Perhaps one of the most under-acknowledged tools in the writer’s bag of tricks is casual connectivity, in which events play out in a way that they logically lead to one another, lest the audience fails to follow along with the plot. It’s easier to make sense of “I was thirsty, so I drank some water” than “I was thirsty, and I killed a man.”
To that end, there have been quite a number of film sequels that arguably could have benefitted from studying up on casual connectivity, or perhaps the deliberate ignorance of such was precisely what made it work. So, inspired by the Sharknado franchise, film fans have undertaken the task of naming the sequels that chose chaos.
One user pitched the ironclad choice of Return to Oz, the psychologically macabre sequel to 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, which had an absolute field day with not only our expectations but with our capacity for night terrors as well.
Another responder did the dirty work and acknowledged the most popular film franchise to have ever, dare we say, mastered the art of spitting on casual connectivity. Indeed, for most audiences, it doesn’t get more off the rails than the Fast & Furious franchise.
It didn’t take long for Pixar’s Cars franchise to run wild, either.
But perhaps the most tragic victim of this negligence is the Rambo franchise. What was once one of the most impactful anti-war narratives in the modern era quickly gave way to the image of a trigger-happy death machine of a man we associate the name with now.
So, the next time you find yourself complaining that Hollywood has run out of ideas, take a moment to reflect on what happens whenever that statement is both objectively true and recklessly unacknowledged. At this rate, it won’t be long before dinosaurs start coming into the Fast & Furious mix.