The Movie Sequel and I: Celebrating the ‘Before’ Series
So this summer saw the release of the Fast and the Furious 6 reminding the film-watching world of how successful the franchise is that they could get away with doing it six times! I never used to be a huge fan of movie sequels and I have not seen the first installment of the Fast and Furious, not because there is anything wrong with it but simply because the story line does not resonate with me. These days I watch more animated movies than I used to…the beautiful occupation of Mom makes it possible. I enjoyed all the Shrek installments AND the spin-off with the Puss in Boots. I am secretly hoping that we get Toy Story 4, I cried at the end of the last installment. As an adolescent, I totally loved the Back to the Future series. Actually, I still do. And I was very impressed with both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. In fact, I thought the second part was much more entertaining than the first. Then I heard that they were making a third part, but my excitement was pretty deflated when I learned that Rachel Weisz who played the lead actress in the first two installments would not be returning for the third.
For that reason, I have not seen The Mummy 3.
And therein lies the danger of sequels. Retaining the original talent, depending on your movie-watching audience’s loyalty to the original characters. If you are someone like me, who would like to pretend that there is no third installment of The Mummy series, simply because one actress is missing, then you probably understand what I mean.
One of the unsung heroes of the sequel genre – if we can call it that – is the Before series. It started in 1995 with Before Sunrise – Celine (Julie Delphy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meet on a train in Europe and end up spending a romantic evening together in the city of Vienna understanding that this will be the last time they will be together even though they end up madly in love with each other. Time proves them wrong in 2004’s Before Sunset when they are able to rekindle their romance and in this year’s – Before Midnight – we find out what happily ever after looks like. Quaint, simple and straight-to-point. This is what a movie sequel really should look like