There are plenty of terrible sequels out there that at least had a logical reason for existing. The Matrix sequels were craptacular to an amazing dregree, but they were at least pre-empted by the original. Neo concluded ‘The Matrix’ by declaring war on the machines before Supermanning away – of course we want to see what happens next! This list brings to shame the sequels that were forced through regardless of how closed the story was, and how little we wanted them.
10. Speed 2: Cruise Control
‘Speed’ is an awesome action, based around a simple premise. The vast majority of the movie is based around a series of action set pieces with only a slim interlinking story and shallow characters. This is going to make it difficult to extend the story beyond the bus that couldn’t slow down. When the lead actor gets dropped the production you’ve now got nothing to link the original story to any new stories. Better drop the whole idea, right?
OR turn the token love interest from the first film into the protagonist and have her hook up with a similar action cop dude who can get them trapped in an all-new psycho backed plan to drive things into things. Using a boat was also a dumb idea: how fast is it going to move? And what was the name of the movie?
9. Clerks 2
Indie smash ‘Clerks’ not only made Kevin Smith a household name, but it created a new trend in low-budget, dialogue based features. Although the situations were wacky and above the way the characters felt about their situation rang true for much of the audience. Dante, the cashier jockey who isn’t even supposed to be there today, learns over the course of the day that he can no longer blame all of his problems on those around him when he doesn’t do anything to improve himself. By the end of the movie, the future looks brighter for Dante in spite of having lost both his love interests and trashing the store.
The sequel, whilst amusing at times, began with Dante STILL working in the Quick Stop, still in a rut. Even when given the opportunity to move onwards and upwards when Randall burns the store to the ground, he only gets a crappier job to continue feeling sorry for himself in. If this was all the character was going to achieve, why not just leave in the originals alternate ending where Dante gets killed in a robbery? It was a terrible finale, out of sync with the tone of the rest of the movie, but with the sequel it would’ve been all the same.
8. Jaws The Revenge
‘Jaws’ is an amazing film. After all these years, parodies and pop-culture references, it still carries plenty of scares. The sequels, on the other hand, stretch credibility to breaking point and beyond. Wanting to strengthen the ties between the follow-ups and the original, producers came up with the bone headed-idea to have the Bruce the Sharks’ family come after our human heroes for revenge, tracking them across oceans. Suspension of disbelief can only take us so far people.
Really, how hard would’ve it been to pitch a more credible shark sequel? Here’s one of the top of my head – Brody, having dealt with this menace, gets called in for advice by another coastal town when another blood thirsty shark/s start picking off locals. That simple.
7. Disney STV Sequels
Damn you Disney. You’ve made a whole industry out of pillaging the classics for unnecessary sequels. What makes these particularly jarring is the number of your films that you’ve adapted from classic tales, which end in a satisfactory manner that’s respectful to the source material (apart from ‘Hunchback’, obviously) only to pillage them later for cheaply made straight-to-video knock-offs. Not only is this illogical and kinda rude, but cheapens the perception of the classic films you once made. To date the Happiest Place on Earth has managed to wring extra bucks out of ‘Aladdin’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Pochontas’, ‘Lady and the Tramp’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’
It may not have been what Hans Christian Anderson had in mind.
6. The Blair Witch Project: Book of Shadows
Whether or not ‘Blair Witch Project’ was effective is debatable – the concept was brilliant and the marketing set a new standard. Much of what the film intriguing was how much was left to the viewer’s imagination. So little is seen beyond shadows and screams.
In an effort to cash in on the brand name, a schlocky sequel was quickly trotted out. Considering the entire concept around the original was that all the characters were dead, this may have been difficult. So why not scrap everything original and instead focus on weird orgies, cheap ghost effects and implications that all their cameras were somehow in on the whole deal. Or just not make a sequel? Maybe?
5. Staying Alive
‘Saturday Night Fever’, despite being tarnished by the cringe of disco fashion, was a grungy and dirty look at young life in Brooklyn during the 1970’s. In addition to shocking fashions and awful music the film was a violent and course look at themes such as loyalty, family and friendship.
‘Staying Alive’, on the other hand, is a toned done PG rated sequel to an R rated film in which a teen anti-hero tries to make it big on Broadway.
4. S. Darko
Is there really any other movie that shouldn’t have a sequel as much as ‘Donnie Darko’? The original film was about the titular teenager suffering through his personal issues on top of concerns surrounding the space-time continuum manifesting themselves as images of an evil rabbit. Most importantly, he sacrifices himself in the final scene.
At least they didn’t resurrect Donnie – that would make every event in the original meaningless. Instead they went with Samantha, who you may remember as his much younger sister who plays a very small part in the movie and make her the title character. There’s no getting past the fact that this is a desperate attempt to stretch the popularity of the cult original further.
3. Escape From the Planet of the Apes
Not wanting to blow your mind with epic spoilerage here, but the Monkey Planet is really Earth…in the FUTURE! Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s spike ahead to the first sequel, ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’, in which Charlton Heston finds a group of mutant, skinless, telepathic humans living under the surface with an old bomb, which they promptly use to blow up the entire planet.
So they blew up the planet, how did they manage to wring another three movies out of the series? The third film opens with a spaceship turning up on Earth in 1970’s, manned (aped?) by three of the surviving chimps who somehow found a spaceship, got it to work and happened to fall into a wormhole that took them back in time. It’s as bad as it sounds. Seriously, there’s a shopping montage.
2. The Blues Brothers 2000
What was the charm of ‘The Blues Brothers’? Putting aside the comedy, the madcap antics and wicked musical numbers, the real charm was the double act of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Through largely deadpan performances they carry the high energy film through the memorable moments that turned it into a cult classic. You’d think that the death of John Belushi would put any idea of a sequel right out of anyone’s mind, right?
I have no idea what compelled Aykroyd to put this into production. If it was a money issue, I’m sure we all coulda pitched in a few bucks to help the guy out – it would’ve been preferable to this. Even after James Belushi had to drop out they went ahead, getting around the fact that 50% of the title characters had passed on by suddenly announcing that “hey, there’s another brother they hadn’t heard about!”
Lame AND disrespectful.
1. American Psycho 2
Mary Harron’s adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis’ cult novel was a cutting (boom tish) satire of 80s consumer culture centred on the activities of a sociopathic murderer, played by Christian Bale, who brutally slaughters homeless people, prostitutes and colleagues. Years later a sequel emerged focused on a college student who, as a child, fought off an attack by the original killer Christian Bale only to become a murderer herself.
A flimsy concept? Absolutely. But there’s a bigger problem than a lack of originality. Anyone who’s seen ‘American Psycho’ knows that the film ends with Patrick Bateman (Bale’s character) confessing his crimes to his lawyer only for him to learn that everything was in his head, and that he’s not a murderer.
The only way the hokey story for ‘American Psycho 2’ to work is disregarding the entire final act of the original film – those negating the point of it.