Most times, we return with pleasure to the fascinating world imagined by filmmakers in their franchises, but besides the new adventures, special effects or upgraded villains, we are anxious to see our favorite characters again. Surprises occurs when the characters you admired in previous films come with less value and make us wonder how they could be ignored or even totally destroyed by the script. Here are ten examples.
1. Marion Ravenwood
Released 19 years after the three films in the series created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull brings back Indy’s ex-girlfriend, Marion Ravenwood, from Riders of the Lost Ark.
The resourceful and brave daughter of Abner Ravenwood (an experienced archaeologist, Indy’s mentor) showed that she has not changed her hair (Marion is interpreted in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by the same actress Karen Allen), but has changed her style, because, due to the “vision” of screenwriter David Koepp, she hasn’t contributed to the action with no more than presence and dialogue.
2. Steve Stifler
Not exactly the most convenient and most trusted friend, but in American Pie and American Pie 2 his detestable way of behaving made him the star of the franchise. In American Wedding, however, the boundary between acceptable and excessive was passed by writers who managed to make a cartoon character Stifler. “Everybody Wants a Piece of the Stifmeister”, he says at one point. Well, not so much.
3. Mr. Chow, and Phil, Stu, Allan
If the first The Hangover Mr. Chow’s character proved to be weird, but fun and enjoyable, in the second part of the franchise his behavior is clearly derailed, as if he’s trying to counterbalance the lack of inspiration of writers – who have made the exact same film but in a different location. Alan is much more obnoxious in the sequel, Stu is whining even more and Phil is downright bored.
4. Samuel Gerard
For The Fugitive (1993) Tommy Lee Jones earned an Oscar for his role. Jones played the bold and intractable Marshal Samuel Gerard, a character so well defined, that the viewers were unable to choose between him and the protagonist, played by Harrison Ford, an innocent fugitive.
Five years later, Tommy Lee Jones is totally transformed into an action hero after a typical Hollywood pattern. The new Sam Gerard is not as nice and genuine as in The Fugitive.
5. Dr. Ian Malcolm
One of the most attractive things in Jurassic Park, in addition to dinosaurs, was Dr. Ian Malcolm. Funny, smart, magnetic, Jeff Goldblum’s character has almost monopolized the attention of viewers in the first part of the film, who perhaps prayed that Michael Crihton and Steven Spielberg spare him from the terrifying T-Rex attack. He was not killed by dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, but he was “slaughtered” in The Lost World, where the charismatic character was turned into a neurotic and dull parent.
6. Draco Malfoy
Full of himself and crafty, Draco Malfoy brought joy to Hogwarts and to spectators in the first two Harry Potter films, as a successful secondary antagonist. Crossing to the Prisoner of Azkaban has degraded the character so much: a bit too timid, too fearful to be taken seriously.
7. Peter Parker
The beloved superhero gets in this last part of the trilogy by Sam Raimi a strange mix of the stories, the action and comedy giving a result not at all appealing. Peter becomes neither more nor less than a fan of emo: the street dance with uneven bangs makes us think for a few minutes, we are following another film.
8. Jennifer Parker
She is the great and appealing friend of Marty’s first film Back to the Future. Her only role is to make Marty reach the stars with her warmth and beauty. In Back to the Future 2 she is replaced by Elizabeth Shue, a very different Jennifer. For balanced and reliable she becomes irritating and unintelligent.
9. Han Solo
Resourceful, opportunistic, funny, but without losing his humanity in a world as complex and dangerous as the one in Star Wars, Han Solo has generated his own fan base. Finally, however, in Return of the Jedi, Han’s charisma pales considerably, because the script keeps him away from the action scenes and memorable lines. Harrison Ford’s performance also suffers a change, it’s flat and much less attractive.
It is a much discussed character lately due to the recent distribution of Ben Affleck as Batman in the upcoming film Man of Steel. The Black Knight transformed from a respectable character to a copy of Batman looking very strange.
Batman’s costume, his biography, and the smug smile of George Clooney are simply not compatible. It’s like Batman turned into George Clooney, not vice versa, and drama, inner conflict, his special charisma disappeared and were replaced by an avalanche of exaggerations and clichés.