Top Ten Worst Sequels
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It’s Friday so that means Top Ten time. Last week I posted my top ten best movie sequels (which you can find here). Now let’s explore the other side…the more darker side. Some rules here. No direct-to-DVD/video sequels are allowed, that’s too easy. Also, in order to make this list, the movie needs to be a sequel to a good movie or at least one I found enjoyable.
10. Spider-Man 3 (2007)/X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Okay, so I cheated. There are eleven movies on this list. Consider it your This Is Spinal Tap moment for today. It was really hard to pick between the two. The first one in their trilogies were very good and the second installments are all Top 10 in the comic book movie genre. These, however, were absolutely terrible. With Spider-Man 3, Sam Raimi was forced to use Venom, a character that could have carried two-thirds of a trilogy on its own. Here, we get a rushed treatment of not only Venom, but of also Gwen Stacy. Speaking of which, we get more of Kirsten Dunst’s awful Mary Jane. Oh, and Emo dancing Peter Parker. A dancing. Emo. Peter Parker. Let’s not mention the re-writing of Ben Parker’s death. That’s the biggest thing wrong with the movie.
With X-Men: The Last Stand, we get Brett Ratner (ugh!) replacing Bryan Singer, more of Halle Berry’s terrible portrayal of Storm, and an inexplicably rushed “Dark Phoenix Saga,” one of the best stories in comic book history. Rather than focusing on the return of Jean Grey as The Phoenix, that story is going along side -by-side with “The Cure” storyline, which sees mutants taking a drug that removes their powers. The movie pays dearly for these decisions. Let’s not forget the laughable music (remember when Angel first shows his wings?). Why are they both here? They promptly ended what were great series, both looking to get the reboot treatment soon.
9. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
Movies based on video games, by definition, aren’t good. It’s seemingly impossible to make a good movie out of them. In fact, if there’s one that is good, let me know. While 1995’s Mortal Kombat isn’t a great piece of art, it’s a fun and martial arts movie. Not the case here. The most likable character from the first movie is killed off in the first five minutes. Lots of re-casting (not for the better, either. What happened Christopher Lambert??). Add that to horrendous special effects, especially during the “climatic” final battle, it’s not a good mixture at all. I saw this movie opening night (I was young, forgive me) and to quote my friend, “I want to throw my Coke at the screen.” The packed theatre agreed. That’s how bad it was.
8. Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
This should have been called, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation in Europe.” The Ocean’s Eleven remake was a fresh, funny, and very cool movie. The gang all returned and they added the beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones. It was all set for another cool movie. They failed to deliver. Instead, we get the cast walking around as if to say, “look how cool we are.” Even when they spend a good chunk of the movie in a jail cell. Then there’s the now infamous bit where Julia Roberts’ character Tess pretends to be…wait for it…Julia Roberts! It certainly looked like they all had making the movie. So much fun that there wasn’t any left for the audience. Thankfully, Ocean’s Thirteen brought back the fun and returned most of the cast to Vegas where they belong.
7. Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
1986’s Highlander was such a cool movie. It was about sword fighting immortals fighting one another for “the prize,” which is more power than any man who ever existed. What more could you ask for? A sequel? Oh no. Like with Spider-Man 3, this movie completely re-writes its own mythos. The immortals weren’t just men, they were aliens from the planet Zeist! This is something conveniently completely forgotten by Conner MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and something his mentor Ramirez (Sean Connery) somehow fails to mention in the first movie. Naturally, a bad guy named General Katana (Michael Ironside) returns to try to finish of MacLeod once and for all. And we get a plotline about the ozone layer. Yup.
6. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
This time it’s personal! That tagline always makes me laugh. This is the worst movie on the list, but with Jaws 3-D (though 3-D has no connection to the rest of the series) not being any good and my wanting to spotlight other movies, it falls to here. Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) believes that a shark is stalking her family. Her suspicions are confirmed as when she goes to the Bahamas, a great white shark shows up! What on earth is Michael Caine doing in this? Everything about this is terrible. There is just no other word to describe it. Here’s a video you might like: “RAWR! I’m a shark monster!” That’s seriously the end of the movie. No. Really.
5. Batman & Robin (1997)
Like Jaws: The Revenge, I wanted to showcase a few others (and Batman Forever wasn’t any good, either), so this one one drops to the fifth spot. It doesn’t hurt that George Clooney will give you some cash over this movie as well. Joel Schumacher finally finished his destruction of a once strong franchise with this stinker. It’s a shame because I do think that Clooney, given the right material, could have been a good Batman (he already was a good choice for Bruce Wayne). It was not meant to be. We get Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, Uma Thurman not having any clue how to play Poison Ivy, and a completely de-balled Bane. Of course, there’s Arnold Schwarzenegger completely miscast as Mr Freeze. Oh, there’s nipples on the Batsuit. Only good thing about this? It led to Christopher Nolan’s masterpieces.
4. Grease 2 (1982)
I have to come out and say it: I love Grease. Sure it’s silly, but it’s a ton of fun and those songs will get stuck in your head all day. It was a huge hit, so we need a sequel. What a bad decision. Frenchie (Didi Conn) returns to finish out school and watches over Sandy’s cousin Michael (Maxwell Caulfield). The T-Birds are back in a new incarnation. Long gone are Danny and Kenickie, instead we get a bunch of comic reliefs. The Pink Ladies are also back, but they are completely forgettable and unworthy of the title. This is much more blatantly sexual (with songs called “Let’s Do It For Our Country” and “Reproduction”) than the original. Grease is more innuendo laden, but even as a young kid, I completely understood what was going on here in Grease 2. Aside from a young Michelle Pfeiffer (look-wise only, not performance), the only thing worth while is the song “Back to School Again” performed by the legendary Four Tops.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
2007 was a tough year for the end of trilogies, wasn’t it? First you had Spider-Man 3. I didn’t even bother with Shrek 3. Then you had this. I gave Dead Man’s Chest a pass. I was underwhelmed by it, but I figured it was going to be a nice stepping stone to what was to be an epic third installment. I was wrong. Very wrong. Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow spends most of the movie having a bad acid trip and/or a mental breakdown. Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner is still a lame character. What is up with the Calypso storyline? THAT was the payoff? And why did it take them so long to get to Jack. It takes them about an hour in an overly long movie. They seemed to forget what made the first one so great: the fun. Here they make the worst mistake of all: a boring movie.
2. Caddyshack II (1988)
Caddyshack is one of the best comedies of all-time. It’s one of those movies every guy knows (and if you don’t, get on the ball, gentlemen). The sequel comes around and the original cast is nearly all gone (aside from an extended Chevy Chase cameo where he’s sleepwalking to cash his check in at the bank). Gone are Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and Ted Knight. In their place? Jackie Mason (who personifies whatever the opposite of funny is), Robert Stack, and a bumbling Dan Aykroyd. If the original is one of the best comedies ever, this is one of the absolute worst. It just isn’t funny. Oh, and the gopher (Bill Murray’s nemesis in the original)? He can talk now. We know it’s a “he” because he flirts with a female poodle at the end. Yeah.
1. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
In 1999, The Matrix hit the scene and we were all blown away. The effects were outstanding (even earning an Oscar), it had amazing fight scenes, and the plot was actually something worth following. I know! The sequels came along and I know I wasn’t the only one to be absolutely stoked by it. What a let down. We get a sweaty rave, lots of techno music, and a ton of would-be religious preaching. We get it. Neo’s a reluctant messiah. I don’t think we need to be reminded of this over and over again. Worst of all it ends on a cliffhanger. A movie ends on a CLIFFHANGER. It is not a stand alone movie like The Empire Strikes Back or Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers are. You need to see the third movie immediately. Too bad it came out six months later. And I wasn’t remotely interested anymore. I finally saw The Matrix Revolutions this year. It’s probably an even worse movie than Reloaded, but like I said, I didn’t care. Reloaded was so bad, I didn’t bother to see how the story ended until nearly seven years later.
That’s my list? Did I miss anything? Completely disagree with the placement of a movie on this list or the order? Let me know!
I’ll be back again on Monday with a review of Let the Right One In. I’m really excited to finally see it. Next Wednesday will be another Hall of Fame induction. And Friday, I’ll be back with another Top Ten (I’m thinking it’ll consist of the most badass women in movies).