HOLLYWOOD —Sequels in the entertainment industry are made by the dozen. As we all know, sequels generate huge box-office numbers for studios, but rarely equal up to or surpass their predecessor. We could go through the list of those films, but why waste valuable writing space. Every so often there are those films that are classic masterpieces; those that when you see it on television you have to watch no matter how many times you may have already seen it and you wish a sequel was made. One of my all-time favorites is the psychological thriller, “Seven” starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt.
The premise of the film is simple: Detective Somerset (Freeman) and Detective Mills (Pitt) are on the trail of a serial killer who has been murdering people based on the seven deadly sins. The crimes, of course, are horrific, but what makes the film standout from others is that as a viewer the viciousness of the actual crimes are not seen committed by the perpetrator; we just see the aftermath. Kevin Spacey as John Doe delivers an eerie performance, which I’m surprised didn’t at least garner him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
On the other-hand, there are the sensational performances by Freeman and Pitt. Freeman plays the veteran detective full of wisdom and poise, and Pitt portrays the hot-head rookie detective out to prove he’s willing and ready to tackle any case. Upon first meeting, the tension between the two characters is visible, but as the murders progress the bond between them matures. With such great supporting characters like Mills’s wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and the police captain (R. Lee Ermy), the film rounds out a great cast. “Seven” is so terrific at building tension. The film’s ending leaves you flabbergasted and in awe; it’s so unexpected your reaction is, “What?”
“Seven” ends with such a climatic twist, a sequel should be in the works, yet it has never happened. Why is this? Doesn’t Hollywood know this movie could be box-office gold? Rumors have been spun around in recent years that a possible sequel was in the works, but no actual script or deal has ever been nailed out. If Freeman and Pitt aren’t willing to re-team for the sequel, don’t even consider doing one. These two actors are a must otherwise the film will not work. They crafted distinct personalities for both characters that would be difficult for any other actors to embody. Besides familiar faces are important in sequels, remember what happened when Julianne Moore replaced Jodie Foster for the film “ Hannibal?”
Another important detail is the essence of time. A reasonable amount of time has passed since the first film, 15 years to be exact, which I think opens the door for a wonderful story. Of course, I have ideas of where the film could go, but I’ll never divulge those details. Perhaps the strongest point of the film is the grittiness of the city of New York, which the film captures so effortlessly, but a lot has changed since 1995. The seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, pride, envy, wrath, sloth and greed) are synonymous with many viewers who encounter them or act out on them on a daily basis. All the pieces are there, it’s just a matter of crafting all the elements in a unique story that is superior and more satisfying than the first, which would be difficult to top because the film is flawless in my eyes.
Of course, in Hollywood there are some films that don’t deserve a sequel (“The Departed,” “Crash” etc.) you get my point, but many are made anyway. “Seven” may be one of those films were a sequel isn’t made because as a filmmaker or writer you don’t want to tarnish or destroy a classic, but there’s so much story left to tell that a sequel could tie up the loose ends to give viewers that much needed conclusion and give us a glimpse into reality, which we’re sometimes in denial about. Not only does the film make you think, it’s a whodunit that has promise and intrigue. If you’re a fan of clever films with superior acting and great storytelling, “Seven” is a film that you must see if you haven’t already. Believe me after watching, you’ll find yourself asking the same question I’ve been asking myself for years: Why hasn’t a sequel been made?