Collaboration and Repetition

Your listening to the radio and that new, hooky song comes on.  You have a sing and dance about, and when it’s finished you decide you’re going to get the album to hear more stuff like it.  You’re about to encounter one of three possibilities:

  1.  The rest of the album is nothing like the hit you’ve been listening to so there’s a fair chance you don’t like it.
  2. The entire album sounds exactly the same, which is what you thought you wanted until you listened to it all in one go.
  3. You find the perfect album, where each song is different but they share the same spirit of one another.

The same can be said about film collaborations.

Now I actually went to go see The Hateful Eight this week and when asked how it was, my reply is unfortunately, “Full”.  So, not wanting to waste a trip, we watched Daddy’s Home instead, the reunion of Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell after the bush hitting The Other Guys.

Now I had forgotten about The Other Guys (not because it was bad, I actually enjoyed it a fair amount) so as this didn’t seem like it was going to be my cup of tea, my initial expectations were low – I was happily surprised.

However a friend happened to be disappointed as he hadn’t forgot about their previous outing and was after more of the same (see where I’m going with this yet?) which seemed to me, to be a pretty archaic thought.

It does happen though, all the time.  A pairing of actors in similar roles just running through the motions in a new environment which in Daddy’s Home, wasn’t the case.  A good example could be the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and The Worlds End) starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Wherein Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead both have Pegg playing the ‘straight’ man and Frost playing the ‘village idiot’.  Of course they aren’t carbon copy characters and they are different but in terms of the plot, one has the role of protagonist and the other is the sidekick.  Then The Worlds End came out and all of a sudden, Pegg played the ‘idiot’ and Frost was the ‘straight man’.

Personally, I loved it.  It had the same spirit as the originals but still stood out from the other two, but I know other people had reservations about it and they couldn’t say why, they just said that “it didn’t feel the same.”  I honestly think that subconsciously they saw Pegg in an different role from the previous two and when, as a character you were supposed to dislike him (well at least not hold up as a hero), they were put off.

I’m not saying that Daddy’s Home is a great film or anything (it’s alright, plenty of laughs and you’ll spend the next couple of days with ACDC stuck in your head), just remember collaborations may not always turn out to be the type of album you’re looking for.

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