|Hollywood is often accused of creative bankruptcy, of cashing in with sequels and franchises when they should be taking risks on new films about lesbian aliens in Outer Patagonia (or something). Now, normally, we'd defend the rights of sequels to the hilt, point out that there are sequels that are unquestionably good films and that there's nothing inherently wrong with making a follow-up. Then again, there's the news today that Sony is planning Hollow Man 2, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer and Road House 2. |
Hollow Man, for the many people who won't remember it, was the Invisible Man thriller, with Kevin Bacon playing a scientist who turns all evil when he turns invisible. The film wasn't bad – it had great special effects, a decent premise and an OK performance from Bacon – but aside from lowering Elizabeth Shue's Bacon number, it didn't really stick in people's minds. There's no word on whether the original cast will return – frankly, we'd be surprised – but a director and screenwriter have been announced in the shape of Claudio Fäh (who made his feature debut with a film called Coronado in 2003) and Joel Soisson, who wrote such films as Mimic 2 and Highlander: Endgame.
I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer picks up the teen scream franchise once again, with yet another group of hapless adolescents causing accidental death and then being deliberately picked off one by one. This time, it's a Fourth of July prank that goes horribly wrong, killing one of their friends and putting a strain on the rest of the group when they agree to keep it secret. We're assured that Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. will be nowhere in sight this time, but no cast has been hired as yet. Michael Weiss, writer on, er, Octupus 2: River Of Fear (which we haven't seen, but on the basis of that title, will be seeking out) and also The Butterfly Effect 2.
Last but only probably least is Road House 2, the sequel to the 1989 Patrick Swayze classic. In the original, the mulleted one played a tough "cooler" employed to manage bouncers and keep a rowdy road house under control, while sweeping the girls off their feet with his twinkling toes and fancy dance moves (What's that? Different film? Oh well, no one will notice). The sequel will take up where the first film left off, but we don't know if Swayze himself will be back. The writer for that, Scott Ziehl, worked on Demon Hunter; Cruel Intentions 3 and the fabulously monikered TV movie Earth vs. the Spider (which, fact fans, has no less than five credited writers).
All of which teaches us several things. First of all, sequels can be a really, really bad idea. Secondly, there are some real B-movies out there in Hollywood, and their writers all seem to keep finding work. And thirdly, sometimes it is possible to wish that they'd bring back Freddie Prinze Jr.