Graduate already! The film franchises that refuse to move on

As our Finalists prepare to face the big, bad world, we take a look at franchises we love that need to let go

Pirates of the Caribbean
By Olivia Ballantine-Smith

Pirates of the Caribbean is back, and it’s more impenetrable than ever. How many PotC films have we had now?Four? Five? What started as a genuinely funny, well-executed franchise is now notable only for its popularity among high school orchestras.

This isn’t to say that the most recent films aren’t enjoyable – critical reception aside, these are big-budget, high-grossing projects for a reason – but they just don’t have the charm of the original film. Johnny Depp is getting older, Geoffrey Rush’s eyebrows are running out of ideas, and the uniforms make no sense to anyone with more than a passing interest in piratical history.

It’s time for the PotC franchise to move on. Bigger and better things may not be possible for the A-listers in the cast, but surely they can aspire to something with fewer plot holes.


By Simon Fearn

You would think by now folks would have learnt that sticking your head in a big alien egg is a Bad Idea. It appears not.

In the recently-released Alien: Covenant the iconic ‘face-hugger’ scene is played with a variety of winks and nudges. Don’t worry, insists evil android David (Michael Fassbender). It’ll be fine, he says. We know it won’t be.

As partial as I am to an alien gore-fest, it appears too many Xenomorphs do spoil the broth. Watching aliens rip through people’s chests now appears humdrum and routine.

Prometheus and Alien: Covenant attempted to revitalise the franchise with some unconvincing metaphysical posturing, but it only served to spoil the original films’ sense of mystery.

No subsequent Alien has ever been as scary as Ridley Scott’s original. Now on its sixth standalone outing, the formula of mysterious distress calls and astronauts’ shoddy risk assessment is becoming noticeably tired.

They’ve had a good run (if we ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection): it’s time to put the Xenomorphs to bed.


Fast and Furious
By Florianne Humphrey

If Fast and Furious wrote a recipe book, all their cakes would look the same, contain the same ingredients, be iced identically, and taste more and more bland every time.

Each recipe would read something like this: ten litres of fast super cars in eye-watering colours; five grams of beautiful but scantily clad women, preferably grinding against said cars; three ounces of heavy rap music; two cups of exotic locations with lax driving laws; a few slices of male heroes too muscly to walk properly, and, finally, a sprinkling of cheesy one-liners that give dad jokes a run for their money.

The recent film perhaps waved the final white flag of surrender. When the cars were driving on the roof of a submarine, I checked myself and my long-standing loyalty to the franchise and decided enough was enough.

It was a great ride, Fast and Furious, but you’ve reached your top speed and now, sadly, it’s time to retire to the scrap heap before you suffer that inevitable crash.

Image: Faye Chua

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