Michael C here. When you tune in to the movie chatter frequency one of unavoidable refrains you hear is that such and such sequel has spoiled a classic film. You know the drill. Part III forever tarnished The Godfather, turning a perfect two-part saga into a disappointing, lopsided trilogy. Oliver Stone ruined Gordon Gekko by dragging him out for a belated encore. “Blah blah Jim Carrey blah blah The Grinch blah blah blah MY CHILDHOOD!”
And so on.
This chorus was most recently heard lamenting the way Oz the Great and Powerful helped itself to a box office bonanza by trampling the sterling legacy of the Judy Garland classic. Next it will be Evil Dead’s turn to besmirch the memory of a cult classic. Amid all outraged accusations of violence towards film history shouldn’t we stop to consider if the basic idea has merit? Can an inferior sequel actually diminish the standing of a classic?
Let me state right up front my answer is a firm “No, it can’t.” Except when it can. Let me back up...