‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Shows That Even Fun Sequels Don’t Need to Exist (And 10 Upcoming Movie Sequels We’re OK Without)
Looking back on the biggest movie surprises of 2017, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle quickly rose to the top of the list. Two years later, the sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level, has finally arrived in theaters and, in true Hollywood fashion, proves that some sequels are totally unnecessary. Even though The Next Level is enjoyable enough as a standalone story, it’s also one of those sequels that features diminishing returns. It’s not a bad film; it’s just that it’s far less surprising or compelling than its predecessor.
If Welcome to the Jungle was surprisingly effective action comedy with an intriguing premise, then The Next Level keeps the core elements, just with less charm this time around. Ultimately, Jumanji: The Next Level proves that even fun sequels sometimes have no reason to exist, other than to make few armored trucks full of money. With that in mind, here are 10 upcoming movie sequels that we would probably be better off without.
Cover Photo: Sony Pictures
‘A Quiet Place: Part II’
Although A Quiet Place was one of the best horror movies of 2018, a sequel seems slightly unnecessary. Except for the janky world-building, it’s a great little self-contained thriller that doesn’t require a sequel. While John Krasinski’s follow-up, inventively titled A Quiet Place: Part II, is set to follow the Abbott family once again, the sequel would be far more tantalizing if it were following an entirely new family. Hopefully, we’re not wrong.
‘Peter Rabbit II: The Runaway’
Peter Rabbit is the type of would-be franchise that gives Hollywood a bad name. It’s a property that is literally over a century old, has little brand appeal, and features James Corden as the titular character. Although we’ve yet to see a trailer for Peter Rabbit II: The Runaway, this franchise can only be described as a modern-day Alvin and the Chipmunks. In other words, a sequel can only provide diminishing returns on a property that already has limited appeal to begin with. Sony Pictures sure loves to push their luck.
‘Death on the Nile’
With Knives Out becoming one of the biggest smashes of this year’s holiday window, a whodunit based on the work of Agatha Christie seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the mediocre execution of her last adapted work, Murder on the Orient Express, doesn’t provide much confidence. While the previous film was able to find monetary success in 2017, there doesn’t seem much justification for making Death on the Nile – other than to take advantage of people’s goodwill towards the genre, along with their wallets.
‘The Boss Baby 2’
It may be hard to imagine, but The Boss Baby is an Academy Award-nominated film. Let that sink in for a moment. Other than being a relatively essential skewering of successful sociopaths like Donald Trump, there’s nothing about Alec Baldwin voicing a hyper-intelligent baby that screams sequel. As it turns out, The Boss Baby 2 is prepared to stretch a thin premise even further while also dedicating another two hours to jokes about baby shit.
‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’
As perhaps the most unnecessary animated movie coming in 2020, Minions: The Rise of Gru is probably going to make boatloads of cash. It’s the sequel to a prequel spinoff film, which means that it is probably going to be awful by default. If the title is any indication, Minions: The Rise of Gru should be another inessential entry into a franchise that has already wrung out most of its potential.
It’s been 10 years since the release of James Cameron’s Avatar, which is hard to believe since the film has mostly faded from the public consciousness in the time since. Even more baffling is how the director managed to expand the franchise in one fell swoop with four planned sequels in the next decade. While the franchise has the potential to go belly-up before they all see the light of day, one thing is for sure: those who have bet against the filmmaker in the past have historically been proven wrong. Let’s hope that this trend doesn’t end for Cameron, or we’re all in for a bumpy ride.
‘The Croods II’
While The Croods was released nearly seven years ago, the film has left virtually no cultural impact whatsoever. This is probably due to a lackluster plot, or perhaps the fact that it completely wastes the comedic potential of having Ryan Reynolds voice a character in the film. Even though there’s an absolute novelty to seeing Nicolas Cage voicing the patriarch of a family of cave people, it’s probably not enough to justify a sequel that even the movie studio itself was hesitant about making.
In certain respects, both G.I. Joe movies are equally different beautiful disasters, which is probably the reason why a third film hasn’t made it off the ground. Even Dwayne Johnson – franchise steroid himself – couldn’t make Retaliation a movie worth continuing the franchise over. So how exactly can a Snake Eyes spinoff justify itself? Time will surely tell. It’s just a shame that Ray Park won’t be returning for the titular role of the spinoff, especially since he was the best part of both movies.
Joker is still enjoying one of the most successful theatrical runs in cinema history and legitimate awards buzz but hasn’t stopped fans of the movie from eagerly anticipating a sequel. Ironically, filmmaker Todd Phillips intended to create a self-contained, stand-alone move that carried none of the machinations of the superhero genre. Then the film went and made over $1 billion on a $50 million budget. While a sequel to Joker has yet to be given the green light, rumors have swirled that a sequel is all but inevitable. Let’s hope this isn’t the case since it goes against the entire methodology of the film.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the latest Hollywood reboot to get The Force Awakens treatment, meaning that it’s a sequel to a beloved franchise that integrates classic characters with fresh faces. As the direct sequel to both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, Afterlife should be an exciting new chapter in the franchise. Unfortunately, the first trailer for the Jason Reitman-directed film makes it seem like Stranger Things: The Movie more than Ghostbusters. Among many other things, the trailer isn't funny, which is odd for a franchise that is primarily rooted in comedy. Although there’s still hope that this is merely a result of botched marketing, things are looking decidedly grim for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.