It’s pretty rare to find a sequel that is better than its original counterpart, especially when it comes to movies. They tend to not be as well-written or well-acted as the first film, and some plot lines can get repetitive. Some movie series even produce multiple sequels to keep the franchise going (looking at you, Fast and Furious). That being said, most film sequels are at least decent, if not pretty good.
But then there are some sequels that are so bad, you question why it was even made in the first place. It’s not just that the acting was bad or the dialogue felt forced – it’s EVERYTHING you could never want in a movie. Here are some of the most unforgivable movie sequels that have ever disgraced the film industry:
The original Legally Blonde surpassed all expectations: it was funny, had a clever plot for a rom-com, and featured a inspiring blonde female character rather than a shallow one. Elle Woods consistently worked hard for what she achieved at Harvard Law, and did it all in some fabulously pink outfits. Needless to say, the first movie was a huge hit when it came out in 2001, ending with Elle’s graduation and the promise of future success in her career.
Legally Blonde 2 decides to shatter that nice ending by showing us exactly what happens after that day – and it ain’t pretty. The film undoes most of Elle’s character development from the first movie, focusing way too much on the “clueless but fashionable blond girl” with a bit of law on the side. It feels tired and uninspiring. While the theory of seeing Elle Woods kick butt in the real world sounds great, the actual practice fell flat.
Taken is one of the few action movies I ever saw in theaters. Liam Neeson is badass, his character is badass, and the movie builds a good amount of suspense. Through in some incredible fights and chase scenes, and you’ve got a cinematic gold mine.
Taken 2 doesn’t live up to its predecessor’s hype by any means. While Neeson’s still pretty great, the whole thing feels a little predictable. It doesn’t have nearly as much ass-kicking as the first film, making the plot feel much emptier. The only good thing to be said is that at least they had a semi-plausible excuse for the movie’s premise; the wife is taken instead of the daughter and the daughter makes a run for it. Needless to say, fans were pretty disappointed by this sequel.
The first of the Transformers movies was great for many reasons. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox had an undeniable chemistry, the script was pretty well-written and well-adapted, and (of course) the Transformers’ CGI was awesome. It was overall an entertaining movie, and box office sales definitely proved that.
By contrast, Transformers 2 was more obnoxious than anything. There were too many explosions and not enough substance in plot and character development. Not sure if it was just me, but the special effects didn’t feel as good as the first movie; maybe it was the new, less impressive robots they tried introducing. LaBeouf and Fox worked with what they had, but it still wasn’t enough to captivate audiences.
Oh yes, you read that correctly. The beloved 1978 musical has a sequel released 4 years later. And it’s awful. To be honest, I haven’t watched it and I don’t really intend to willingly.
Grease 2 stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield as Stephanie and Johnny. Stephanie, the new queen of the Pink Ladies, is over her bonehead BF Johnny, who is the leader of the T-Birds. Cue new kid, goody-two shoes Michael (who is apparently related to Sandy), to come in at the beginning of the school to shake things up between Stephanie and Johnny. There’s some flirting, some self-doubt about the new romance, a motorcycle race scene and Frenchy.
Basically this film takes the skeleton of the first movie’s plot, and tries to fill it with new music and slightly different characters. This sequel just feels cheesy, too similar to the first movie to establish itself as a true sequel and too disappointingly different to be passed off as an adaption. How could anyone think to recreate the magic that is “You’re the One That I Want”? The songs and dances, forgettable at best, are not enough to make up for the lack of John Travolta.
Admittedly, comedies like The Hangover are not my thing. It’s the kind of dumb humor that makes me cringe rather than laugh. Still, The Hangover had its moments, even for me. It’s one of the most popular modern comedies of its genre, partly because it struck a great balance of over-the-top events with realistic acting.
But part of the novelty of a film like The Hangover was that it was a once-in-a-lifetime plot. These dudes go and have a completely ridiculous time in Las Vegas before returning to the normalcy of life; the missing bachelor eventually returns home to get married and they delete the photos of what happened. So when The Hangover Part II made its way into the cinematic landscape, many knew it would be a bad sequel simply because it was too forced. This makes the over-the-top aspect way cruder and cornier, relying too much on bad jokes than on actual comedic value. Don’t even get me started on The Hangover Part III.
While it may not be as “in your face” as other suspense movies nowadays, Jaws is a true classic. The terrifying shark violence, combined with the best soundtrack ever, inspired fear in audiences all over the world. Even today, the legend of Jaws lives on in popular culture.
So that’s why we’re really confused as to why there’s a second movie? Similarly to The Hangover, they should have known to stop at the first film. Spoiler alert – killing the shark at the end means it’s over…not use the exact same premise with a different shark. It’s clear the purpose of Jaws 2 (and most sequels) was to ride the capitalistic wave of success the first film created to see how much more money could be made.
This is by and large one of the worst sequels ever made. I loved Tobey MacGuire’s Spider-Man. Shy, cute in a dorky kind of way, naturally funny – he was a great Peter Parker in the first two films and I will defend him with my dying breath. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were brilliant and well-paced films.
And then this one came along. Spider-Man 3 has got to be one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen in my life. Basically, it’s a comedy when it wasn’t supposed to be. Besides the hilarity of the black Spider-Man suit, an overwrought metaphor for the negative effects of revenge, the movie felt incredibly long. This may be that the movie had three separate villains Spidey had to deal with, and it may be that they also needed to include Peter Parker’s life beyond just fighting crime. Either way, it was a smart move to reboot the series rather than make a fourth.
Any other horrible sequels you want to rant about? Comment below!