We live in a world of perpetual reboots and sequels, in a world where movie studios will turn over most every rock and stone they can to uncover valuable intellectual property, most especially if it can be turned into a franchise or potential cinematic universe (we’re getting pretty sick of that, we just want to add). Despite this, every now and then a really great film (or maybe just an alright film, since mediocrity seems to be the mark we measure our films by these days) comes along that deserves a sequel, but that sequel never comes. This is a world with not two, not three, but four Transformers films, with more on the way; and some of the films we’re about to list can’t get a sequel? This is madness! Madness we say! We’ve decided to express our outrage on the subject by detailing 10 movies that deserved sequels (but never got them).
10. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Call us crazy, but we dig on this nifty little movie starring everyone’s favorite Hollywood couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (or Brangelina for the uninformed). In fact, we’d venture to say that the thing most people remember about Mr. and Mrs. Smith is that it’s the place those two high powered celebrities met each other; for whatever reason, people seem to forget that this Doug Liman directed film is actually rock solid, with awesome action set pieces, a solid supporting cast that features Kerry Washington, Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody, and a genuinely funny script with an intriguing enough premise to carry an entire film. While the movie will always be remembered for the drama which surrounded it off-screen, we’re a little more invested in what happened on it. Which brings us to the most important question of all? Where’s our sequel? We’d definitely sign up for another go-round of Brangelina kicking ass and taking names.
We’re shameless Guy Ritchie fans over here, and we’re ready to declare it from the rooftops. He may not make the deepest or most intellectual films we’ve ever seen, but damn if they aren’t entertaining as movies can get. Everything from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels to Snatch, we can’t get enough of it. That’s probably why we love Ritchie’s lesser known film, Rocknrolla, so much. A lightning quick romp through the criminal underworld of London, starring Gerard Butler, Idris Elba, Tom Wilkinson and others, with a rocking soundtrack…what’s not to love? Moreover, what’s to keep from getting us the sequel we were promised at the first film’s conclusion, when the end titles suggest that “Archie, Johnny and the Wild Bunch will be back in The Real Rocknrolla“? You made us a promise, Guy. Don’t back out on us now.
We’ll be the first to admit that Hancock, the Will Smith vehicle directed by acclaimed action director Peter Berg, is a flawed film. A movie that features a supremely entertaining first and second acts only to be let down terribly by the film’s third act, Hancock did an excellent job introducing a strong protagonist only to undo the mystery behind the man with a really flimsy plotline; still, there was enough good here to have us (and others) clamoring for a sequel. We could do with a little more poorly behaved Will Smith in our lives, and we’re quite fond of his co-stars Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman as well. With decent world building and some solid effects-driven action, Hancock probably deserved a sequel it never got.
Yeah, yeah, we know. Jumper is a pretty terrible movie that most people here probably don’t even remember; for those of you who don’t, it was another film directed by Doug Liman (apparently we’re fans), and it followed a young man (played by Hayden Christensen in another astoundingly wooden role) with the extraordinary ability to teleport anywhere he’s been before or seen a picture of. Also starring Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson and Samuel L. Jackson (as the villain, as per usual), Jumper isn’t exactly the kind of film studios are itching to give a sequel to; that said, the movie ends on a fairly large cliffhanger, and the film’s supporting cast (particularly Bell, who steals most every scene he’s in) are probably strong enough to carry a sequel that didn’t revolve around Christensen’s character (that guy really does rub us the wrong way).
We understand that Constantine was given the television treatment this past year, and that series (while also beloved by a small sect of fans) was cancelled after only thirteen episodes. Clearly, the character has had a rough go in adaptations, as the Keanu Reeves feature film version was only lukewarmly received by both critics and audiences alike. That said, it’s far from an awful film; in fact, in going back and watching it again, we found that we kind of…dare we say, liked it. Also starring Rachel Weisz, Djimon Honsou, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton (great, as always) and Peter Stormare as the absolute best version of Satan that’s ever been seen on screen, Constantine might play it fast and loose with the adaptation process (he’s both English and blonde in the comics, with Reeves being neither), but the superficial changes to the character don’t undo the good work done here. A film that’s best viewed as a sum of its parts (in that no part of the film is great, but together, it just works), Constantine is a film we would’ve watched a sequel to.
5. District 9
Neil Blomkamp’s science fiction allegory for Apartheid South Africa was a massive critical and commercial success, and rumors about a District 9 sequel have been floating about for ages. Despite all that, it’s been almost seven years since the film’s release, and no sequel has been announced, which is an absolute shame considering the dearth of original science fiction films being produced nowadays. Blomkamp, who is busy with numerous other projects including an Alien sequel, did such wonderful work on District 9, especially in light of the whole Halo movie fiasco, and we have a hard time believing a man this talented and creative doesn’t have some ideas rolling about his brain for a sequel to one of the only science fiction films to ever garner a Best Picture Oscar Nomination.
It’s important to remember that when Unbreakable was released in 2002, M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t the butt of every single director-related joke in the world; rather, he was the talented young filmmaker who had just shocked the world with the twist ending of his debut film, The Sixth Sense. His follow up feature, Unbreakable, also starred Bruce Willis and is also an excellent film, arguably better than his first. It follows a man who slowly realizes his destiny as a real life superhero, and leads him to discover his nemesis (again, a classic Samuel L. Jackson villain). Shyamalan has spoken openly about a desire to do a sequel in the past, but instead he just keeps pumping out incredibly awful films and doing his best to ruin any chance of an Unbreakable sequel getting off the ground. There’s a twisting ending for you.
Before we go advocating for a sequel to 2012’s Dredd, we should probably admit that we’d watch Karl Urban frown and blow sh–t up for an hour and a half regardless of what the film’s plot was; actually, that isn’t true…We’d never, ever watch Doom again. Fine, we were wrong. What we would watch is a sequel to the spectacular film in question, which saw Urban starring alongside Lena Headey and the criminally underrated Olivia Thirlby as the titular character Judge Dredd. Directed by Pete Travis, Dredd has already developed a dedicated cult following in the time since its release, most likely due to its excellent action choreography and faithfulness to the source material. We’re as eager for a sequel as anyone else, and Karl Urban has also expressed a desire to return to the character in the past. We think it’s a damn fine idea. Get on it, Hollywood!
2. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
It’s downright criminal that when discussing the best superhero and comic book adaptations of all time, people rarely speak of 2004’s Hellboy and its sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. While we think the first film is superior to the second, we’d also like to express that they’re both amazing films that feature director Guillermo Del Toro’s signature creature design and some really stunning action sequences, along with some really great character work by star Ron Perlman. Featuring some incredibly impressive world building and a story arc that Del Toro has promised culminates in Hellboy bringing about the apocalypse, we’re hoping against hope that we get a sequel to these unique superhero films.
It’s been 10 years since Joss Whedon’s Serenity was released, and still the pain is far too much for us here at Goliath to bear. Let us just Wash away our tears before continuing (see what we did there). Serenity, the feature film finale of Whedon’s beloved but tragically cancelled television series Firefly, was a modest box office success despite the rabid fan base who, to this day, remain one of the most devoted in Hollywood and Comic Con circles; what we want to know is why Whedon was never given the opportunity to continue this franchise while it was all still fresh way back in 2005? With a built in fan base and a crew so charming you want nothing more than to pack up your space boots and sign on for space piracy, a sequel to Serenity would’ve been a slam dunk. Alas, we’re once again relegated to watching the series from start to end. Wait…that’s awesome.