Last year was a pretty great year for movies, genuine, original movies. This year the cinemas will be crowded with no less than 25 sequels and around 10 reboots and remakes slated for general release. With that in mind here’s my very own personal list of sequels which continue the themes of their original properties, which we watched in 2013. Without a doubt the five characters listed below deserve a sequel all of their own, I dare you to disagree.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT FOR – Blackfish, Mud, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Prisoners and Alpha Papa.
1. Blackfish is an extremely engaging and disturbing documentary about the history of killer whales living in captivity in America. More specifically the shameful practices of how Sea World captured these magnificent beasts and the misinformation and lies they sold to the general public. A section at the beginning of the documentary focuses on the methods employed to capture killer whales in the wild and bring them back to Sea World. The audience is introduced to this guy:
Former diver John Crowe, personally speaking, delivers the best part of this documentary. His recounting of the day he helped capture a baby killer whale is heartbreaking and the big guy ends his story in tears, confessing that his actions that day have haunted him ever since and he genuinely means it. I know John Crowe isn’t a movie character per say but just look at him, he’s screaming out for a documentary of his own, he’s the antithesis of an old salty sea dog and he leaves the audience with this parting statement:
“I’ve been part of a revolution and two change of presidents in Central and South America and I’ve seen some things that are hard to believe…” Get the John Crowe documentary made now!
2. Mud is a Tom Sawyeresque coming-of-age drama starring Matthew McConaughey as a fugitive living on an island on the Mississippi river who forms a pact with two young boys so that he can escape his pursuers and reunite with his true love. It’s a solid film and McConaughey’s performance is exemplary but there’s an intriguing cameo in the movie and it comes from character actor Michael Shannon who pops up as the uncle of one of the two boys.
His character Galen lives in a static caravan in the middle of a junkyard. He’s a mussel diver to trade and when he isn’t playing his electric guitar he dishes out life advice to his nephew Neckbone. Galen is sorely underused in Mud, a role Shannon seems born to play but sadly has little time to adequetly flesh out. A sequel focused on the exploits of this electric guitar playing, mussel diver on the Missisippi river is a film I’d gladly pay to see.
3. The Wolf Of Wall Street is the movie adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s 2007 book of the same name and centres on the exploits and undisciplined behaviour of stock brokers on Wall Street in the 80s. If you’re familiar with this Oscar nominated movie then you’ll be no stranger to Matthew McConaughey’s chest thumping cameo appearance in the beginning of the film.
McConaughey plays Mark Hanna, Belfort’s initial boss who introduces him to life as a bona-fide stock broker. During a meeting over lunch Hanna spells out the secrets to success on Wall Street to his new recruit advising him to masturbate regularly, engage in casual sex and to take as much cocaine as possible. He drives home this message by embarking on an impromptu humming and chest thumping session much to Belfort’s bemusement.
We really spend no time at all in Hanna’s company as he loses his job soon after following the events of Black Friday, but you’re left wondering if he’ll enter back into the film at some point. Mark Hanna was and is a real person who, much like his unscrupulous stock broker friends, was sentenced to prison for six years and although his life story may be similar in tone to Jordan Belfort’s it’s McConaughey’s wonderfully weird and eccentric take on the character which would be worthy of a sequel in itself.
4. Prisoners was a film which came out of nowhere last year, a dark, unsettling tale of child abduction and the frantic search for two missing girls. Hugh Jackman plays the distraught father who takes matters into his own hands, convinced the police aren’t doing a good enough job and Jake Gyllenhaal plays Detective David Loki a calm, measured man who is meticulous in his search for the missing children.
There is an unmeasured depth to Detective Loki, he wears a masonic ring, he has occult symbols tattooed on his hands and neck and when pushed can snap violently. There’s a real, dark back story to this character which we never learn about, a mysterious air which hangs around him throughout the film. Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Loki is the real star of Prisoners and the multitude of questions about this complex and multi-layered character would carry a sequel on it’s own.
5. Alan Patridge: Alpha Papa is the the film all discerning Alan Partridge fans were waiting and hoping for. After spending over 20 years on the small screen in various different series, Steve Coogan’s narcissistic, failed radio presenter finally made it to the big screen and successfully raked in a healthy £6.2m in UK box office receipts, against a £4m budget.
Why does there need to be a sequel? There’s so much more scope and possibility for Coogan to explore with this beloved character against a movie budget. Personally speaking I’d love to see Partridge accidentally fall into the role of a radio correspondent dispatched to Afghanistan or a sequel where he travels Stateside to break America. Fertile property for a legion of American comedic cameos.
Agree? Disagree? Maybe you have a 2013 original character I’ve missed from my top five. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.