Just the other day, I realized I no longer care about film franchises.
And you are talking to someone who was a big fan of the Fast and the Furious, Iron Man, Star Wars, James Bond, Batman, Superman, Mission: Impossible, Indiana Jones, Transformers, Toy Story, Star Trek, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, Terminator, Planet of the Apes, The Conjuring…I am no snob. But now…?
I just do not care.
What you are about to say is not true. My indifference has nothing to do with the drop in quality of some of these franchises or how obnoxiously woke many have become. It is not that. Want to know how I know that? Because I have no desire to see the new Mission: Impossible movie.
It just feels like…enough already.
Remember the good old days when everyone complained about all the sequels? Another Rocky!? Another Lethal Weapon!? Another Beverly Hills Cop!?
Who could have imagined how bad it would get?
Today, some of these franchises are hitting double digits. Fast & Furious is up to number 11. James Bond is in the twenties. Six Jurassic Parks. Thirteen Star Treks. Fourteen X-Mens. Nine Planet of the Apes? Between the spin-offs, sequels, requels, prequels, and reboots, I have lost track of the number of Conjuring, Transformers, Toy Story, Halloween, and Scream entries.
The real problem is the lack of compelling and charismatic characters. James Bond used to be endlessly interesting, complicated, dangerous, ruthless, mercenary…Then they turned him into Phil Donahue. He is no fun to watch anymore. Han Solo, Leia, Darth, and Luke Skywalker were dynamite characters. They have been replaced with forgettable blahs. The Fast & Furious crew went from interesting genre characters to cartoons. And how much is left to explore of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, or even Ethan Hunt?
Rocky stayed interesting (forget part five) because that character evolved over the franchise. The early Star Trek movies worked with the original crew because those characters were so well-defined they felt like family, and the writers always managed to discover new ways to explore their depths through the combination of conflict and affection. Star Trek II–VI are endlessly rewatchable and feel nothing like cartoons.
What do we care about the characters in Jurassic Park? How much more Captain Jack Sparrow can we take? Do not get me started on those Terminator sequels after the underrated third entry.
You can feel Hollywood running out of creative gas. The whole machine is shuddering and shaking. Streaming is losing billions. The sole remaining leg on the movie theater stool—franchises—is splintering. The movie stars are getting older and older because there is no one to take their place.
On top of that, the woke poison is killing franchises left and right, those golden geese that cannot be replaced. Woke has killed cool, sex, sexiness, and masculinity…Why bother? Remember when movies were cool? Remember Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, and Steve McQueen?
Me? I have started looking back. There are thousands of pre-1996 movies I have not seen—primarily foreign films. If you want more details, I keep track of my movie-watching on the Twitterz. Those older titles are my “new movies,” and they are almost all worthy of my time and money.
This junk today is not worth seeing for free (believe me, I turn down screener offers every week). Instead, movies have become rerun season all year round, reruns of stuff that was not very good to begin with.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.
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