The fourth in the trilogy?

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With the recent news that Eddie Murphy has signed on to make 'Beverly Hills Cop IV', Time Out offer some ideas for the fourth instalment of some classic film trilogies

Back to the Future: Part IV

Dir Robert ZemekisWith Michael J. Fox sadly unable to reprise his role as hyperactive time-travelling schoolboy Marty McFly due to health reasons, we join Christopher Lloyd (if, that is, producers can tear him away from his less-than-sterling work on the ‘Baby Geniuses ’ franchise) as he is working on a new time-travelling machine: this time, it’s a speedboat. Taking to the high seas, he travels back a mere 30 years to investigate the melting of the polar ice caps for an amusing paper he's researching. Yet, in the opening reel (which some critics will call ‘gutsy’, and others ‘plain barbaric’) the Doc is unceremoniously killed as his trusty vessel materialises in the middle of a trans-Atlantic shipping lane and he is crushed by an oil barge. We then return to the present, where his two sons, Jules and Verne (played by the kids from ‘Superbad’) are working day shifts at Radio Shack. When their lunatic pops doesn’t return home that evening to give them their pre-bedtime lecture on advanced thermodynamics, the kids discover a slip of paper on his desk and decide to travel back in a prototype machine (more of a time tug-boat), to investigate where he might have gotten to. They accidentally go back too far (the nineteenth century to be exact), and find themselves becoming embroiled in the American slave trade. It turns out that the only way they can save their father is by creating a law that makes it illegal to sail across the Atlantic (and thus abolishing the slave trade). Bob Newhart to play William Wilberforce.

Lord of the Rings 4: Gamgee Goes Bananas

Dir Peter JacksonFrustrated by the fact that in the first three movies he did all the hard lifting-and-carrying work while that whingeing layabout Frodo took all the credit, simple bi-curious Hobbit gardener and all-round lower class dogsbody Samwise Gamgee stumbles upon a magic trowel that quickly transforms him into a dark overlord with a lust for destruction and taters. In the face of impending destruction it’s left to tree-hugging Manc jokester Merry and his wiseass Scots sidekick Pippin to get the old fellowship back together, Blues Brothers-style. But its not so easy: blonde bombshell Legolas is dancing for gold pieces in backstreet dwarf-bars, Gimli’s a raging meadaholic and King Aragorn’s finding married life something of a strain: his tunic-line is expanding, and his lip-quivering Elvish bride resents the fact that she abandoned immortality for royal domestic drudgery. What’s more, Frodo and Gandalf are understandably miffed to be dragged back from sunning themselves in an undying paradise, and for all concerned the prospect of saving Middle Earth again just feels like an awful effort…

The Godfather: Part IV

Dir Francis Ford CoppolaJust when we thought we were out, they pull us back in! After taking the family business out of the underworld and into the boardroom then overseeing the death of virtually every member of his immediate family, Michael Corleone dies an old and broken man – but not before ceding control of his empire to Andy Garcia’s Vincent ‘Mad Dog’ Mancini. The fourth instalment in this epic of American avarice sees Vinnie – aided by a guy known only as 'Phil the Greek – dump the family’s entire fortune into a dotcom enterprise specialising in inflatable kennels. The last scene of Coppola’s sprawling meatball opera sees the saga come full circle, with the penniless Vincent reduced to selling sexual favours in the restroom of the Ellis Island Museum.

Mad Max 4: Apocalypse... not!

Dir George MillerIn the after-time, the nevernever, far past the days of membering, the road warrior rides out into the wild wilderness and reaches the shore of the great wet. Here he discovers that the ‘accident’ which broke down Australian civilisation and left its people struggling in vicious Tina Turner-ruled barter communities was not, in fact, a worldwide nuclear holocaust, but just the country’s natural cultural and economic progression. With his faithful dog in tow, Max Rockatansky ups sticks to West Texas where he makes a good living as a demolition driver for monster truck rallies. But there’s trouble on the horizon: doctors at a local institution for the criminally insane have been involved in a controversial combined gene enhancement, facial reconstruction and drivers’ education programme, and a mass breakout leaves Max and his new lady-cop sidekick (Sugartits) facing yet another rampaging mob of hideously disfigured godless fuelhead mutants…

Karate Kid IV: Drunken Master

Dir John G. AvildsenSince we last saw him take his ramshackle form of homespun martial artistry to China in ‘Karate Kid III’, Ralph Maccio’s Daniel Larusso – now in his 40s – has become a washed-up bum who runs a Karate school for the latchkey kids of a rough Baltimore suburb. Found in an alleyway supping his third jam-jar of methylated spirits by one of his pupils, he is escorted to a nearby drunk tank where he beats one of the female careworkers to near-death when she asks his name. At a low ebb, he has a vision of his old tutor Mr Miyagi (made-up of discarded footage from the first three films) who reminds him that he was the one who was bullied and now the tables have turned. Taking stock of this revelation, he shapes up and decides to enter his kids in a local karate tournament whereupon he is forced to deal with issues of domestic abuse, homelessness, lack of self-confidence, and finally, post-colonial bourgeois guilt. The final, freeze-framed shot is of Larusso crane-kicking a local politico in the face while delivering the line, 'take that to the City Hall'. Nelly to supply the main theme.

The Bad News Bears Eat, Sh*t And Die

Dir Richard LinklaterThe timeless characters of Timmy Lupus, Kelly Leak and, of course, Buttermaker all return for the elegiac swansong of Little League’s most notorious outfit in this fourth inning of baseball’s most enduring franchise. Making Don Revie’s Leeds United look like the Harlem Globetrotters, the team this time take their patented brand of apple-cheeked ultraviolence to a pro-celebrity tourney put on by a shadowy Mr. Big (Kris Kristoffersson) in the deep jungle of Brazil. After losing the final to a frankly rather disappointing Guns N' Roses B-team, the Bears are chased into the rainforest by irate gamblers. And it is here that the title gains its piquancy, as our pampered prima donnas find themselves staring down the barrel of the three basic human imperatives…

Author: Adam Lee Davies, David Jenkins, Tom Huddleston



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