2013’s Film Preview: The Year of the Sequels


It seems that director Roland Emmerich and his film that he makes every couple of years—the one where all the people die horrifically—was wrong. 2012 didn’t mark the end of the world, so now we have to live through 2013, a year that currently sounds so futuristic and cool, but in just a few months will likely seem boring and mundane.

Even just a few years ago, it was surely accepted that by 2013 we’d be living in some kind of outer space utopia with robopets and hover boards. But the reality is that 2013 is just like any other year before it, complete with more film sequels for franchises, like the twat-pleasing Fast and Furious and Scary Movie.

We’ve apparently reached the fifth Scary Movie film, which by now, judging from the film’s trailer, has taken to parodying itself. Starring Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, who are both looking to rebuild their tarnished careers, it seems unlikely that many will go and see an hour and a half of sloppy movie references—again, for the fifth time.

However, I think Lohan might find unexpected acclaim from cult audiences for the role she has just about pulled off in The Canyons, an erotic thriller written by American Psycho novelist Bret Easton Ellis.

And for those who don’t find Scary Movie 5 particularly appealing, then fortunately 2013 also marks the return of Ron Burgundy in Anchorman: The Legend Continues. So far only a short teaser has been shot, so it’ll be a long wait before the film finally hits theatres, with filming set to start around February.

Considering the popularity of the original film, I’d say it’s a safe bet that The Legend Continues will make big money when it’s released supposedly around Christmas time.

Another eagerly awaited film coming out this year is Monsters University, the prequel to Pixar’s much-loved Monsters Inc. After a short run of fairly decent but slightly disappointing films like Cars 2 and Brave, this could be the perfect time for Pixar to do something typically great.

Indeed, judging from the film’s trailer and excellently observed promotional website, it looks as if Monster’s University could be one of the best family films of the year, and certainly one to watch out for.

Much less promising is Smurfs 2, which continues to marry an old Belgian comic franchise with insufferable modern day pop music. Seemingly the first film was enough of commercial success to call for a sequel, and so here it is, back by popular demand, in all its half-arsed glory.

Perhaps worst still might be M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth, which looks like a direct cross between I Am Legend and Avatar. Now that even single cell organisms have twigged that M. Night’s absurd twists are hilariously ill conceived, it’s somewhat reassuring to see that he’ll only be directing this one, not writing it.

On a more positive note, The World’s End might be a more satisfying film to go and see. Directed by Edgar Wright and written by Wright and Simon Pegg, it’s a science-fiction comedy about a group of friends who reunite to repeat a legendary pub crawl that ends with the fabled pub “The World’s End”.

However, over the course of the night, they realise that the real struggle is not just theirs, but humankind’s.

Scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 14 August, it’s bound to be worth going to see if Wright and Pegg’s previous offerings are anything to go by.

Meanwhile, 2013 should be a great year for action fans, particularly those who like their heroes practically geriatric. Bruce Willis returns as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in The Last Stand and Hugh Jackman—a spring chicken by comparison—reprises his role as Wolverine in The Wolverine.

And finally, considering that this is 2013, year of the sequels, Kiss-Ass 2 looks as if it’s going to be the big movie of the summer, with Jim Carrey now on board as “Colonel Stars and Stripes”.