5 Sequel Plots That Retroactively Ruin The Previous Movies
A quality sequel improves the original. Think of how much cooler films like The Terminator and Alien become, thanks to their excellent follow-ups. Unfortunately, most sequels tend to make us exhausted by the series instead. And in some cases they add new wrinkles and developments that retroactively turn what came before into a bizarre mess. For instance ...
John Hammond Is A Pretty Shitty Person Thanks To The Lost World
In the first Jurassic Park, John Hammond is a genuinely good guy who also grows prehistoric murder monsters for children to play with. Nobody's perfect. When the dino shit hits the fan, he agrees to risk destroying the park with a system reboot rather than maintain the possibility of salvaging it by waiting for the dinosaurs to slip into comas via the "lysine contingency." Ultimately, Hammond accepts that playing God is a bad idea, and that financial concerns aren't worth having his grandchildren devoured by velociraptors.
But Jurassic Park made all the money, so a sequel was greenlit about a secret second dinosaur island. Hammond claims that he hid the existence of Isla Sorna because some dinosaurs should be allowed to live in peace, and he blocked his company from monetizing the site. But now the investors have taken control, and the only thing that can stop them is -- as in all things -- Jeff Goldblum's glistening chest.
But there are a lot of holes in Hammond's dramatic transformation from "capitalist to naturalist in just four years," as Goldblum skeptically puts it. Let's start with the fact that these other dinos apparently didn't have the built-in lysine contingency as a safeguard -- they seem to be doing just fine after four years on their own. Despite this, and the fact that Jurassic Park's meltdown resulted in many deaths, Hammond tells no one that they exist. This results in the entirely avoidable deaths of more people, some of them unaware they were sailing toward T-Rex property. Yes, he wants it to be a natural habitat or whatever, but it'd be much easier to preserve it if its existence was public knowledge. Hell, that's the whole reason he hires Goldblum in the first place; he just waited until people got maimed first.
Now go back and watch the first film, and realize that through Hammond's whole arc of regretful self-reflection, he secretly knows there's a second batch of much more dangerous dinosaurs out there. Count how many opportunities he has to bring this up and chooses not to. Then Hammond, after creating the dinosaur that ate its way through an island full of mercenaries (hired by a company he used to run), the entire crew of a boat, and San Diego, has the gall to say in the closing monologue that "Mankind should just step aside and let nature take its course." Dude, it isn't "mankind" causing these problems. It's just you.
Daniel Craig's James Bond Was Literally Never In Danger
Spectre's big reveal is that Christoph Waltz's Blofeld was the evil mastermind behind all four of the Craig-era Bond films. It's supposed to be a mind-blowing twist, casting all of these stories in a completely new light. But it only holds up until you go rewatch them. This retcon suggests that each of these disparate villains were only interested in hurting Bond ... emotionally.
Sure, these guys do standard evil shit like, uh, monopolize water rights (Jesus, Quantum of Solace sucked), but according to Blofeld, each time Bond gets involved, the goal became more about making him sad. All because he became Blofeld's dad's favorite kid, Bond stopping his associate from winning a high-stakes poker game (maybe these movies were always stupid?) is now personal.
Blofeld claims he's been "authoring" all of Bond's pain through his surrogates. "A nice pattern developed. You interfered in my world, I destroyed yours. Or did you think it was coincidence that all the women in your life ended up dead?" This is what he determined was the best course of action instead of just, you know, killing Bond. Hell, earlier in Spectre, Blofeld straight up saves Bond's life by calling him out at his big boardroom meeting, giving him a chance to escape.
But this means the previous films now contain a bunch of fights in which it sure looks like the henchmen are trying to kill Bond, but thanks to Spectre, we now know that they were, I guess, actually losing on purpose? It's insane to think the writers want us to rewatch all of Skyfall with the knowledge that Bond is basically safe. Every gunshot in his direction is fired by a henchman who knows he'll catch shit from Blofeld if he actually hits his mark.
Also this begs the question: How did Blofeld convince hundreds of said henchmen to sacrifice their lives merely shooting near Bond, all in the service of a foreboding monologue several years down the line? How that conversation went down probably deserves a $200 million prequel of its own.
Star Trek Beyond Proves Star Trek Was An Actual Show In-Universe
Cinematic masterpiece Star Trek Beyond ends with a massive drone army destroyed by VHF radio waves transmitting "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. The joke is that Star Trek is set in the 23rd century, meaning the Beastie Boys are now considered "classical music" and robots would rather commit suicide than listen to it. How shitty the state of galactic culture must be that the Beastie Boys are apparently the only 20th-century band anybody still listens to is a question for another, drunker time.
But if "Sabotage" is Star Trek canon, then it stands to reason their entire back catalog is as well. Including the lyrics to the song "Intergalactic": Your knees'll start shakin' and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck of Mr. Spock. Somehow the Beastie Boys were aware of "Mr. Spock" 250 years before he was born. Either there was some other pinch-happy Mr. Spock hanging out on Earth three centuries before the movies began who was a big enough celebrity that a reference in a rap song would make sense, or the Star Trek TV show's existence in-universe is also canon. If the show exists, that implies Gene Roddenberry accurately predicted most of Earth's future history.
Keep in mind, the 2009 Star Trek movie established a brand-new timeline that's distinct from that of the TV shows and previous films. So the show not only existed in this timeline, but was so popular that "James Tiberius Kirk" and "Nyota Uhura" are just common names. And presumably every major development in human history in the new timeline was like, "Hey, we should name our new space discovery initiative 'Starfleet,' like from that show we all love. I'm also gonna name all seven of my kids Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, just in case!"
A Pregnancy Reveal Makes Furious 7 Retroactively Horrifying
For those not intimately familiar with the Fast & Fury-verse, in Fast & Furious 6, Dom learns that his girlfriend Letty isn't quite as dead as he'd assumed. Thankfully, Dom's current beau, Elena, is totally cool with letting him go after Letty, cementing her status as the chillest cinematic girlfriend of all time.
Dom finds Letty, of course, and the two get back together, while Elena joins the Rock and his biceps at the Diplomatic Security Service. Everybody wins. But then the brilliantly titled Fate Of The Furious reveals that Elena birthed Dom's kid. They presumably haven't revved each others engines since the sixth movie, which means she was pregnant for most of 6 and all of 7 without ever telling Dom, the audience, or her mom, probably. That's more than a little distressing, because Elena spends most of that time working a pretty high-stress job.
So high-stress, in fact, that at one point she is exploded out of a window and falls multiple stories onto a car / the Rock's abs. She seems generally OK, but work days like that put her child at risk of severe developmental and emotional issues later in life. It even increases the chances of premature birth, which comes with its own host of potentially life-threatening issues.
The pregnancy also awkwardly recontextualizes the scene wherein Letty thanks Elena for being an "amazing" woman and "taking care" of Dom. She probably wasn't (exclusively) referring to pleasing Dom sexually, but it's a little awkward to know Elena is standing there pregnant with Letty's man's kid. And then right after that, Elena tells Dom that he should go hang out with "his family," because "her" family is the police force. And then, as if they've realized that they need to distract the audience quickly before they realize how fucked up it all is, Jason Statham suddenly shows up to kill off the most likable character in the series. (Psych!)
Thor: The Dark World Makes Loki Look Like An Idiot In The Avengers
During The Avengers' second act, Loki pulls the Joker Special and allows himself to be captured by the titular super squad. Whilst imprisoned, he plays a bunch of mind games with the heroes. Eventually he tricks Thor into getting himself locked up, murders everybody's favorite dad character, and generally divides the team by spurring bickering and in-fighting. And that's all well and good and appropriately trickster-like of him, but he really could have done way, way more.
One year later in Thor: The Dark World (the MCU's worst movie since ... Thor), Loki shows off the full range of his illusion powers -- he can change his own appearance, the appearance of his whole prison cell, and even the freaking appearances of other people. With that kind of ability, what the hell was he doing dicking around and making people just kind of upset in The Avengers?
Instead of merely escaping, for example, Loki could have impersonated Nick Fury and gone around giving motherfucking contradictory orders on that motherfucking helicarrier, potentially giving the Chitauri a key strategic advantage. He could have made Maria Hill look like him so Thor would accidentally squish her skull with Mjolnir. He could have made himself look like Steve Rogers, seduced Tony Stark, and manufactured both discord and fanservice. Look, I'm just spitballing here. No wrong answers.
But instead, after escaping his cell, Loki just leaves and goes on to fight the big battle as a normal dude with less bicep flesh than the rest of the cast. He has this incredible power with which to wreak destruction, but instead chooses to kill the one guy everybody on the team agreed was an OK dude. No imagination.
For more, check out Terminator 2: Great Movie, Terrible Sequel - Today's Topic:
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