Fanatic Cinematic: Stop the stupid sequel

Movie columnist Alex Leininger on why you shouldn't waste your time or money on "The Hangover: Part III"

I know it might be hard to accept, but in the grand scheme of the world, people are entitled to their own opinions.

That girl blasting Taylor Swift through her car radio down the highway? She’s having a grand old time debating the pros and cons of being young and “in love” with her country songwriting counterpart, and your indie rock superiority complex isn’t solving any problems. What one person sees as trash may be seen by someone else as treasure, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. She’s feeling 22, man, and all you’re feeling is angry. What’s the point? Don’t hate people for being different than you.

Of course, this is my column, and these are my opinions. Feel free to disagree with me. In fact, some of you probably should because having a cult following probably isn’t appropriate at this stage in my life. Hit me up later. For now (and I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb with this one), hear me out on this simple opinion: There are a whole lot of stupid movie sequels made each year.

I don’t mean stupid as in “the first movie was way better, and I’m somewhat disappointed.” I mean stupid like “I just spent $10 on that movie when I could have voluntarily killed a good number of my own brain cells and achieved the same experience.” You’d think that we’d all love to avoid intentional brain damage, but these sequels (I’m looking at you, "Ice Age") continue to draw in record crowds.

As I said earlier, if people enjoy these movies, more power to them. But it just so happens that the same movies that bring in all of the dough generally fail to impress the crowds. People fall for the empty promise that comes with hype. “The first movie was so darn great! I’ll be darn tootin’ if I miss out on the sequel and don’t fit in with the crowd!”

  1. The first movie was great! 2. The sequel probably isn’t, y’all. 3. The “crowd” you speak of just wasted their hard-earned money on broken dreams and promises. Are you sure you want to fit in with them?

I probably sound kind of salty, and I’ll tell you why. I saw “The Hangover: Part III” last week, and for whatever reason, I didn’t expect it to turn my brain to mush. Needless to say, it did.

As I drove down to the nearest theater with my three best friends that apparently anyone can have, I was somewhat befuddled as to what the third installment of the trilogy could possibly add to the "Hangover" storyline. Two hours later, I found my answer: absolutely nothing. Crazy “once in a lifetime” adventures get old quickly. Who knew?

In “The Hangover: Part III,” Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug find themselves entangled in the crimes and mishaps of the one and only Leslie Chow. The only problem is that Marshall, a notorious and dangerous man, is thrown into the mix, threatening the group’s lives. Throughout the film, they all must learn to work with Chow in hopes of keeping their lives and sanity intact. And in true stupid sequel fashion, “The Hangover: Part III” rounds out the truly overdone series by being the worst one yet.

As an audience, you won’t learn anything from watching these movies, and you should try to understand that going in. However, as the witty, observant movie critic that I am, I have highlighted three things filmmakers (and the film industry in general) can learn from this terrific example of sequel stupidity.

First off, talent alone doesn’t make a good movie. The first "Hangover" found a way to use the comedic talents of each actor to make a cohesive, funny movie. But it also helps that the first movie was well-written. Actors can only be as good as the material allows.

Secondly, cult characters are ruined by overexposure. Leslie Chow was the talk of the town after the first movie, but the unfunny third film will forever tarnish his once promising legacy.

Lastly (and most importantly), money is root of all evil. Filmmakers shouldn’t make sequels just because they’ll make money from them. Crowds probably would have loved a "Harry Potter 27," but J.K. Rowling quit writing them. Who really wants to see grandpa Harry waving his decrepit wand around hallucinating about Voldemort and the Death Eaters? All good things must come to an end.

I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone. You might love “The Hangover: Part III,” and that’s perfectly fine. But from what I’ve seen, most people didn’t, don’t and won’t.

You don’t have to take my word for it, but for you, me and the rest of humanity, it’s probably a good thing that the Wolf Pack has finally disbanded.

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