Movie franchises have captivated audiences with their interconnected storylines and expansive universes. However, not all franchises remain faithful to their original premise. Some franchises have sequels that have evolved into unrecognizable films compared to their first movie.
Reddit users in this thread0 discussed examples of movie franchises unrecognizable from their first movie. From franchises from Predator to Jurassic Park, these franchises became unrecognizable to fans because of their significant transformation and the different paths the sequels took.
10 ‘Predator’ (1987-)
The Predator franchise revolved around technologically advanced alien species called Predators, who travel to Earth to hunt and kill humans. The first film focused on a team of soldiers hunted by a Predator in the jungle. This created a tense and suspenseful action atmosphere that hooked audiences into the film.
However, Reddit user Gloomcool72 said the sequels were a big departure from the original and had gotten stale over time. After all, the sequels of the Predator franchise explored more of the Predators’ motivations, culture, and ongoing conflict with humanity. This is why it couldn’t replicate the suspenseful atmosphere that was so clear in the first movie, making it unrecognizable.
9 ‘Ice Age’ (2002-)
Ice Age is one of the chilly movies to help one cool off mentally. The films followed the adventures of animals living during the Ice Age period including Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), and Sid (John Leguizamo). The first film centered around this trio working together to return a human baby while trying to avoid dangerous predators. Fans fell in love with the impressive animation and laughed at the characters’ humor.
As the franchise evolved, there were more spectacle and action sequences in the sequels, which was different from the more comedic style in the first film. Although the franchise remained popular, a few Reddit users say that the sequels were different from the first film in terms of their animation and tone.
8 ‘Rocky’ (1976-)
A boxing-themed franchise, the Rocky franchise followed the life and career of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). The first film revolved around Rocky’s unlikely shot at winning the heavyweight boxing title. Viewers enjoyed how Rocky had a realistic and down-to-earth story about a boxer getting his shot at the big leagues.
The sequels continued to show Rocky’s life as a professional fighter. Unlike the first film, the sequels began featuring more over-the-top boxing matches and elaborate training montages. This led to the sequels lacking the realistic feel that the first movie had. Reddit’s user MovieBuff90 said that the franchise became silly and over-the-top by the fourth movie. Other users agreed that the other film had too many training montages.
7 ‘Alien’ (1979-)
Being one of the best action franchises led by women, Alien evolved around deadly encounters being humans and aliens. The franchise’s original movie created a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere as it showed the crew attempting to bring an alien creature back on board.
Reddit user stanthemanchan said that they hesitate to call Alien a franchise because the sequels have changed a lot since the first film. Another user JohnBubbaloo agreed and said it’s an interesting franchise because each sequel almost felt like a remake. Overall, the sequels shifted away from the horror elements and into action-oriented films, not capturing the sense of terror and claustrophobia from the first movie.
6 ‘Saw’ (2003-)
The first movie of the Saw franchise showed a serial killer named Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) setting elaborate traps to test the will to survive of his victims. It was known to be an innovative horror film that had many twists and turns, making it more psychological and suspenseful.
However, Reddit users agreed that the sequels became more gore and shocking, which was not fun to watch anymore. Unlike the first movie, it became more gore-fests and felt a lot less serious. While the sequels still had traps and gore to keep audiences interested, they shifted away from the original psychological horror of the first movie.
5 ‘Jaws’ (1975-1987)
Being one of the best horror movies of the 1970s, audiences were intrigued while watching a killer shark terrorizing a community. This brought a very tense and suspenseful atmosphere to the movie that got fans hooked. Viewers also felt the terror the characters were facing as they watched the movie.
Then, the sequels focused more on elaborate shark attacks and didn’t have the same character-driven approach as the first film. Reddit user MrCoolsnail123 said that Jawsis one of the greatest films ever made that got heart rates up. However, they discussed how the second film is just the shark following the main character.
4 ‘Mission: Impossible’ (1996-)
The Mission: Impossible franchise had gained a lot of popularity since the first film was released in 1996. Starring Tom Cruise, the franchise has gone through different unique storylines, casts, and styles. While the first Mission: Impossible movie was more of a classic spy movie, the sequels had more action extravaganzas.
Anyone who had watched the entire franchise knows that all the sequels are different from the first film. Although many of the core elements are the same, the Mission Impossible franchise continues to evolve with its storylines, characters, action set pieces, and special effects. Reddit user RevolutionaryTone153 pointed out that the franchise went from being a small spy story to a globe-trotting action series, naming the recent films incredible.
3 ‘Mad Max’ (1979-)
Starring Mel Gibson, the Mad Max franchise took place in a post-apocalyptic world. Since the first film, the franchise has continued to evolve and change over the years, exploring different themes and approaches. For longtime fans of the franchise, they would be ranking their favorite Mad Max film from worst to best.
One of the Reddit users pointed out that every Mad Max film is completely unlike any of the others. After all, the sequels of Mad Max have become increasingly ambitious and over-the-top that it’s practically unrecognizable from the first movie.
2 ‘The Fast and The Furious’ (2001-)
The Fast and The Furious franchise are a series of action movies that revolved around illegal street racing and heists. The first film released in 2001 focused more on the street of racing and the criminal underworld. As the franchise progressed, the films evolved the style and scope of the films.
Reddit users agreed that The Fast and the Furious franchise had swayed from their original premise. Reddit user bluemoonflame said the most recent film felt nothing like the first. After all, the later films had become more global action and utilized bigger and more outrageous set pieces.
1 ‘Jurassic Park’ (1990-)
The first Jurassic Park film focused on the dangers of tampering with nature and the hubris of humanity. It had groundbreaking special effects, and it had engaging storylines that appealed to audiences of all ages. It was a movie from the ’90s that never got old.
However, in the later films, it became more action-oriented and focused more on spectacle. Reddit user onwardalan said that the later films felt a lot different from Jurassic Park. They pointed out how everything about Jurassic World: Dominionfelt off, and they weren’t in the mood to finish it. As the sequels relied more on nostalgia rather than developing new and interesting storylines, they didn’t create that same excitement that fans had when they watched the first film.
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