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Summer of Sequels

June 30, 2016

Staff Report

The 2016 summer film season is a prime example of one of filmmaking’s recent trends: recycling. Why create an original concept that may or may not succeed when you can create a sequel or remake of a pre-established story?

From “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “The Conjuring 2” to “Tarzan” and “Finding Dory,” this summer is stuffed full with familiar faces and storylines that movie-lovers will no doubt consume religiously.

Some films inarguably deserve sequels or remakes, while others are simply moneymaking schemes that should not be taken seriously. Here are our thoughts on just a few of this summer’s unoriginal blockbusters.

DORY-main-Disney-Pixar“Finding Dory”

Fans of all ages had high expectations for “Finding Dory”, which was released 13 years after “Finding Nemo”. The film follows everyone’s favorite forgetful fish Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres) as she experiences flashes of memories that guide her on a journey to find her family.  Several sea creatures must work together to overcome their fears and various obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing their goals.

The release of “Finding Dory” brought a feeling of nostalgia to the young adults who enjoyed “Finding Nemo” as children. “Finding Dory” made over $135 million in the opening weekend, and now holds the record for the highest-grossing debut of all time for an animated film. Dory and her friends do not disappoint viewers in this applause-worthy sequel. She is funnier than ever, and the introduction of new and silly characters makes the film especially memorable. “Finding Dory” is hilarious, uplifting and inspiring. Dory discovers her unique ability to get out of sticky situations and she is reminded that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. Disney and Pixar united to create a beautifully animated film. Finding Dory demonstrates the importance of friendship, teamwork, and family.  — Haley Register, Staff Reporter

Neighbors-2-soroity-rising“Neighbors 2”

“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” received mixed reviews from critics and audience members. Seth Rogen, Rose Byrnes and Zac Efron reprise their roles as Mac Radner, Kelly Radner and Teddy Sanders respectively, and are joined by a new cast member, Chloe Grace Moretz. Moretz plays the role of Shelby, a college freshman whose expectations of college life leave her disappointed. Upon learning that sororities can’t throw their own parties, Shelby and her two friends decide to start their own sorority, next door to the Radners, who are trying to sell their house. With the help of Teddy Sanders, the girls’ sorority is a success, causing too much chaos and another battle for the Radners.

The movie started out strong and had the audience laughing within the first five minutes. While the plot of the movie follows closely to that of the first film, the jokes are fresh and consistent.

There were a few cringe-worthy moments from the girls’ acting, probably because of their attempt to portray stereotypical college girls. “Neighbors 2” pokes fun at a variety of current issues — race, sexual orientation and feminism. The movie was fast-paced, funny and clever, but not as memorable as the original. – Haley Register, Staff Reporter

now-you-see-me-2-new-poster-3“Now You See Me 2”

“Now You See Me 2” picks up about a year after the first movie left off. Since then, one Horseman, Henley, has left the group and a new female Horseman joins them. The Four Horseman re-emerge from hiding and the tables are turned when they fall victim to a tech genius’s “magic” of his own, landing them in Macau, China. The Four Horsemen are forced to steal a power chip that has the ability to access and control every computer in the world. The team must use their clever tricks and unique skills to outsmart their enemies once again in this sequel.

While the movie is mostly entertaining, it is a bit far-fetched. The magic is meant to be realistic and the film does not take place in a fantasy setting. However, the Horsemen manage to pull off tricks that defy logic. Some of the magic is explained throughout the film, but most of it relies on the idea of hypnotism.

Other tricks, particularly the unbelievable ones, are never explained — probably because there is no logical explanation to be given. Still, the “magic” is thrilling and keeps viewers interested, but once again the film leaves the audience with too many unanswered questions. By the end of the film, it is clear that the intention is to release a third movie. While fans will likely buy tickets to the third film, it is probably only in hopes to finally get the answers they’ve been wanting since the end of the original film. The creators of the “Now You See Me” movies should have wrapped everything up in the sequel and moved on. — Haley Register, Staff Reporter

XMen“X-Men: Apocalypse”

The ninth overall “X-Men” film and the third in the current story arc, “X-Men: Apocalypse” is the farthest down the movie line in all the Summer of Sequels. It is also the biggest in scope, incorporating a massive global threat, the likes of which the series had yet to see.

The film features Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the most powerful mutant in the world, who awakens from a centuries-long slumber in 1983 to destroy the world. He assembles a team of four Horsemen, including a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and it is up to Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his young X-Men to stop them.

The best word to describe the positive aspects of this film is simply “cool.” Seeing so many comic heroes and villains coming together with stunning visual effects is a wondrous sight for any comic book fan.

The coolness factor aside, the film’s plot is nothing special, seemingly setting up the bad guys against the good guys in the most straightforward way possible. If you’re just in it for a good time rather than a deep plotline, this movie is for you. — Caleb Daniel, Managing Editor

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