- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Film

Sequels that are Ruined by the Involvement of Nauseating Child Actors

By Robin Ince.

8 May 2003

The first two Mad Max films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Robocop, the first trilogy of Star Wars films - all great movies (oh, except Return of the Jedi) - then what happens? Foul nauseating, streetsmart kids, that's what. Herded into the frame in a desperate bid to find both a new demographic and a bigger percentage in the lucrative - parts that will choke children to horrible blue faced death - toy market.

Mad Max was a low budget Australian road movie that was so good that the US distributors felt inclined to splash out and redub it into American (so we could understand it, like the distributors who liked The Long Good Friday so much they had Bob Hoskins dubbed by an incomprehensible brummie actor, until Bob complained and they returned to his gutteral anger).

Mad Max 2 was bigger, faster gorier and even more exciting, certainly worthy of being considered a Sergei Leone Spaghetti plate on burnt rubber - then, nothing could go wrong, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, faster cars, weirder villains and loads of pig shit reigned over by a dwarf, how could it go wrong? Third reel, Max meets some cute but muddy kids and they go on a journey, and so the rest of the film goes flushed into a desert of sewage.

Robocop is slightly different, number 1 is Paul Verhoeven's finest moment, a sick, dark look into the future with flashy sensibilities and a satirical edge (so satirical that ruddy-faced, corpulent avant garde terror Ken Russell pronounced it his favourite film of the year whilst looking coiffured Melvin Bragg right in the eye), Robocop 2 was frankly useless, but then Robocop 3 added a kid boffin - and so a franchise of cartoons, stickers and lunchboxes was launched on the back of the lame kid character. Robocop's ignominious death as a cult figure and birth as a money spinner was complete.

Everyone knows how useless the kid in Phantom Menace is so there is little need to dwell on that - mind you, I think it is safe to say that George Lucas was busier working out what planets and 'ethnic' aliens he could make with his computer than acting ability. "Was that OK George?" says Liam Neeson. "What?" says George, "I don't know, I've just come up with a new big dragon planet on my huge computer, and who are you anyway? Where's my best mate Dave Prowse and who's just trodden on Kenny Baker?"

So, the lesson is this: once the kids are let out to mix with the psychotics, the film company is making plenty cash. Mind you, Oliver never had a proper sequel, I think I might write to Jack Wild.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved