Blockbuster fans praise sequels that dared to lower the stakes and go smaller

via 20th Century Fox

As has been the way of the world of blockbusters since Steven Spielberg effectively invented the summer popcorn movie with jawsthe sequels are seemingly bound to grow in almost every way.

The budget, the scale, the scope, the spectacle, the number of effects both practical and visual, the cast members, the scenes, the explosions, the list goes on and on. Mention one element of a successful opening chapter, and the chances are extremely high that any future installment will continue to up the ante for as long as humanly possible, or until the franchise in question collapses in on itself.

However, there have been more than a few outliers over the decades who have dared to go in the opposite direction and narrow their respective approaches. Admittedly, it’s not the longest list, but that hasn’t stopped Reddit users from doing everything they can to dig them up and put them back in the spotlight.

Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Columbia Pictures

by hulu Prey is an obvious recent excellent example, with the prequel set a million miles away from the bullet-riddled sci-fi action games we’ve come to expect. In a similar vein, David Fincher alien 3 is incredibly restrained compared to James Cameron’s rousing predecessor, while even the $200 million James Bond epic fallen from heaven stages their climactic showdown on an abandoned estate in the middle of rural Scotland.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, then, and sometimes focusing primarily on plot over pyrotechnics and character over carnage can pay much bigger dividends than just throwing cash at the screen and seeing what sticks. Of course, it’s not a slam dunk by any means, but maybe it’s a mantra Hollywood should read a little more often.


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