All good things must come to an end. Sadly, not all film producers recognize this. Often, our favourite movie franchises are drawn out to the point where once-loved stories and characters become hollow shells of what they once were. Here are five movie franchises that I think need to come to an end:
The Fast and the Furious (2001–)
I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, but there’s no question that now, after eight movies, things need to come to an end. What essentially started as a franchise about street racing has now evolved into a cartoonish stunt-fest where each movie is more ridiculous than the last. Fast Five was probably the last decent movie in the franchise, but, even then, it was pushing its luck. At the very least, the movies should have stopped with the death of Paul Walker. Paul and Mia’s relationship was very much the heart of the franchise and without that, it really is just CGI car jumps and explosions. With the franchise planning on continuing for at least another two movies, it doesn’t look like we’re quite done with Dominic Toretto and the gang.
Speaking of car jumps and explosions, the Transformers franchise is another that has overstayed its welcome. The first movie in the series back in 2007 was actually not bad, at least as Michael Bay movies go. Sure, it was loud and heavy-handed (and filled with an abundance of in-your-face American patriotism and female objectification), but it was a genuinely fun movie. Shia LaBeouf was in it before he got weird, there were some actual laugh-out-loud moments, and the special effects were really quite groundbreaking. By the second film in the franchise all of this was already feeling a little stale, but by the overly-long third, fourth, and fifth instalments, the Transformers franchise had officially gone too far. With a sixth film in the works as well as a Bumblebee spin-off, we unfortunately haven’t seen the end to the Michael Bay wet dream that is the Transformers franchise.
I may not be the biggest fan of horror movies, but even I was able to appreciate the first Saw film. It had its flaws, but it used its very small budget effectively and crafted a genuinely interesting and engaging story that we hadn’t really seen before. Like many horror franchises though, it all went downhill after the first film. Each new Saw movie gave us increasingly gruesome mechanical death traps but also increasingly bad acting and sillier plots. The eighth film in the franchise, Jigsaw, is coming out at the end of the month, and hopefully it’s the last.
The first Terminator movie blew everyone away when it was released in 1984. With state-of-the-art special effects, excellent casting, and a fresh story, The Terminator reinvigorated the sci-fi genre and spawned a number of sequels. The second film in the franchise, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, is widely regarded as the best of the bunch, but things, sadly, went downhill from there. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, and the most recent, Terminator Genisys, were all different degrees of disappointing, each one worse than the one before it. With a sixth Terminator film due to start filming next year and an aging Arnold Schwarzenegger set to return, I think it might be time to terminate this franchise.
Pirates of the Caribbean (2003–)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a huge hit with audiences of all ages when it came out back in 2003. Johnny Depp was perfect as the eccentric swashbuckling hero, Captain Jack Sparrow, and with Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley, and Geoffrey Rush also starring, the Pirates franchise had a great deal of potential. Dead Man’s Chest wasn’t bad but things soured somewhat with the bloated third film and hit an all-time low with On Stranger Tides. The newest film in the franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales, was definitely an improvement but still lacked much of what made the original so great. Depp’s performance as Sparrow is starting to feel a little tired and the rest of the star-studded cast isn’t really enough to keep people coming back anymore. It might be time to lay this franchise to rest in Davy Jones’ Locker.
Can you think of any movie franchises that really need to end? Let me know in the comment section below.