No Can Do, by David Bax
Yesterday, I wrote about why, despite my undeniable fandom, I couldn’t be excited about the prospect of an Adventure Time movie. Now I’m going to tell you about another thing I ought to be into but am not. I, a Breaking Bad fan to the core, have not watched Better Call Saul.
Why wouldn’t I want to go back to a world I loved so dearly? Wouldn’t it be a dream come true? A friend of mine literally asked me those exact questions. Well, I answer, a sequel is a sequel, even when it’s a “prequel,” and lightning rarely strikes twice.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Some sequels actually improve upon the original. Gremlins 2: The New Batch is Joe Dante’s masterpiece. And I’ve always been partial to the weird, metaphysical darkness pulsing below the surface of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Movie lovers will debate until the end times whether The Godfather Part II bests its predecessor (I love both but prefer the original) or which is the greatest Toy Story movie (for me, it’s the third one). And there are cases when a sequel that disappoints in most ways can still have redeeming qualities, like The Matrix Reloaded (but not Revolutions; never Revolutions).
By and large, though, sequels have a very well-earned bad reputation. We do ourselves a disservice when we forget that just because there’s a sequel to something we like. Better Call Saul is getting decent reviews. Maybe I’ll check it out but I won’t regret my wait-and-see approach. As for the upcoming Wet Hot American Summer Netflix sequel, you’ll forgive me for being squeamish about exhuming the body of one of the greatest film comedies of all time and making it walk around like it’s Weekend at Bernie’s (II).