Prequels, Sequels, and Reboots: Hollywood Knows We're the Real Suckers

By , Contributor

It’s said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I guess then that we, the loyal movie-going audience, are more than a little off our rocker.

Film fans often bemoan Hollywood’s lack of originality, the desire of studio execs to milk cash cows in a concerted effort to drain our wallets. And somehow, despite our better judgment, we all rush to the multiplexes, like herds of cattle heading to the slaughterhouse.

But unlike real cows, when movie fans are sliced open, money rains out like candy stored inside a birthday piñata.

This was the summer of yet another Transformers flick, a franchise that’s become so mind-numbing that even actress Megan Fox believed it was beneath her “talent.” Of course, that didn’t stop us from flooding the theater. We happily forked over the cash to see Michael Bay’s orgy of robot-on-robot action.

And in 3D, no less. The past six months have seen movie fans take their insanity to the next level. Remember when you eagerly paid over $20 to see the same movie twice - just with different actors?

Yep, I’m looking at you, No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits.

And then there are the superhero flicks, a genre that’s been milked so dry, Hollywood is relying on magical green rings (Green Lantern) and prequels (X-Men: First Class) to keep our eyes from rolling back into our skulls.

Should that happen, however, Hollywood has a contingency plan. You can sum it up in one word: reboot.

If you watched Captain America, you likely saw the official trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, a film that wanted to start fresh with a new lead (Andrew Garfield) but not with a new storyline (Peter Parker goes back to high school).

And for the ladies out there who were disappointed with Sex and the City 2, don’t fret. If the rumors circulating the Internet are to be believed, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha are about to find the fountain of youth and be reborn in an upcoming reboot/prequel, as well.

Enjoy monkeys? Why read a Jane Goodall book or wait for Project Nim to hit Netflix when you can go out and see Rise of the Apes, the latest entry into the already bloated Planet of the Apes franchise.

Films like Inception have shown Hollywood that viewers can enjoy unique (if Matrix-inspired) mind-benders, and Super 8 provides the movie industry evidence that old school monster movie making can hit the nostalgia button that’s buried deep inside us all.

But that doesn’t matter. Because we’re all going to spend our money on the fourth Mission Impossible come December. It’s a mission we’ve already chosen to accept.

And Hollywood loves us for it.

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Michael Langston Moore is a freelance writer who aims to be both entertaining and insightful. His written work focuses on television, film, and music, and his analytical approach has landed him two columns on Michael has interviewed the likes of Donald Trump, Russell Simmons, Paris Hilton…

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