There are many examples of movies that have become a huge success, both critically and commercially. These films have often spurned one or more sequels that are just as successful. However, there are possibly just as many examples of movie sequels that should never have been made in the first place. This either because they are nowhere near as good as the original film or because the original film was so bad that nobody should have considered a sequel. Sometimes moviegoers are expecting a terrible sequel and on other occasions, it comes as a complete surprise when a sequel is appalling. A bad sequel often becomes as much of a talking point as an outstanding and award-winning film. Along with the help of other lists out there, here are our picks for the top 20 movie sequels that should never have been made.
20. S. Darko
Movie Babble describes the original film, Donnie Darko, as a cult classic that really did not need a sequel. Richard Kelly was the writer and director of the original film, but he did not want to get involved with the sequel. This was a shame because it could have been so much better. Unfortunately, it was badly written, it had poor special effects, and it seemed to conflict with the original movie.
19. Legally Blonde II: Red, White, and Blonde
When Legally Blonde was released, it had a fun concept, an interesting lead character, and lots of humor. By the time the sequel was released, the fun seemed to have gone out of the film and it felt like they were simply stretching the original story. Buzz Feed uses examples of reviews of this film that say it was an awful reiteration of the original and that it should never have happened.
18. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
The Telegraph says that they should have left this one alone as the sequel did not replicate the wackiness that Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast achieved in the original. There were too many cameos and did not come close to the original in viewing quality.
17. Pitch Perfect 3
The first Pitch Perfect film was a lot of fun, says Buzz Feed. The same level of fun wasn’t captured in the second or third films in the series. Also, by the time the third film was released, it felt a little like they had dragged out the concept too far and it was no longer an interesting idea. It also felt like the jokes were a bit forced.
16. Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The critical response for this movie was appalling, and almost nobody gave the movie a good review. Rotten Tomatoes highlights just some of the terrible reviews received by this movie. One reviewer says that the previous two Mummy movies were a masterpiece in comparison, while another says it could win gold in a decomposition event because it is so dead. One reviewer said that it lacked supernatural chills and seemed hollow, and a further critic prayed that the franchise is finally dead.
15. Grease 2
Grease is one of the most popular and best-known musical films of all-time, so why spoil it with a sequel? It was impossible to live up to the original and the sequel certainly did not achieve that. THG describes the film as having virtually no plot and says that the music was not catchy enough to excite the audience and make them want to get up to sing and dance along. Michelle Pfeiffer rocking the leather-look was about the only decent thing about this film.
14. Batman & Robin
Even George Clooney was embarrassed about his involvement in this film, says Screen Rant, and director Joel Schumacher felt the need to apologize. Almost everything is wrong with this film to make it the worst of any Batman film ever made.
13. Terminator III: Rise of the Machines
Terminator is the role for which Arnold Schwarzenegger is best known, but it had run its course by the time it reached the third film has an IMDb rating of just 6.3 out of 10. It is possibly the fact that James Cameron left the franchise that put the death sentence on the third installment of the Terminator franchise. However, it didn’t help that Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong did not reprise their roles and that the action scenes seemed overwrought.
12. Lost Boys 2: The Tribe
Many people consider the 80s film The Lost Boys a cult movie. It wasn’t until 2008 that it was decided they should make a sequel. In some ways, it was a good time to do this, says ING. Vampires was a trending theme during the 2000s and the teens who had watched the original in the 80s would be the same age as the returning characters. Therefore, there was the hope that the sequel would attract some of the original fans along with a whole host of new fans. Sadly, it had lost the sense of fun and friendship from the first film.
11. Addams Family Reunion
The Addams Family was a fantastic family film that was filled with fun and eccentricity while following a reasonable storyline. It is hard to say the same about the sequel, Addams Family Reunion, and the film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of just 33 percent. As this film lacked structure, drama, and humor, it is little wonder that this sequel was only shown on television.
10. American Psycho II: All American Girl
IGN points out that this film was not intended as a sequel to American Psycho as it was originally a stand-alone film. After Mila Kunis was cast in the lead role, they decided to transform it into a sequel by adding in extra elements to connect it to the original American Psycho. Even Kunis did not realize it was becoming a sequel when she first signed up to the film. Perhaps it is the fact that it was not intended as a sequel that made this film so bad. Regardless, there are plenty who agree as it appears on many lists of the worst sequels ever.
9. Son of the Mask
The Mask was one of Jim Carrey’s most famous roles and the film was praised for its originality, humor, and great acting. There are many who question why it was deemed necessary to make a sequel to this film. Screen Rant describes the film as trying to recreate the comedic value of Jim Carrey without Jim Carrey and failing badly. They also say it is too far removed from the original, so it does not have the same magic and isn’t even worth watching.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The Pirates of the Caribbean series of films has been hugely popular and some of the highest grossing films of all-time. Sadly, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales did not lie up to the rest of the films in the series. One reason for this is they seem to have destroyed the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, turning from an eccentric into a lush. It was not only this character that made this film as poor as it was; Variety says that it only the faintest traces of the spark of the earlier films.
7. Terminator Genisys
Movie Babble describes the Terminator trilogy as iconic and poses the question of whether Terminator Genisys is a prequel, a sequel or a reboot. However you describe the film, it was completely unnecessary and was not a good addition to the Terminator film franchise. The storyline was weak and there were problems with the timeframe. It was rumored that the only reason the film was made was that the rights to the film were about to switch to different owners.
6. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
The Blair Witch Project was an interesting and unusual concept at the time because it was a horror story using found footage style cinematography. This captured the attention of audiences and it became one of the most successful independent films of all time, says The Telegraph. Sadly, the sequel should probably have never been released as it lacked all the elements that had made the first film a stand-out hit. The characters were also weak and unlikeable, so viewers did not connect with them as well.
5. Zoolander 2
While Zoolander was a hit, Zoolander 2 was a complete flop and received predominantly negative reviews from critics. The Guardian described Stiller and Wilson as lukewarm, and the storyline as disappointing and only reasonably funny. However, they did still say it was worth watching for some family fun.
4. The Hangover III
When Hangover hit the screens, it is widely praised for the storyline and the amount of humor in the film. The first sequel that was released was almost as funny, but not quite, and the storyline was not as strong. Things went even further downhill from there with the release of Hangover III. The Atlantic described this film as proof that comedy sequels just don’t work. It had a weak storyline that made little sense and many of those who watched the film did not find it funny at all.
3. Speed 2: Cruise Control
Speed is one of Sandra Bullock’s most famous films and it was a surprise hit at the box office. In the BBC’s opinion, Speed 2: Cruise Control fell at the first hurdle when it was released in 1997. Bullock reprised her role, but Keanu Reeves chose not to sign up for the sequel. This is one possible reason for the failure of the movie. Another is the storyline, which lacked the exhilaration of the original. The film was so bad that it was nominated for no less than eight Golden Raspberry Awards.
2. Sex and the City 2
Sex and the City as a television series was a big hit for HBO, and the movie version was also a success, says Hollywood Reporter. Sadly, the sequel didn’t quite hit the spot and it was panned by critics. One of the main reasons for this was the poor storyline that didn’t really have a plot.
1. Jaws 2
When the original Jaws was released back in 1975, moviegoers loved the combination of drama, mystery, and horror. It became a fantastic example of how suspense could grip an audience and the theme tune is one of the most famous in the world. Unfortunately, Jaws 2 never managed to thrill audiences in quite the same way. According to BBC, the sequel never lived up to its predecessor, even if it did well in the box office. The movie was panned by critics and audiences alike due to the bad acting, weak storyline, and poor special effects. Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned from this film as there were two further Jaws sequels. So we officially blame Jaws 2 for making those other two happen. Jaws 4 is literally considered one of the worst movies of all-time.
*Indiana Jones 4 is also up there as is Dumb and Dumber Too and plenty of others.