Jurassic ParkI’m going to catch hell for this one, but it’s true: the Jurassic Park franchise has a terrible track record. The original film is a modern classic with spectacular special effects that still hold up today, but the sequels?
The Lost World is only bearable because of Jeff Goldblum, while Jurassic Park III is not even saved by the presence of William H. Macy. I suppose we all hold out hope for Jurassic World to reinvigorate the flagging franchise, but let’s face it: Jurassic Park was a great standalone film and it should have remained one.
AlienAnother one that I’m going to catch hell for.
Don't get me wrong, I love Ridley Scott’s Alien. It’s a great horror sci-fi. I even enjoy James Cameron’s more steroidal Aliens, and David Fincher’s bizarre prison-break Alien 3. But Alien: Resurrection is insane, and not in the good way, and the less said about Prometheus the better (if you count it as part of the series, which some do not).
Now Neill Blomkamp, who is not even remotely wowing us with Chappie, wants to do another one that may or may not ret-con some of the others. Really?
Die HardThe first Die Hard is still one of the best action movies ever made, and the second and third films complete a brilliant trilogy for John McClane. But like so many franchises, this one has worn out its welcome.
The fourth and fifth films are just overblown and overcomplicated, trying to up the ante without doing much in the way of varying the formula. As we continue to hear rumors of a sixth film, one begins to wonder if the franchise has not entirely worn out its welcome. John McClane can’t keep doing this forever: sooner or later he's got to die, right?
The ExpendablesPersonally, I love The Expendables. I even enjoyed The Expendables 2. But The Expendables 3 managed to add more stars while diluting all of the fun, wild, over-the-top action of the first two films. The point of these movies is to watch badass old dudes beat the hell out of people. Unless you’re going to dedicate yourself to that mission and stop trying to make it family-friendly, you might as well go home.
Pirates of the CaribbeanPirates of the Caribbean launched Johnny Depp into the Disney stratosphere and, unfortunately, he’s never looked back. The first one was loads of fun, but diminishing returns and confused, endless plot complications have made this one of the franchises that just really needs to end.
Besides, what will we get out of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 except further confirmation that Depp has stopped being an actor and become a caricature?
Indiana JonesThere are at least two truly great Indiana Jones films, and one that kind of grows on you the more times you see it. But let us admit something: Indiana Jones comes from a very special time and place, when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were of a single mind, and Harrison Ford was a young, dashing fellow in a fedora. Once we get past our Chris Pratt passion – I understand, I really do, but he does not have to be in everything – we need to seriously consider if we want or need another Indiana Jones.
If we do, we must also consider whether we really want Spielberg involved. Remember Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Yeah? All right then.
The TerminatorThe Terminator franchise had a good run of two films back in the 80s and 90s. The first Terminator remains an excellent standalone feature, introducing the world to Arnold Schwartzenegger’s timeless catch phrase and becoming iconic in its own right. Terminator 2: Judgment Day could have dropped the ball by making Arnold into the good guy, but instead it’s arguably even better, and certainly different, than its predecessor. Three more films later, and I think we can safely say that the Terminator franchise ran its course in 1991.
Unless Terminator: Genisys manages to conjure up something a bit more interesting, this franchise should be allowed to go gracefully.
The Hunger GamesI don’t even know why this needs to be on here. One would think that the limit of three books would limit the films. Well, that's no so, Lionsgate has plans to extend The Hunger Games indefinitely by adding either prequels or sequels because…I don’t know. Because they can?
A word to the wise, Lionsgate: you had a good thing and now it’s over. Don’t ruin it.