It’s not news to anyone that Hollywood likes to recycle ideas and will jump at any chance to reboot or redo a film from the past that performed well — see Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King for proof. But beyond the live-action remake trend, there’s a special place in Tinseltown’s heart for revisiting iconic characters in sequels. Let’s take three big examples from 2019 for proof:
- Rambo: Last Blood – It’s been nearly FORTY YEARS since we first met John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a Vietnam veteran scarred from his time in the war, in First Blood (1982). The success of the first film resulted in two sequels in fairly quick succession — Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Rambo III (1988) — which saw John continue to use his combat skills when he returns to Southeast Asia on a POW mission, as well as on a rescue mission in Afghanistan. Twenty years later, Rambo (2008) takes John on a humanitarian mission to Burma. And then 11 years after that, he finds himself fighting the Mexican cartel in the hopes of rescuing a dear friend’s granddaughter in Last Blood. Will this man ever find peace?
- Zombieland: Double Tap (coming January 21 to the Box!) – A full decade after we first met undead-fighters Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) in Zombieland (2009), we’re treated to a look at how they’ve fared in the years since — and how they’ll face the evolving zombie threat.
- Terminator: Dark Fate (coming January 28 to the Box!) – And finally, he’s back (or to spell it like Arnold says it, “bahhhk”) once more! Schwarzenegger’s T-800 killing machine first took the world by storm in 1984’s The Terminator, and the franchise has since gone on to earn over $2 billion worldwide, with Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015) all leading up to Linda Hamilton (as Sarah Connor) and Schwarzenegger reprising their roles in Dark Fate. Since we keep going back for more, I think that can only mean we’re all secretly hoping the machines will finally take over.
What movie characters from the past would you love to check in on again? (And you can’t say Bill and Ted (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)), because they’ll be returning to rock out on the big screen this August!)