There are a lot of movies out there that have amazing sequels. A well made sequel can help further expand the universe, helping you fall more in love with the characters in a franchise. As a result, you may also hope that the sequel will bring something original and fresh to a concept that they know people love.
Unfortunately, a lot of sequels fall victim to being just absolutely awful. Sometimes there is clearly a lack of effort being put into the sequel because they know that people will probably pay for it anyway. That just leads to a bigger disappointment when a franchise that you used to love, is now a shell of its former self.
Some of the worst sequels are the ones that come out years after the original came out. At that point you have to wonder what their value of is, knowing that the primary audience that saw the original have all aged right along with the characters. Sure, sometimes that can work (like with the new Star Wars) but a lot of the time it just feels sad to see actors try and relive characters from their youth.
It can be even worse when a movie gets a “sequel,” but much of the primary cast or behind the scenes talent has moved on to other projects. Here’s a hint: if your main star doesn’t want to come back, maybe start to ask yourself why that is.
Other times studios will get things perfectly with their second film, but falter down the stretch, and the result can be films that completely tarnish the overall legacy. No matter what your favorite film is, let’s hope that if there is a sequel out there for it, it is one you enjoy. If not, let’s hope you can come across some form to help forget that the sequel ever existed.
If you didn’t know a sequel to one of your favorite movies did not exist until you saw it on this list…I’m sorry.
10. Taken 2/3
When the first Taken came out, its success was not expected, as people absolutely fell in love with it! In hindsight, how could you not? It’s Liam Neeson kicking some serious ass all over the screen. Not to mention the entire new audience who did not realize Neeson had been kicking ass for countless years before. So what does Hollywood do? They decide to make two more of them, because it was completely necessary (except it totally wasn’t). Not only are the other two not nearly as good, but they ruined the coolness of the first one. Talk about a huge disappointment.
9. Most Disney Sequels
I absolutely love Disney movies. How can you not? I suppose if you don’t have a heart or soul…but I do, so they are A-okay with me! That being said, I am totally okay with pretending that some of the sequels to Disney movies just don’t exist. There are sequels to almost all of them, my least favorite being Mulan 2 which centers around Mulan being the fiancee of General Shang. I mean, if there is no motivating song about looking at your reflection, then what’s the point? I understand that you want to try and re-kindle part of the childhood nostalgia of the original, but instead you’re altering my classics and it should stop.
8. American Psycho 2
American Psycho is a fantastic film. Wonderfully acted by Christian Bale, it’s a chilling tale that keeps you engaged as an audience. What makes the sequel awful? Well, part of is the fact that it is absolutely not necessary. If you know Christian Bale is not coming back, why not just make another film? Nope, let’s make American Psycho 2 and let’s cast Mila Kunis. Perhaps the scariest thing about the film is also that it features William Shatner. Don’t get me wrong, I can get behind Shatner, but he doesn’t exactly seem like a logical casting choice. The fact that this was a direct-to-DVD release is embarrassing and we can’t believe it exists.
7. Son Of The Mask
Jim Carrey was absolutely on fire in the early 90s. Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar, The Mask, the list of classic films is plentiful. That is why it should perhaps be no shock that Carrey wanted absolutely nothing to do with the “sequel” Son of the Mask. If you didn’t know this existed, I am sorry that now you do. It’s like The Mask, but it removed Carrey and all of the humour. It also stars Jamie Kennedy so…it has that going for it? To make matters worse, the film came out in 2005, nine years after the first one. Give me a break, Hollywood…
6. Dumb and Dumber To
The first Dumb and Dumber is one of the best comedies out there. So of course it led the way for some awful sequels. The sequel, Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd came out in 2003 and was poorly received by critics. While it had some laughs, it seemed completely unnecessary given that it was almost 10 years after the original. To make matters worse, they made another one in 2014, cleverly titled Dumb and Dumber To. The film was awful, just awful, and is not worth sitting through. Knowing it exists really does make the first one seem a lot worse.
5. Transformers 2, 3 and 4
When the first Transformers came out in 2007 it was a smashing success. It raked in $709 million at the box office, and of course led the way for several sequels. I’ll mention the second one, but honestly all of the sequels to Transformers are just awful. I mean awful, they get confusing or feel tedious and the explosions just aren’t worth it. Not to mention the franchise got to that awful point where they needed to recast the two leads, and picked Mark Wahlberg who clearly didn’t care because the last film is awful too. Really too bad when you consider the hype that surrounded the series after the first one.
4. The Hangover 2
In hindsight, it is incredible to think about how popular The Hangover got. The film helped restart the career of Mike Tyson, helped put Zach Galifianakis on the map and reminded the world that Bradley Cooper is ridiculously good looking. The film was great, and had some great quotable moments. The sequels are everything that is wrong in a movie. They take the same jokes from the first one, slightly alter them, put them in a new environment and repeat. It’s lazy writing for a sequel (and eventually a 3rd) that really should have just stopped after the first one. I get the appeal to make more, I just wish they were y’know…good.
3. Anchorman 2
Anchorman 2 falls into the same trap that a lot of comedies do. The first one is a huge hit (and well deserving of its success), gets a big following and as a result an unnecessary sequel is created that really hurts the original. The second Anchorman is full of jokes that run on too long, and features the bastardization of some of your favorite characters from the original. Once again, another sequel that also came out years and years after the first one. No amount of fun cameos or a fun performance by Kristen Wiig were enough to save this film.
2. Jingle All The Way 2
Given that it is December, it would not be possible to complete this list without putting at least one Christmas movie on here. The biggest offender of being an awful sequel falls to Larry the Cable Guy (shocking) and Jingle All The Way 2. The sequel, which of course was not needed, came out in 2014…18 years after the first one. Not to mention with no Arnold. you’re really just wasting the audience’s time. The film was a direct-to-DVD but I would love to know what was going through their minds when they were making this. Could they honestly think it was going to work? Bah, humbug.
*author note: Jingle All The Way is my favorite Christmas movie.
1. Spiderman 3
Spiderman 3 made me the most disappointed I have ever been leaving the theater. What a colossal pile of awfulness combined into one film. The film tried to combine too many villains and elements and they did none of them justice. As a result, it was a mess, and involved a really awkward dancing number by Tobey Maguire that can still haunt your dreams. Given that the film also crapped all over Venom, one of the best villains out there, it is clear why it belongs on this list. I wonder how good the franchise could have been had they dedicated a fourth film to Venom, and only had a small build up in the third one.