying, double-crossing and un-believable. Stick to the original.

Freddy vs. Jason

In their individual movies, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees are terrifying villains that will send shivers up your spine and keep you awake all night. The 2003 remake, which pits these two horror stars against each other, does have some genuinely scary scenes that will make you jump but when put next to the originals, they just don’t compare. And for the record, Kelly Rowland should stick to her music career.