To Kill An Icon

rocky-balboaEveryone knows that Hollywood’s first goal is to make as much money as possible. The second goal is to make a really good film. Well, sometimes that second goal is to help popularize some product, trend, or potential future star. This all ties into Goal #1 of making money. Then, hopefully, the goal is to a make really good film. Franchise films can be good for both studios and audiences. The studios make a ton of money off of them while audiences find characters and storylines they fall in love with and want to see more of. However, there often comes a point when the studios make one too many sequels, tainting the franchise, and causing many movie-goers to wish they had stopped a long time ago. Here is my answer to this predicament of making one last sequel for money while appeasing the audiences’ love of the characters. Kill the main character. You can’t do this with franchises like Spider-Man because those are characters/storylines created outside of movies and exist in their own realm. However, you can do this with movies like Lethal Weapon, Rocky, Rambo, and even Indiana Jones. Lethal Weapon definitely should have ended after #3, but the fourth sequel could have been quite good had Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) been killed. This is one of my all-time favorite film characters, but I really wanted to watch him go down and instead they gave him a baby at the end. Rocky is the same. Rocky Balboa wasn’t bad, but would have been better had Rocky finally taken his last blow in the ring. Rambo 4 is now in production, and I would actually go see it in the theater if I knew John Rambo was going to throw his last Bowie knife into an enemy’s chest. John McClain definitely needs to “Die Hard” this summer in the franchise’s fourth sequel. Some may call for my head on this one, but I’m really hoping Indiana Jones will seek his last archeological treasure next summer. Again, I love this character, but I want the franchise to end on a great cinematic note. This is one of the few ways I see this happening. Star Wars may even be redeemed after the dismal prequels with an aging Luke Skywalker taking a lightsaber to the head. Well, it may be redeemed if George Lucas doesn’t write and direct it. We’ll have to wait until next summer to see if Rambo and Indy bite it. I’m hoping it happens, but I’m also not holding my breath on it.

1 comment… add one
  • moviefan101 April 22, 2007, 8:24 pm

    Will not happen – studios killing off their hero’s, that is. And I don’t think they should – even if the storylines are predictable – “The Hero” is a myth that goes back thousands of years. Self-doubt, redemption, narrow escapes, and ultimate triumph all are part of the hero’s journey. Now, if what you are really proposing is that hollywood explore other archetypes like the trickster, jokster, and anti-hero/villian – then I’m all for that. But killing off the hero on serves to shock the audience, not the story.


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