Sequels. They are the backbone, and to some, the scourge, of the modern movie-going experience. Movie franchises are planned out years head of time. A film can’t make a profit without getting a second movie slapped onto it. To be fair, some of these sequels are good. Some even exceed the quality of their predecessors. On the other hand, many of them are less than stellar, less than necessary, and all around unsuccessful.
There are so many issues that can hinder a sequel. Most of them are born out of hubris. The desire for a company to to squeeze one more drop of blood out of the franchise stone. Some sequels are ridiculously delayed, as if it took somebody years to realize, “Hey, we could make money off of this!” Then, there are the sequels that simply don’t make sense in any way, shape or form.
Panned by critics and shunned at the box office, such films occupy that other end of the spectrum where critical, popular and studio accountant consensus unite. What follows are 13 really bad ideas.
13. Batman and Robin (1997)
This movie had to be made, obviously. It’s Batman. You have to keep churning out Batman movies. It just happened to be made in the campiest, dumbest, worst way possible. By and large, this overstuffed film that brought out the worst in every actor involved was panned by critics, and did not connect with audiences. It was so poorly received that the series was stopped in its tracks for a while. Of course, if not for that fact, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies might not have happened. So maybe we should thank Joel Schumacher, instead.
12. Teen Wolf Too (1987)
Teen Wolf has Michael J. Fox turning into a werewolf who is great at basketball, a guy named Stiles, and a girl named Boof. That is to say, it is awesome. A sequel starring Fox would have been a stretch, still, but he isn’t even in Teen Wolf Too. Instead, we get Jason Bateman as a different teenaged wolfman, and also now basketball is boxing. That is not enough to justify this sequel. Boof 4 Life.
11. Home Alone 3 (1997)
The first two Home Alone movies entertained folks with the fun-filled tale of an impish child who brutalizes two men seemingly for the sheer joy of it, and it remains one of the few family films to feature a man stepping on a nail. Alas, at some point a child being left home alone loses its stakes, and so the film series ended. Except it didn’t, because they decided to feature a whole new child left alone at home. (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are also gone.) The series has continued even beyond Home Alone 3, but now they have been relegated to made-for-TV and direct-to-DVD movies.
10. The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
The original Carrie seemed to pretty much close the door on things, what with pretty much everybody dying, Carrie included. So, naturally, in 1999, they decided to trot out a sequel to the 1976 original. While the original was directed by Brian De Palma (who, for all his faults, certainly has a unique flair to his filmmaking) and starred folks like Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and a young John Travolta, the sequel is directed by a guy named Katt Shea and had one of the kids from Home Improvement in it. The only interesting thing about The Rage: Carrie 2 is the ridiculous title. The movie failed to even make back its budget in box office, so clearly the audience wasn’t clamoring for this one.
9. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
Once again, we have a sequel made long after the original, this time we’ve got an 18 year difference between The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000. Truth be told, a sequel to Blues Brothers could have made sense … had John Belushi remained alive. Alas, by the time this movie rolled around, Belushi was long dead, making this movie feels both unnecessary and kind of weird. Trying to generate a story, they dragged a kid into things, but the heart just wasn’t there. Nobody was happy with it, and many are incredulous that this movie even exists.
8. Big Momma’s House 2 (2006)
Note that we didn’t go with Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son here. That movie at least tried to do something slightly new and inventive by adding a new character to dress in drag. At least they made an attempt, you know? Big Momma’s House 2 has nothing original to do. It is basically Martin Lawrence doing the same grotesque caricature of the first movie. So while the third movie in this inexplicable trilogy is let off the hook, Big Momma’s House 2 does not deserve such mercy.
7. Caddyshack 2 (1988)
People love Caddyshack. It has slobs! It has snobs! It has Kenny Loggins! And so, some folks took a look around, shrugged their shoulders, and said, “Well, maybe we should do a sequel?” That’s not justification enough for a movie. This is especially true when you don’t get around to it for eight years, and when some of the key components, such as Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray, weren’t around. Dan Aykroyd does show up, though. You know, I’m starting to think he may not be terribly selective about his film work.
6. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Terminator 2 was a very interesting, very successful sequel that took a sort of horror movie and turned it into an action spectacular with cool special effects. Terminator: Salvation, while not successful, did reinvent the franchise and give us that sound clip of Christian Bale. Terminator 3 … had a lady Terminator? That’s about the only real difference in this fairly silly movie.
5. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
The Blair Witch Project was a straight up phenomenon. It was way ahead of the found-footage horror curve, and marketed itself as being a real documentary of shit getting real. Still, this premise made a sequel a stretch. What was truly baffling, however, was when they turned that sequel into your traditional narrative film. It has barely any connection to the original, other than the words “Blair” and “Witch.” What was the point? Other than an ill-executed cash grab, of course?
4. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Well, this movie did buy Michael Caine some nice property, so maybe he would disagree with this film being unsuccessful. They tried to wring a fourth movie out of the concept of Jaws, and they were so desperate they turned the shark into a monster hellbent on revenge on the Brody family. That’s lunacy. This was not a story that needed to be told, nor a story that should have been told. The 3D movie at least had the excuse of being super gimmicky. This was just dumb.
3. The Hangover Part III (2013)
The Hangover Part II is one of the most sterling examples of the sequel that is basically the original movie rehashed, but it made a ton of money, and so a third movie got made. Once again, the story was basically the same, and while The Hangover Part III also made some money, it made a lot less than The Hangover Part II. Still, for really just telling the same story, with the same raunchy jokes, for a third time, you can’t call The Hangover Part III anything other than unnecessary overkill.
2. Weekend at Bernie’s 2 (1993)
This movie is the definition of hubris. Weekend at Bernie’s tried to build an entire movie around people not realizing a corpse was dead. It does not succeed. To try and do this a second time? Icarus himself would scoff at this. There was nothing new that could be done, and they just proved that fact in this sequel.
1. Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)
For those who haven’t memorized the order of the Police Academy movies, this is number seven. That’s right, they made seven of these bad boys. Frankly, you could argue one was too many, but you can’t know that until the damage is done. This one is truly inexplicable. For starters, you read the part about this being the seventh Police Academy movie, right? Plus, this movie came out in 1994, five years after the sixth one. It takes place in Russia after the Cold War, so there goes any intrigue. Naturally, by this point most of the beloved(?) characters from the series had bowed out. Oh, and this movie only brought in $126,247 in American box office. Do you need further proof there was nobody clamoring for this one?