The word sequel has become one of the most dreaded words in a film fan's universe. We've been put through so many bad sequels over the years that it's almost an expectation that anything after an original film will be terrible. Now, we all know that not all sequels are bad. Many fans prefer Godfather II to the original. Plenty accept that Terminator II is a better film than Terminator. We've all seen Scream. We know the classic argument. A sequel being better is rare, but we're not here to trash all sequels. We're not the type of people who say that sequels ruin the original films. If we don't like a sequel or we feel it tarnishes the films before it, we just refuse to watch it. The sequels that we're interested in here are the ones that mix up information from the original films. In many of these cases, it's almost as if the writers didn't watch the originals or forgot important information. Oversights like these are worth discussing.
While many of the sequels on this list just seemed oblivious to the films that came before them, some just tried to rewrite information from the original films. This type of move should be outlawed because it changes and even cheapens the previous films. Even though we don't appreciate when a sequel undoes much of what the previous films worked for, such as Newt being killed in Alien 3 after the entire film of Aliens centered around her survival, at least that sequel acknowledged her existence. The films on this list were not as accommodating. Here are 15 Sequels That Embarrassingly Confused Details from the Original.
15 Transformers: The Last Knight
It would take up far too much space to go over all the ways that the Transformers franchise continues to rewrite its own history. The writers and minds behind these films seriously don't even try to have this all add up. The Autobots were not familiar with Earth, then they were. They first came to Earth shortly before the events of the first film, then we learned they were here long before, then it was before the pyramids, then during the time of the dinosaurs, then they just made the Earth into one giant transformer. Bumblebee's voice was damaged, then he could talk, then he was just faking, then he could talk again, then it was damaged again, and then he could talk again. We're not sure when Megatron was frozen and when he wasn't. We're not sure why the military doesn't seem to remember ever working with massive talking robots. The only thing we're certain of is that Michael Bay and his team have no idea what's going on, but people still continue to watch this crap.
14 James Bond OHMSS
There is so little continuity between the James Bond films that it might be easier to list what is consistent rather than what is not. But, we won't do that. Instead, we will focus on one small mistake that is funniest to us. In the last Sean Connery Bond film, You Only Live Twice, Bond meets the evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld. This is the first time that Bond or we, the audience, see the criminal mastermind's face. Then, in the next film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond and Blofeld meet again but Blofeld doesn't recognize 007. Now, some have said that the reason he doesn't recognize him is because George Lazenby took over the role. Others point to the popular fan theory of 007 being a different man each time. Really, the answer is simple. The novels were released in the opposite order. Roald Dahl, the screenwriter for You Only Live Twice, made some changes to the source material, while the writer for the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service stayed true to the source. In the source for OHMSS, Bond and Blofeld were meeting for the first time, so the script honored that meeting. You would think the screenwriter would do a quick look-see at the last film, but nah, he had already been paid. He made it. Why worry about tiny details when you're rich?
13 Shrek II
To be quite honest, Shrek II didn't overlook any details from the original film, but it did eliminate a lot of the punch from the original. This is often the case with sequels that answer questions raised in the originals. We're imaginative creatures and, despite what Hollywood may think, we like mysteries. One of the most beautiful mysteries in Shrek was whether or not Princess Fiona was originally human or originally an ogre. The film left it ambiguous for a reason because it didn't matter how she started; it mattered how she ended. The form she took would be the form of whoever she fell in love with. She says herself that she can't remember ever being one or the other. Yet, when Shrek II came out, the filmmakers just gave us a definitive answer—she was human. Case closed. So, no, the filmmakers didn't confuse details of the plot, but they did confuse details of what made the original Princess Fiona so effective.
12 Blair Witch II: The Book Of Shadows
Even though we typically ignored films that "ruined" the original films because we don't typically believe that can happen, we chose to include Blair Witch II: The Book of Shadows because this pile of manure called a film seemed to actively go out of its way to disparage The Blair Witch Project. Everything that made the original great, the found footage, the minimalistic and realistic approach, and the amateurish quality was completely thrown out the window for the sequel. So desperate to capitalize on the buzz of the original, the studios got to work on the sequel right away, even though the creators of the original weren't ready. Rather than wait, the studios forged on with new people at the helm. The result was disastrous. Even worse, they erased the "could-be-real" feel of the original by blatantly stating that The Blair Witch Project was a film. Listen, we all knew it wasn't real. But don't go spitting on our mirage.
11 The Exorcist II: The Heretic
After the colossal success of the original Exorcist film, the studios were begging the minds behind the film to make a sequel. Since neither William Peter Blatty nor William Friedkin wanted anything to do with it, they brought on some outsiders who set out to make a cheaper film that covered the same ground as the first. The problem is that they ignored important details. Most importantly, they confused the church's stance in the film. In The Exorcist, Lankester Merrin and Father Damien Karras were allowed to perform an exorcism because of the overwhelming evidence of possession. The church was completely aware of what they were doing. Yet, in the sequel, the church states that Merrin and Karras acted on their own and against the wishes of the church. Hogwash.
Truly, we wanted to avoid including the X-Men films because time travel throws a wrench in continuity. It's the same reason why we didn't include the Terminator films or anything like that. Still, no amount of time travel can explain all the changes between X-Men films. When did Wolverine get his adamantium skeleton? When did Hank McCoy create the cure or the mutant serum? Are Mystique and Xavier childhood friends or not? How old is Striker, Xavier, Magneto, Scott Summers, Emma Frost, or Moira McTaggert? Make up your damn minds, X-Men films.
9 Cube 2: Hypercube
The low-budget film Cube was a low-key beauty. If you were one of the lucky ones to watch this sci-fi film with no expectations, you were probably blown away. It was confusing, subtle, and grounded in mathematics. There wasn't necessarily an answer to what was going on, but there was reason, even if it was complex and difficult to wrap your head around. Then, the second film came out, Cube 2: Hypercube, and did what all sequels are forced to do—raise the stakes. In order to make the sequel bigger and "better," Cube 2 turned the physically and mathematically sound cube into something of a four-dimensional theoretical space. Rather than have mathematical principles govern each room, the rooms in Cube 2 were not bound by logic or reason or anything like that. Although apologists might argue that everything is based on time and space, it's a load of baloney. The creators just used that as an excuse to do whatever they pleased.
8 Pirates Of The Caribbean At World's End
Our big beef is really with the third film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, At World's End, because it rewrites one of the coolest parts in the second film, Dead Man's Chest. In that second film, we learn that Davy Jones cut out his own heart so that he would not have to feel the pain or guilt for what he did to his old love, Calypso. Neat. However, this then becomes a plot device for the latter films that whoever captains the Flying Dutchman must cut out their own heart and keep it in a chest. Now, the film makes it into a love sacrifice type of thing, but still, it totally defeats the purpose of the original heart-cutting.
7 Son Of The Mask
The film The Mask is one of those films that everyone loved years ago, but it seems to be forgotten about. Maybe this is because the other Jim Carrey films of that era trump it, but we loved it then and still do. In the original, the actual mask was a mysterious thing. There's a scene with an expert who thinks it might depict the god Loki and somehow contained his spirit, causing the wearer of the mask to become as mischievous as the god of Mischief. But nothing is known for certain. At the end of the film, the mask is thrown into the river and forgotten. All this mystery is completely ignored in the sequel, Son of the Mask. In this sequel, the mask (or a replica of it) is in a museum and people know all about it. There's an exhibit that talks about it and the guy doing the tour, the Loki mask expert, is the same guy who basically knew nothing about it in the first film.
6 Dumb And Dumber To
The original Dumb and Dumber was really good. Breaking it all down is not needed. Still, we're going to break it down, at least a little. One of the reasons why Dumb and Dumber was so effective was because it centered around two well-meaning men, who were just so weird and so unintelligent that they stood out. Their jokes might have come across rude, but they didn't intend them to be that way. They just weren't bright enough to see the offensiveness. In the sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, the stars are still weird and wacky but so is everyone else. They don't feel as strange in this world because the entire world is strange. Their humor, therefore, changes as well. Since they are no longer the stupidest guys in the room, their jokes come across as mean-spirited. They're not innocent anymore. They're just mean.
5 Poltergeist II
Even though we hear some heathens criticizing the original Poltergeist and saying that the film is overrated, we fully believe that this is one of the best films made in the '80s. One of the best parts of the film is that we feel safe because of the experts who are brought in. At first, we have the team of parapsychologists come in. They stay with the family and don’t come and go in order to build tension. This team decides that they need to bring in the big guns, so they call in the too-legit-to-quit medium, Tangina Barrons. There is something special about Tangina. She's unique. We feel like she has the answers, and we can trust her expertise. In the sequel, Poltergeist II, however, Tangina's gifts are not special at all. In fact, pretty much everyone has them. First, it's Grandma Jess. Then, she tells the family that both Diane and Carol Anne are clairvoyants too. Talk about diluting the medium powers.
4 Damien: Omen II
Let's fast-forward through the incredible film, The Omen, to the very end. So, Damien's parents die, and we're at the funeral. It's there and then that we learn that Damien is now in the custody of his dad's best friend, the President of the United States. Dun dun dun. Cue Damien: Omen II. But this one didn't go in the direction we thought they would. Instead of launching off where the last one ended, the sequel totally ignored it. Instead, it had Damien in the custody of his newfound uncle, an industrialist named Richard Thorn. Then, in the third film, Damien tries to halt the Second Coming of Christ. In the end, he fails and Christ is reborn bringing peace to Earth. Until the next sequel that is. All of sudden, the Second Coming means nothing because a new antichrist can be born and restart the same cycle.
3 Rambo: First Blood Part II
Aside from maybe having the stupidest name of any film, Rambo: First Blood Part II is almost completely anti-Rambo. The original film was a really thoughtful story about the harms of war and PTSD. Rambo doesn't want to kill. He hates what the war has done to him and is just trying to survive. In the end, he breaks down and surrenders rather than go down fighting. Then, the sequel comes and Rambo is turned into this vicious killer who takes down an army all by himself. Sadly, that's what many people think John Rambo was now, a ruthless killer. Really, he was just a survivalist in the wrong place at the wrong time.
2 Rocky V And Rocky Balboa
The Rocky franchise has a number of weird inconsistencies, but the most glaring come in Rocky V and Rocky Balboa. One of the most eye-catching continuity mistakes, but also one that we will forgive because it happens all the time, is that Rocky's son ages about 10 years between Rocky IV and V. Considering V begins right after IV ended, many fans had a hearty laugh about the overnight growth. The most crucial error, however, happens after in Rocky Balboa. At the beginning of Rocky V, we learn that the fight against Ivan Drago in IV left Rocky with permanent brain damage. Later in that film, Rocky returns to the ring and takes about five rounds of a vicious beatdown, as is tradition. This likely exacerbated Rocky's brain damage. The next film, Rocky Balboa, takes place years later. We can only assume that Rocky's brain is pudding by this point, but the filmmakers decided to totally ignore this fact so that they could have Rocky fight again. Surely, one punch to the cranium would have killed the old-timer, but no, he goes 10 full rounds.
1 Highlander II
There is a very good case to be made that Highlander II is the worst film sequel of all time. Hell, it might be the worst film of all time. Period. There may never be another film that is so oblivious to an original again. The first Highlander was great. It was about a man from the Scottish Highlands who is the last of a long line of Immortals. The tagline for the film was "There Can Be Only One." The origins of the Immortals got a touch convoluted in the film, but the point was still clear—the Highlanders must fight to the death because there can only be one. Then, Highlander II: The Quickening came out. They decided to give these guys a backstory that totally went against everything the original set up. The Immortals were actually aliens. There could be more than one. Sean Connery's character was super immortal and could regenerate. It was so bad that every movie in the franchise after the second completely ignored that it ever happened.
Sources: Wikipedia; IMDB; Rotten Tomatoes; Metacritic; youtube