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Top 10 Movie Franchises That Need To End Now

24 August 2017 | Features, Other Lists | by Tom Lorenzo

It’s a common complaint nowadays for people to complain about Hollywood’s insistence on franchise filmmaking, usually around the time the summer season starts or when a comic book movie is coming out in the fall. It’s a tactic to get views, the peak of clickbait culture.

Yes, there is a lot of franchises in the world and it would be nice to see studios back up lower budgeted movies from time to time, but the lower rung of cinema is still flourishing with the amount of outlets for media there are these days. That doesn’t negate the fact that there is still plenty of franchises that are just completely worthless and should not be sucking audiences dry every time they disgrace cinema with their presence.

Some have been skulking around for decades, just embarrassing their forefathers with each new entry. Some are new and just didn’t deserve the additional time in the sun. Others are once promising franchises that have just fallen off after too much time. The one thing that connects all of these franchises is that the last entry in each of them has not done much to argue for their continued existence.

 

10. X-Men

x-men-apocalypse

How did a once promising franchise like this go completely off the rails? It could have done good for itself if it had changed with the times or had a studio head that wasn’t a complete halfwit that tried to take out all the comic book elements of the comic book property he had. The first two movies in the series, helmed by Bryan Singer, are landmarks in the progression of comic book cinema.

But right after that, they went off the rails with the Brett Ratner helmed X-Men: The Stand. They could have rebounded but they went even further down the bowels of hell with one of the worst movies ever made, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A truly abysmal piece of crap that represents some of the worst aspects of blockbuster cinema and a true low point for the comic book genre. Any arguments against comic books could be aimed right at this immense piece of crap.

Then a little miracle happened with X-Men: First Class, as it represented the best in the series by a big margin. It’s one of the best comic book movies ever, and it is a blast of fresh air after a few years of stagnation. Hiring Matthew Vaughn was a great idea, one that would make any movie better. Bringing back Bryan Singer for the next outing would seem like a good idea, right? Well, it wasn’t the worst idea, but Days of Future Past was a slight step down in execution and style. Singer seemingly hasn’t moved past the early 2000’s days of style, with everything being less colorful.

This would all be done in an even worse way with Apocalypse, a truly mediocre movie that should put the nail in Singers comic book coffin and should be a sign that the series needs to change. But there’s no real reason to think that it will. The next one doesn’t seem that much more promising, with a rookie filmmaker taking on the reins. What has done this series in more than the decline in quality and lack of progression with the times is the solo movies to have come out of them.

For all intents at being a solo movie, Origins was just another X-Men movie filled to the brim with mutants that just so happened to focus on Wolverine. But when we get to The Wolverine, we get a true solo outing that stands out. It feels different and fresh in a way that the group movies never have. Multiply that for Logan, and you get possibly the best comic book movie ever. A singular work that has no worries about fitting in to something else. It just is and it’s all the better for it.

Then there’s Deadpool, a movie that is nothing if not aware of the rest of the movies issues. It’s brash and violent and foul and just juvenile. It never takes itself seriously, drowning in self importance the way the other movies did.

Watching these solo movies showed us all that the group movies never focused on the groups well enough, so they just stagnated with repetitive stories with Wolverine/Magneto/Xavier and that they never allowed themselves to feel grow. They were stuck in the past and they lacked personality (minus Vaughn’s entry). So the X-Men movies need to stop and we need to just stick with the solo outing, allowing them to be freer in all regards.

 

9. Cars

Cars 3 (2017)

A franchise that just never connected in any real way, it’s lasted this long for two reasons. One, kids love the toys. Two, John Lasseter is boss and he loves cars. Those two elements converge into make a series that never overcomes it’s cheap, thrown together feeling. A feeling that manages to feel sincere and cloyingly cynical.

It was the first chink in the armor for the previously untouchable Pixar, and it signaled that a serious downswing for them was imminent. It could have been a bump in the road for them after a string of unparalleled winning. Especially when the next 4 movies they put would be classics, arguably the best they’ve ever done. But the cynical and marketing mandated sequel would arrive into theaters and Pixar hasn’t been the same since.

The spark has gone, with a momentary burst of creativity with Inside Out. Cars 3 limped along to the finish line this year to hopefully put an end to franchise, but who knows what Pixar will do when the toy sales don’t fatten their wallets in a certain fiscal quarter. Cars and Cars 3 are bland but fine. Nothing out of the ordinary cartoon fare.

Would have fit right in with early Dreamworks output. Cars 2 though is one of the worst cartoons ever made, and an absolute blight on Pixar. Cars and Cars 3 are just forgettable and cliche ridded sports movies that put no thought into any world building elements. Which is weird, because they are usually so good with world building. But in these movies it’s just not though through at all, leaving the viewer (of an older age) to put the world together in their mind, and it’s a nightmare. Cars 2 though is a nightmare of miscalculations at every step of the way.

It’s almost immediately wrong too, as it starts off signaling that it’s a spy movie, then shifts into becoming obviously a movie about Mater. From there it’s just the most annoying and screeching example of kids movie misery. That Pixar can do any of these damn movies, let alone the garbage fire that is 2, is heart wrenching.

These movies need to stop because we need some sort of proof that Pixar is trying to right the ship. Otherwise, every movie they make will always be side eyed until it is actually seen. Especially when it’s a 4th Toy Story movie, which is just crazy in a post Cars 2 world, especially in light of the perfection that is Toy Story 3. So if we never see these mediocre movies ever again, the world will be better off.

 

8. The Mummy

Here’s a little ditty that someone needed to bestow upon Universal before they started in on this Dark Universe thing they wanna get going. Their old black and white Mummy movies are not good. It doesn’t sound right to think about, but it’s true. There’s a reason why the Brendan Frazier movie from 1999 wasn’t so resoundingly booed out of theaters. There was no good will to burn, especially in changing the genre so completely. Any good will the Mummy has now is thanks to the Frazier ones.

So the recent entry this year that is a reboot meant to kickstart a shared universe may not have been the best idea. If you want to kickstart a gigantic shared universe of Universal Horror monsters, maybe don’t get started on the least liked one. That they pitched it as a big budget horror epic clearly confused people, as it was marketed as a clear action movie. Hiring Tom Cruise will do that, as there’s clearly no room for anything other than bombastic action. So the movie came out confused, as it wants to clearly be both things but just can’t. Neither angle works well.

It all just falls apart under the weight of all the crap it’s trying to be on it’s shoulders. It all just goes to show how wrong this idea was from the jump. These characters are not all meant to anchor action movies. It worked once with Frazier, and his sequels saw a steep decline. Going with a 9 figure budget isn’t the best idea for these movies, as the scale necessary to justify these costs don’t work well within a horror frame work.

People wanna come to these movies because of the monster, not Tom Cruise. So while they may be able to get the rest of the Dark Universe right, we just saw that we don’t need another Mummy movie from Universal. The insistence on going big doesn’t work and we’ve seen from the older movies that straight horror won’t work. Universal doesn’t get it, so let’s put it to rest.

 

7. Resident Evil

It’s so weird that this has lasted as long as it did, because there was never a good entry to be found. It started off bad and just got worse. The first one was just a bad adaptation of a video game that never managed to justify it’s own existence. Fine. But to get to the point we did this year where the 7th entry came out is just stunning.

Filled with lame action and ugly visuals, it has the sheen of a big budget action franchise but none of the charms. They look well made, but they aren’t. It’s like every bad element of modern blockbusters was rolled into one and they kept going. Somehow they tricked certain audiences into seeing them enough to last this long, but there’s nothing in them. Just interchangeable nonsense.

Paul WS Anderson is not a good director by any stretch, but he has done some good in his career. Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon, and Death Race are all good movies. These are not, not by a long stretch, and they are a good argument for Andersons expulsion from the movie making game. They claim the last one was the final one, but that’s never a guarantee.

Resident Evil has been so fundamentally misunderstood and horribly executed, that there’s no reason to expect any good to come from another movie. Rumor has it that James Wan is producing a reboot, but even if that comes to fruition, only his presence as a director could make it worthwhile. So just file this under “go away” and move onto something else.

 

6. Underworld

Underworld

This is similar in many respects to Resident Evil in terms of aesthetics, storytelling muddiness and a shared nepotistically inclined casting call. Both ulrta shiny fantasy action movies with over the top action that never impresses, all done with floaty and phony physics. A mythology that is just overly convoluted and uninteresting.

Casting Kate Beckinsale to play a role that ignores all of the good qualities of her talent prior to being shackled to Len Wiseman is a damn shame, in a role that just needs her to glower and fit into a tight leather outfit. These are just mindless and vacuous movies. It would be one thing if they helped the horror genre in any way, help more get made or pushed studios to take chances. But they didn’t. They would come and go.

Dare anyone to explain each movie to you, you would be met with silence. You can’t figure which is which because they just bleed together in a mix of nothing. This one wasn’t promised to be the end, but it didn’t do well at the box office. So let’s hope that the Studio learned a lesson and puts this damnable franchise in a box and forgets where the left it.

 

 

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  • Valeska Solar

    What about Fast & Furious? Honestly, I came here just to see if it was on the list, but it’s not, why?

    • Il Verme Conquistatore

      cars, speed, foreseeable screenplay, spectacular stunts, caducity of life…. why? do you really want to stop this flow? *_*

      • Because it’s a crappy flow of cars, speed, foreseeable screenplay, spectacular stunts and the caducity of life. hehe

  • Ted Wolf

    I can’t believe transformers wasn’t number one

    • I know. All of those films sucked ass. Seriously.

      • They literally just become longer and louder and move down great movies on the box office list.

        • And have contributed to the stupidity of the world. It is among the reasons why I believe Michael Bay is the worst filmmaker working today.

  • Criticus

    What about: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, etc.?

    • Seriously? All the above comes under the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. MCU movies will eventually end in a few years as planned, some of them are already over.
      You should probably be more concerned about DCEU.

      BTW, Capt America is one of the best trilogies!

      • Criticus

        Captain America deserved one movie, certainly not a trilogy. There’s not enough matter for it.

        • Nope. Infinity war is the sole purpose MCU started for. Every movie connects and accounts for it. Winter Soldier and Civil war had so much material than the whole DCEU has right now.

          • Criticus
          • Bergkamp

            When the time comes, and infinity war gets released, no one except the nerdy marvel fans will remember what the hell is the plot about. Every single movie it’s a giant two hour trailer for their next movie, it’s product placement for their own products, instead of caring about the movie we’re seeing in that moment. You need to be able to connect the dots between every single cameo, post credit scene and sub plot that get introduced in the middle of your current movie, just so they can “set the events for the future of the shared universe”…

            That’s it, as long as the fans see the “continuity going” and the word; SHARED UNIVERSE in the description, they will thing, oh!!.. that was a great movie, what a great Easter eggs!!.. could you catch the references???.. is just one giant movie split in 14 pieces, so you need to see every little shit so you can enjoy the whole experience by the time they reach the “climax” in infinity war. Wtf is that??

  • The Fast and the Furious?
    Transformers?
    X Men had it’s successful run, Apocalypse was a miss hit;
    and fans are still waiting for a good Alien movie after Aliens, there is more to their origin than you think.

  • Lucas Corsi

    Fast & Furious

  • Mortimer

    Every superhero franchise needs to die immediately. Movie world will be a better place without them.

    • Bergkamp

      They don’t care about the past and current movies, as long as they see the “outstanding finale” on infinity war. That’s the marvel way of tricking their fans, they have been building all the hype for infinity war, and that what counts for them, as long as they see that highly promised battle vs thanos, they don’t care about each single movie, you know, the only thing they care is if: “everything it’s connected”. that’s it. the introduction of new characters for their next movies, the sub plot for their new movies, it’s all about what comes next, their next movies, for the next 5 years or so, that’s more important for them the “setup” for the future, instead of the quality of the single movie they’re seeing in the present,

      Every time I go to see a movie, I care about that single movie I’m watching in the moment, not the future, not if this movie follows correctly the events from the previous 10 movies that lead to the events of the one I’m watching. I care about living the moment, the present movie. That’s what I care. But you see, with marvel fans don’t see movies that way.

    • I am not a fan of the superhero movies (I think Marvel is pretty meh) but lately they’ve come up with great stuff. Deadpool, Spiderman Homecoming, Logan and Wonder Woman were pretty good. They also make tons of money, meaning that they keep the movie theater going experience, so that is good.

      • Also I don’t know if you included this one, but I am actually hyped over the Unbreakable/Split universe

      • Mortimer

        I get your point but I’d be more happy if some original, intelligent, really good indie gems make lot of money at the box-office instead of this kind of movies. But it won’t happen soon – mainstream audiences usually rejects everything which isn’t escapism.

  • Mortimer

    Oh please ! Alien: Covenant it’s not perfect installment in the series but it’s better and more intelligent than most superhero garbage that comes out today. Many respected critics loved it. I’m certainly looking forward to the new (final) Ridley film in this mini-franchise.
    Stop begging for that stupid Blomkamp fan-fiction sequel with Ripley and Hicks as pensioners. That would be really a shithole from which franchise would never have recovered.

  • Criticus

    Besides box-office scores, what will be remembered of all these interchangeable “superhero” movies?

    In 10 years, who’ll be able to seriously explain the differences between Iron-Man 2 and Iron-Man 3?

  • Il Verme Conquistatore

    I cant understand the meaning of these lists. In most of these sagas I can find funny movies … why censor them? TOC , please, be focused on the positive lists 😛 thanks

    • Ricardo Correia

      Your favorite film is probably The Dark Knight

  • Wyatt W.B

    So negative. Just let people watch the movies they want to watch!

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    this is a forum for film lovers, why on earth would you waste time and energy telling all of us stuff we already know?

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    The mostly execrable Saw series is apparently being revived. I would suggest that this is a bad idea.

  • Douglas Kolacki

    What’s sad about Fantastic Four is that it’s not even a franchise, but repeated failed attempts to start one. Here’s hoping they get it right next time, if there is a next time.
    I too am surprised not to see Fast & Furious on this list. And Transformers.

  • grootrm

    “A franchise that isn’t.”

    A coherent writer who isn’t

  • Hal Jordan

    Avatar isn’t even a franchise yet to be criticized with just one movie that isn’t great, but has potential and a whole universe to expand. What about the f*cking Transformers? TRANSFORMERS. And the f*cking Fast and Furious? Absolute garbage this article.

  • Parham Sedaghat

    WHO WRITES THESE LISTS???!!!

  • Jules Maregiano

    I dare you to make a top 10 list of franchises that should NOT stop!

  • I would take out the “Alien” franchise and replace it with Fast & Furious. This is just an opinion though, because I love the Alien franchise and I hate that Fast & Furious keeps getting so much money and getting out the same bs they do every year. Alien Covenant and Prometheus were really good imo, don’t get why so many people hated them.