Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am going to attempt to list the worst sequels in film history. But it can’t just be any old sequel, there must be standards and rules.
Because we need rules.
1) The sequel must be a direct sequel of some sort. So for instance, there are one or two Bond films that are pretty shitty (Moonraker) but many of the Bond films aren’t really connected. Star Trek 5 however has a clear connection to the other Star Trek films.
2) Theatrical release must have been an option (at some point). Straight to video sequels were prevalent during the VHS age but with the advent of the digital age both in film equipment and the cheapness of DVD, there have been a ton of straight to video/DVD sequels.
3) No prequels. It’d be way too easy to give it to Episode 1.
4) I have to have seen the film. While I will pass judgement on a lot films I haven’t seen (Twilight 2 to whatever for instance. I saw the first one, it was shit, I won’t assume it gets any better), in this case I need to have actually tried to watch the film.
5) Disappointment counts as crap. Disappointment is probably worse then a movie being actual crap.
6) Try to avoid reboots. Sequels to remakes were ok but an actual reboot of the series wasn’t looked at. (There are two films on this list might be an exception to this rule depending on how you view it)
Even with these rules in place, the list became huge. Hence the part 1 in the title as I plan to revisit this topic in the future.
Now without further ado, the worst sequels in film (in no particular order):
The remake of Ocean’s Eleven was not the best heist film ever made but it was incredibly fun. This film was lacking a decent script and basically turned into “George Clooney and his buddies make a movie in Rome”. Characters seemed as absent as did a decent plot. Julia Roberts character for instance ends up impersonating… Julia Roberts. Ghostbusters 2 has a very similar problem but at least it had that scene with the Titanic.
Ong Bok 2
About 20 minutes into this film, my thoughts were incredibly clear. “What the fuck am I watching?” Ong Bok wasn’t rocket science. It was a martial arts film where the main character went on a quest to return a sacred item back to his town. And he kicked a guy with flaming pants.
The pants were on fire!
It had a look and a freshness that we haven’t seen in martial arts flicks in a while. And then the sequel happened… in ancient Thailand… with no real connection between it and the first film… and fight scenes that weren’t very good. Everything everyone loved about the first was pretty much gone leaving a confusing, pseudo-spiritual crapfest.
The Godfather 3
The Godfather 2 accomplished something very few sequels ever have done; it was better then the original. Part 3 however accomplished not a hell of a lot. I barely remember the plot (something to do with everytime “he got out”, the mob “pulled him back in”, and the Vatican), Al Pacino had begun his run at becoming the ultimate Al Pacino impersonator and Sofia Coppla became very sure that directing was more her thing.
The first one wasn’t great but this featured robots that sounded like stereo-typical ghetto teens… with gold teeth. But what put it over the top? These robots are also illiterate. Fuck you Michael Bay.
The Two Jakes
I am not a big Roman Polanski fan by any stretch of the imagination but Chinatown is a film everyone should see. It was filmed at the height of Jack Nicholson’s career and for good reason, the man is great in it. And then there’s The Two Jakes, probably one of the blandest sequels in movie history. The script is bland, the acting is pretty much Jack going through the motions and Polanski didn’t direct it so it’s flat as can flat can be. Oh and Jack even pulled double duty as director. It’s a noir story that’s about as interesting as a pizza menu. In a pizza place that only serves pepperoni.
Get Shorty is a great mob based comedy around the film industry. It’s based on a great Elmore Leonard novel. Be Cool (the sequel) is a giant turd a of a film based around a loan shark going into the urban music industry. The only thing good in this film is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a gay bodyguard. That should really tell you something, shouldn’t it?
The Matrix Reloaded
Now honestly, there is some debate of what’s worse, Reloaded or Revolutions but my point is this. Reloaded is the precedent setting suckage. The Matrix was a great film and everyone had a lot of hopes for Reloaded only to have the dashed by a lot of half baked philosophy and shit dialogue. Not only that, the film promises a lot of things but never delivers.
For instance, at one point, the totally babalicious Monica Bellucci mentions that all of the Merovingian’s minions are programs that could not be deleted from the matrix. These bad ass programs are where human myths of werewolves and vampires come from. So when Neo faces these total force of unnatural computer programing, what do we get?
A bunch of mooks that can’t even tie Mr. Smith’s shoes.
Sure there were those twins that were kind of ghost like but the rest of them are just normal rent-a-thugs from the martial arts film villain bin. Why make such a point of it when you aren’t going to deliver. It’s not like this film didn’t have the budget to pull something like that off.
Revolutions may be worse but by the time it came out we were pretty much ready for the floater that it was thanks to the shop vac sucking power of Reloaded.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
A good chunk of the crew go camping. Spock’s half brother hijacks the Enterprise to go to the planet where God lives. God turns out to be a God imposter and a dick. Spock blows the evil Dick God up with a Klingon Bird of Prey.
I never like to pat myself on the back but I guarantee that the above description is 10 000 times better then the film it is describing.
Highlander 2: The Quickening
Once again the original film was not a high piece of art by any stretch but it was pretty cool and easy to follow. Immortals cut each other’s heads off in order to secure ultimate power and become mortal… okay so the last bit is a little weird and doesn’t make a huge amount of sense but is still fairly easy to follow. Now let’s add the new back story from Highlander 2: The Quickening into that description. The immortals are actually aliens from the planet Zeist who were sentenced to immortality and to fight for the prize. The prize is pretty much a lot of knowledge, growing old and dying or going back home to Zeist… a planet that looks like it’s all desert and ruled by an evil overlord.
That’s the choice? Really?
Not that the death of anyone really means anything. Take Ramirez (Sean Connery) for instance. He died at the hands of The Kurgan. Pretty pivotal moment in the first film. How does Conner MacLeod of The Clan MacLeod bring him back to life? Through the power of The Prize? Through the advanced science of the future or perhaps the alien science of Zeist? Nope, he just yells his name which brings Ramirez back to life complete in the last outfit he wore.
Batman and Robin
I once had a grand plan. A friend of mine is an incredibly good vocalist and loves The Phantom of The Opera. When we heard the film version of the musical was announced I concocted a plan where I would get her a role and she would in turn sneak me on set so I could run up to director Joel Schumacher and kick him in the balls and yell at him “NIPPLES ON THE BATSUIT MY ASS!”
While Batman Forever wasn’t that great, it’s still somewhat watchable. This film is an MTV video with Arnold Schwarzenegger spouting off such classics as “The Iceman cometh” and “Let’s kick some ice”. Bane is a grunting brute and the film is just generally horrible,
All of the Rocky’s have a charm to them. The first is about going the distance.
In part 2, Rocky wins.
Part 3 features Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
Part 4 brought us the sheer power of Ivan Drago.
Part 5 made Rocky brain damaged, poor and wearing a dopey hat while fighting a jerk in the streets. For all of those who criticize Stallone for Rocky Balboa, go back and watch 5. You’ll see why he had to make it.
Jaws The Revenge
So The Brodys have a problem with sharks… well sharks have problems with The Brodys. Roy Sheider wisely side-stepped this film where a revenge bent shark follows Ellen Brody from a New York beach resort to Jamaica… in three days. The shark also roars like a lion.
Star Michael Caine summed up his feelings on the film in probably one of the best Hollywood quotes of all time:
“I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!”
Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth
You know those horror movies that are so bad they’re funny?
Yeah… this isn’t one of them.
I love the first Hellraiser. It’s one of those horror flicks that just completely clicked with me. Part 2 is decent, it has some good stuff, it has some not so good stuff. Part 3 is just the drizzling shits. It stars Terry Farrell (the first Dax from DS9) as a reporter looking into the history of the puzzle box and somehow it turns her camera man into a cenobite with a tv camera in it’s head… and there’s another one that throws killer CDs… and it’s every bit as terrible as it sounds.
In fact there is only good thing about this movie. He’s on the soundtrack and his name is Lemmy.