When a film franchise has great continuity, every element of it pulls together for the final goal that delivers on all fronts. However, most movies miss the mark and with so many different creators working on one vision, egos and wanting to make ones mark can get in the way. Some films have got to the point that you need to draw a timeline in order to explain them and it’s getting beyond a joke.
Throughout this video I’ll be discussing the worst offenders and their biggest mistakes.
There will be heavy spoilers in this list and you have been warned.
With that out the way, I’m Deffinition and this is my list of films with terrible timelines.
One of the biggest offenders is, of course, the X-Men franchise. Everytime a new director steps in they completely ruin everything. Whether it’s how Cerebro was created, what happened to Wolverine after escaping Alkali Lake or how old Angel was…HOW IS HE A TWENTY YEAR OLD IN THE 80s AND ALSO A TWENTY YEAR OLD IN THE NAUGHTIES? How are two Moira Taggarts, two Emma Frosts, and at least three Jubilees and they all exist in different decades? WHY DOES NO ONE CARE ABOUT THESE POINTLESS THINGS THAT I LIE IN BED AWAKE AT NIGHT THINKING ABOUT????
It began simply enough with Xmen and X2, then Brett Ratner came on board and killed most of the characters meaning that Hollywood had to find a way to retcon most of the mistakes that he made. By X-Men: Origins: Wolverine, Sabertooth was now somehow Wolverine’s Brother, Professor X just randomly showed up at the end of The Wolverine with no real explanation of how and why he was still alive and Mystique and Professor X are now adopted siblings even though they never mention it or make any reference to it at all. I bet that saves a tonne on Christmas cards.
Things got so bad that X-Men: Days Of Future Past even decided to wipe the slate clean and start things again but even that threw a spanner in the works by having Mystique disguised as William Stryker pick up Wolverine’s body at the end. Deadpool is all over the place and Logan has pretty much just said ‘look you idiot, stop thinking about it, none of this happened.’
That’s how bad it’s got, the film creators are even telling the audience to shut the shit up.
Like most things in the franchise, everything just gets brushed under the rug and never mentioned again which makes it frustrating for fans who are sticklers for continuity.
The entire Terminator franchise focuses on the question, is the future set or do we make it ourselves? It’s something that the characters have struggled with and even the film’s themselves. Some argue that there’s no future other than the one that we make for our own whilst other ones just blow up everything, kill everyone, let Christian Bale start a new trilogy, cancel it, let him have a big shout about it, start another trilogy and cancel it again.
The first film is a perfect timeloop, Kyle Reese travels back in time to create is own son, John Connor, who then grows up to send his father back. The original film clearly wasn’t supposed to be a part of a franchise which is why it explicitly states that no one is coming back.
Then T2 retcons this and centres around a now teenage John saving the world and stopping Judgement Day but if the apocalypse didn’t happen then how could John send back his father to be born?
Terminator 3 then retconned this again and said ‘actually mate, the Apocalypse is happening, it’s tomorrow and he’s a sexy fembot to chase you down.’
By Terminator Genysis none of the prior movies have actually happened, Terminators have been around since the 70s and Skynet is now facebook. John Connor is also a Terminator or something? He’s now the villain that has returned back in time to create new Terminators but Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese still need to have sex to make him or something. Look it’s just a mess. Sorry but it’s just a mess.
The most recent offender is Halloween. This series has had so many retcons that it’s best just binning all your blu rays and picking up the first film and nothing else. Halloween saw the rise of the murderous mute Michael Myers as he attacked the town of Haddenfield. Laurie Strode rose to prominence and survived the attack and by the second film she was revealed to be the character’s sister. Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch then took on a totally new aesthetic and said that the Halloween Films were actually films in that universe, thus creating it’s own timeline. Halloween 4 then returned with Michael Myers which continued with the character for the rest of the films.
Laurie was dead in this continuity but then she was resurrected and then killed off again at a mental institution or something….anyway shes back now. Ha those Myers, you just can’t kill em. Anyway, Michael Myers was beheaded but then came back because he put the costume on a security guard or something….look it’s ruined…it’s all been ruined.
It’s gotten to the point now that the new Halloween…which is also called Halloween for some reason, slow clap for Hollywood’s creativity, has just said forget everything only the first film happened, they aren’t brother and sisters and that’s it.
I honestly don’t really have much faith that the series will even keep this up and can completely imagine the creative team pressing the big reset button again when things get too bad.
Also how is Michael Myers 61 and still doing these things?
On paper, Highlander should be pretty straight forward. The first film centred around a group of immortals battling one another for power over the universe. Simple enough, ‘There Can Only Be One,’ I get it, you get it, easy.
The first film is self contained and doesn’t need any sequels but Hollywood couldn’t keep their grubby little hands off this cashcow.
Highlander 2 stated that the immortals were infact aliens from the planet Zeist or something, which was so bad that the studio actually removed all mention of it in further cuts of the film for home video. By Highlander 3, it turned out that There Wasn’t Only One and that the immortals reappeared throughout history and no one actually had power over the universe or anything.
Look, I don’t know, this is just a mess, never introduce Aliens, never.
So what film franchise do you think has the worst continuity? Is there anything I missed and what moment made you lose all faith in a franchise?
Comment below and let me know!