20 Movie Sequels That Sucked

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 10:52 am
By Shane Rivers

Let’s not kid ourselves: the primary purpose of the sequel is to sponge as much money as possible off the viewing public. Okay, that may be the goal of all movies, but sequels are the worst offenders of the bunch. Slapped together to cash in on the success of the original, sequels are often contrived affairs with nothing more than a vague resemblance to the first film.

This week sees the release of The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. The original was filled with quirky characters, irreverent dialogue, and plenty of action. Will the sequel be as good? I’m not counting on it.

Of course, my mind then turned to many of the atrocious sequels I’ve had the misfortune to screen over the years. I’ve selected some of the worst and included them below in a little article I like to call “20 Movie Sequels That Sucked.”

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Highlander II: The Quickening – So let me get this straight: Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Sean Connery) weren’t really immortals, but actually rebels from the planet Zeist? Oh, brother. This is what happens when the entire first film sets up the concept of “there can be only one,” and then immediately tries to go back on the promise by introducing a whole host of undying warriors. This trend would unfortunately continue for years and even branch off into television.

Caddyshack II – Jackie Mason is no Rodney Dangerfield, and the character of Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) is on complete autopilot. To compound the film’s problems, Dan Aykroyd comes aboard to replace Bill Murray, and the freakin’ gopher can actually talk. Even a new song by Kenny Loggins can’t save this stinker of a sequel.


The Matrix Revolutions – The first Matrix kicked all kinds of ass with its original premise and lengthy action scenes. The second film relied more on CGI characters in its fights, and the “story” started getting weighed down by plenty of pretentious nonsense. The third film, however, was like a 129-minute car crash. The ending is unsatisfying, the action is perfunctory, and the look-how-clever-we-are philosophy is far beyond grating. Even Monica Bellucci and her astounding cleavage can’t save this one.

Bad Boys II – Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return to crack wise, shoot crooks, and curse more than any sailor in the history of the human race. The plot consists of one ridiculous situation after another, but that’s never stopped director Michael Bay before. There are worse entries on this list of “20 Movie Sequels That Sucked,” but something about Bad Boys II just rubbed me the wrong way. On a positive note, look for actor Michael Shannon as a Klan member named Floyd.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace – This was the last Superman movie to feature Christopher Reeve, and for good reason. Supes decides to gather up all the world’s nukes and place them in a giant net before throwing them into the sun. Poor Gene Hackman is back for another round as Lex Luthor, and this time he’s assisted by his nephew, Lenny Luthor (played by Jon Cryer). The Man of Steel must also face the craptastic Nuclear Man, who was created when a strand of Superman’s hair was attached to a nuke and then thrown into the sun. All this is bad enough, but there’s also a horrid sub-plot involving the Daily Planet’s new editor (Mariel Hemingway) trying to seduce Clark Kent.

Escape from L.A. – The original Escape from New York featured Kurt Russell as a badass ex-soldier named Snake Plissken. In the sequel, Snake is still one bad mutha, but his encounters with deranged plastic surgeons and transsexuals just don’t seem as gritty. It’s also hard to stomach a scene in which Plissken is forced to play a game of basketball in order to save his life. And let’s not forget appearances by Steve Buscemi and Peter Fonda designed to lighten the mood, as if that was needed in the first place. John Carpenter was once a directorial force to be reckoned with, but this film marked his steady decline.


Blade: Trinity – Blade gets saddled with a group of goofs called The Nightstalkers, and I know I’d feel much safer knowing that Jessica Biel and Patton Oswalt were protecting the planet from vampires. The big bad is Dracula (Dominic Purcell), but he proves to be lifeless in all the wrong ways. The script calls for Ryan Reynolds to be too much of a smartass, and Parker Posey gives one of the most bizarre performances in horror/action film history. The screenplay by David S. Goyer has shown to cause cancer in certain people, so don’t risk it.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Robots who seem suspiciously like “funny negroes,” one dog humping another, and action sequences which look like they were edited in a blender – that’s what you have to look forward to. Critics despised it, but it still managed to make millions upon millions, only proving my long-held suspicion that most people are unrepentant morons.

Batman and Robin – One of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life, and the sequel which killed the Batman franchise for years. Schwarzenegger plays Mr. Freeze with a series of painful one-liners, and Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy uses a bizarre accent that I’ve yet to place. Neon colors abound, and Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone add nothing to the proceedings. People fear colonoscopies and prostate exams, but movies like this are the real horrors in life.

Return of the Living Dead Part II – The first film was a clever and cool take on the zombie genre, but this ghastly sequel decided to rehash the plot with many of the same cast members in slightly different roles and play the whole thing for laughs. I recall this film pissing me off, especially when a group of zombies get electrocuted and start dancing like extras in the Thriller video (complete with one in a red Michael Jackson jacket). But despite its suck factor, the franchise would keep right on rolling with several other inferior films.

Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 – Take Burt Reynolds out of the franchise and what have you got? Answer: Smokey and the Bandit Part 3. Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) tries to deliver a stuffed fish from Florida to Texas, but he’s hampered in his quest by eccentric rich guys Big Enos (Pat McCormick) and Little Enos (Paul Williams), as well as Cledus Snow (Jerry Reed), who’s hired to play the part of the Bandit. Awful in every way, I’m only glad that Gleason lived long enough so that this wasn’t his final film.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning – Here’s a great idea: Let’s make a Friday the 13th movie but have someone other than Jason doing the killing. And once that killer has been disposed of, let’s end the movie by implying that someone else entirely will take over the slasher duties. Fortunately, the fans made their voices heard, and good ’ol Jason was resurrected in the next installment. While the Friday the 13th films generally sucked, watching this sequel makes you realize that things could always get worse.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch – Gizmo gets wet again, this time inside a New York skyscraper (couldn‘t see that one coming). Director Joe Dante takes the film in a more slapstick direction, and the results are less successful that in its darkly comic predecessor. Tony Randall voices an intelligent gremlin, another becomes half-gremlin and half-spider, and yet another transforms into a half-vegetable creature. The film has a great cast which includes Christopher Lee, Phoebe Cates, Robert Picardo, John Astin, and Henry Gibson, but even that wasn’t enough to overcome segments like the one where Looney Tunes characters break the fourth wall.


Hannibal Rising – By the time Hannibal was through, it was clear that everyone’s favorite psycho psychiatrist had been milked dry by greedy Hollywood execs. Not so! Apparently, there was just a drop or two left in the creative teats of author Thomas Harris. This time around, we get to see Hannibal grow up in a castle in Lithuania, watch his sister get murdered and eaten by soldiers during World War II, and develop a strange romantic attachment to his Japanese aunt. It’s nonsense, of course, and all those involved should be ashamed for expecting fans to shell out money for this kind of drek.

Jaws: The Revenge – Considered by many to be one of the worst films ever made, Jaws: The Revenge features Ellen Brody, the widow of Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), as she attempts to get away from a great white shark which is stalking her family. That’s right, I said stalking her family. Here’s a tip, Ellen, move to Montana.

Basic Instinct II – Sharon Stone was hot in the first film, and she holds up pretty well in the sequel. Unfortunately, a movie requires more than just Ms. Stone looking good, and that’s where Basic Instinct 2 goes wrong; there’s nothing else to talk about.

Police Academy: Mission to Moscow – When actors like Bubba Smith and Marion Ramsey decide not to return, you know the franchise is in trouble. That’s the case with the seventh Police Academy film, although Michael Winslow continues to hang around and make funny noises. Christopher Lee, Ron Perlman, and Claire Forlani (in her film debut) also get caught up in the shenanigans involving a Russian criminal who can crack any security system by means of a special video game. Tragically, an eighth Police Academy film is in development, with Steve Guttenberg scheduled to direct. When you head to church this Sunday, you’ll know what to pray for (or against, as the case may be).

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – The first trilogy was perfectly good as a stand-alone tale, so why did George Lucas have to come along and tack on three pieces of crap? Answer: money. He got his wish, too, as each film made a predictable killing at the box office. But it’s certainly not based on quality, as The Phantom Menace is filled with bad acting, thinly-veiled racial stereotypes, an annoying kid, and Jar Jar Binks. The final showdown with the sinister Darth Maul is one of the film’s few bright spots, but even that doesn’t make a dent in all the nonsense which came before. Things don’t get much better in the next two films, as Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) demonstrates all the charisma of a cinder block.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 – The original was an inventive piece of filmmaking which gave viewers something new. The sequel was the same old Hollywood horror crap with absolutely nothing to offer. The film actually turned a profit, but critics and fans were so vocal in their hatred that a third movie never materialized. If you were a fan of the first Blair Witch Project, stay far away from this film which is proudly included on my list of “20 Movie Sequels That Sucked.”


Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo – A little Rob Schneider goes a long way, and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo stretches that limitation far beyond the breaking point. When someone begins killing Europe’s top “man-whores,” Deuce must come out of retirement to solve the mystery. Schneider didn’t take kindly to the criticism the movie received, even deeming L.A. Times critic Patrick Goldstein unworthy to pan his film because he wasn’t a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Enter Roger Ebert, who told the diminutive filmmaker, “Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.”