Dumb and Dumber, Indeed: Hollywood Loses Mind Over Sequels

Dumb and Dumber, Indeed: Hollywood Loses Mind Over Sequels

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels aren’t the only dumb ones.

Hollywood’s infatuation with sequels isn’t news. But the industry’s recent desperation to sequelize projects long past their shelf date sure is. This week we learned that a sequel to the 1994 comedy “Dumb and Dumber” featuring Carrey and Daniels is in the works. Days earlier, news leaked that a “Twins” sequel to be called “Triplets” might pair Eddie Murphy alongside Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And then there’s the countless jabber surrounding a third “Ghostbusters” film, a proposal so egregious star Bill Murray refused to so much as crack the script before finally turning it down.

These projects make so little sense they read like bad parodies of the modern movie system. Today’s film goers have little connections to any of the actors associated with these projects, although Murray’s aura does seem eternal.

Murphy’s most recent film, “A Thousand Words,” couldn’t crack the $20 million mark. DeVito hasn’t been a draw since the 1980s, and Schwarzenegger’s recent film work involves about two minutes of screen time in the 2010 film “The Expendables.”

And young movie goers, the most sought after demographic for film marketers, have little connection to these projects. Their older brothers and sisters might, or perhaps their parents, but would a 50-year-old wait in line to see “Triplets?”

It actually makes far more sense to remake these films rather than trash our memories of the originals with sad sequels.

But the saddest sequel pitch has to be “Midnight Run 2.” The original film, which paired Robert De Niro with Charles Grodin, generated heat with both its action sequences and the beautiful tension between the leads. But De Niro is in his late 60s and Grodin will be 77 later this month, and the film industry has little appreciation for older actors not named Clint Eastwood or Jack Nicholson.

Once upon a time, these sequels made sense. Today, they sound like desperation moves made by an industry unable to throw its collective weight behind original stories. That’s just plain dumb.