Cosmic Slop #65: Quadrophenia 2 is a horrible idea

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Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in Quadrophenia

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in Quadrophenia

As a sequel to the classic cult movie is announced, Getintothis’ Shaun Ponsonby bemoans the laziness of constant franchise reboots. 

Quadrophenia is a cult classic for a reason. The Who’s original 1973 double album is a masterpiece, the 1979 film adaptation likewise. It wasn’t the first film to be based on an album – The Who themselves had already bonkersly immortalised Tommy courtesy of Ken Russell – and Pink Floyd produced their big screen version of The Wall a few years later.

But Quadrophenia is really the only one that exists outside of the band in question. It is a gritty slice of life that brilliantly encapsulates the frustrations and angst of teenage life. This isn’t about mods and rockers, it’s about kids. Like Skins, but watchable. It is relatable to all of us because we have all been there.

Plus, the movie is fun to watch because there are plenty of opportunities to yell “Oh, it’s him/her from…” at the screen. It’s all but an underwhelming episode of Before They Were Famous; Phil Daniels, Ray Winstone, Timothy Spall, Toyah Wilcox, Leslie Ash, some bloke from The Bill, Sting. I don’t particularly like (m)any of them, but it’s fun all the same.

The end of the movie sees Jimmy – the main character, played by Daniels – almost ride his scooter off Beachy Head. Whether or not he does so is left ambiguous. A debate that has raged amongst fans for decades.

A debate that will now be ruined, as they have announced that Quadrophenia 2 will begin shooting in the summer, reuniting the original cast. The obvious question is; why?

There is no reason to see this. The story is over. Catching up with the characters 40 years in the future will do…what, exactly? Other than ruin the mystique of the movie? As much as we love seeing Jimmy and his mates riding their scooters in the original, how can anyone think seeing a 60-year old Phil Daniels doing the same now will be in any way watchable? In a sense Quadrophenia 2 has already been made; it’s called Wild Hogs and it starred John Travolta.

And not to be superficial, but I’m not sure how the original cast will fare with their characters today. For example, Toyah has aged as you thought Leslie Ash’s character would, and Leslie Ash looks…well, like Leslie Ash actually looks. Maybe they will swap roles…?

Blah blah blah read other Cosmic Slops and that, yeah?

This is a horrifying trend at the moment. Remakes and sequels that nobody asked for. Disney currently appear to be remaking all their old animated classics in live action in lieu of coming up with new ideas. Ditto for the BBC’s comedy department, who in recent years have commissioned new series of classic sitcoms instead of approaching young writers with fresh ideas. Do you want to see new episodes of Keeping Up Appearances, Are You Being Served?, Porridge, Open All Hours and Up Pompeii? Me neither, but the Beeb are gonna ram it down your throat like the whore you are, no matter what. Anyone set for yet another Only Fools and Horses revival and/or spin off? Does it matter? You’ll probably get one anyway.

There have been ones that have worked. Red Dwarf always seemed like a bit of an outsider show anyway, despite its success. So, it’s no surprise that returning on Dave recently saw it return to past glories. Alan Partridge is always welcome in any form, of course. But then his creators know exactly when the time is right to bring him back.  Larry David managed to make a Seinfeld reunion work by making it a meta joke in Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which his attempts to stage a Seinfeld reunion was the central plot of the series.

But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Have we really learned nothing from Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Crystal Skull? Jaden Smith in The Karate Kid? The Star Wars prequels? Son of The Mask? The Queen + Paul Rodgers album? Blues Brothers 2000?

Oh, yeah! Blues Brothers 2000 was a thing. Ironically in 1998, not 2000. And it just had projectile diarrhoea over everything people loved about the original. There’s a little kid in it, for Thor’s sake. When the Nazis, cops and Russian mafia corner the makeshift Blues Brothers – who, with four members, looked more like a middle aged boy band with a little kid they’ve kidnapped instead of the bad asses they were in the original – Erykah Badu portraying an evil voodoo witch just turns them into mice. Then they all just jam to New Orleans, barely acknowledging the evil voodoo witch who just turned some Nazis into mice. What the actual fuck? Michael Jackson‘s Moonwalker was more coherent. It makes me wonder whether Dan Aykroyd should ever be trusted, and doesn’t put confidence in this Ghostbusters reboot if it has been done on his watch.

All of which is a horrible track record for Quadrophenia 2. I can’t see this being anything other than awful. If you want to see the cast reunited, go to a convention.

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