September 17th 2016

Today I saw Bridget Jones 3 at the cinema. I did not dislike the movie, it just annoyed me more than anything. Because it represents everything I don’t like about cinema, movies and the film industry at the moment: A Complete Lack Of Originality.

Everything that is released is either an adaptation, a remake, or a sequel. Bridget Jones was not a film that needed a sequel, and now it has a threequel, or whatever. It’s just really easy to bash out a sequel when everyone involved in the previous ones needs a bit more cash, and the films are more often than not a complete disappointment compared to their predecessors. I heard it described pretty well the other day – why there are so many studios producing sequels year on year rather than anything original.

The first third of an original film is spent introducing the characters to the audience, we have to be given a reason to root for these characters, to care about their goals and the journey they’re going to take us on. Then, for the second act we can follow them through the fun and games and hope they get where they want, and in act three we’re sad when they’re sad, and we’re happy when they’re happy, because the introduction made us root for them.

With a sequel, we’re already rooting for familiar characters, right from the start. We don’t need introducing to them because we’ve already spent a tenner getting to know them during the previous movie. And this is a big selling point for production companies, because they don’t care about what’s on the screen, they care about who’s in the theatre. Because a follow-up story for a character we already know will get people to the movie, and that’s the only point.

And now, ten to twelve years later I’m back with my tenner and underwhelmed. Again, not because the movie was bad, because it was okay. There were some parts of it that really annoyed me because of some pretty amateur filmmaking – like dubbing dialogue onto a scene and forgetting to make sure your actors mouth was moving in the shot.

Put it gave a few laughs, and that’s exactly what I expected from it. It just annoys me, this lack of originality thing. Even the first Bridget Jones film was an adaptation from a book!

Pretty soon they’ll have to scrap the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ category at the Oscars and just double the intake for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’. Maybe add a ‘Least Shite Sequel’ Golden Globe award, or something.

It’s mostly done in superhero movies, of which there seem to be an endless stream that is only getting worse over the next year. Nothing about superhero movies is original content. It’s someone else’s characters playing someone else’s stories, and 18 months later there’s a sequel that gets trashed in critical reviews, so they spend even more money on the Threequel and get trashed just as bad if not worse.

And the worst part is, that there’ll probably be a fourquel. At the start of the movie they killed off Hugh Grant’s character from the previous films – he chose not to come back for a third – and then in the final shot of the movie they unkilled him, just in case the studio get bored in five/six/twelve years and decide they want more money.

Until tomorrow, see you soon Bridget.



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