Top 10 Highlights
Sequels often work and sometimes a movie will become a franchise that delivers a river of gold to the studios, producers and key actors. But when they don’t work they are generally embarrassingly awful and the world wonders why the producers bothered. Here are the worst of the worst.
10. Grease 2
Patricia Birch made her directing debut on Grease 2 after choreographer duties on Grease. She hasn’t directed since. The original Grease took almost $400m at the box office, Grease 2 took around $15m. Hmmm. Michelle Pfeiffer played an unlikeable girls gang leader however her acting talents were obvious. The acting was otherwise ordinary. The plot was plain. The songs were awful. Grease was a classic. Grease 2 was a mess.
9. Speed 2 – Cruise Control
A bus roaring out of control down a highway can convincingly wear the title Speed. An ocean liner on cruise control? This is just a silly plot. Little wonder Speed 2 can’t get up enough steam to raise our pulse above a gentle breaststroke. Jason Patric is no Keanu Reeves, although to be fair he’s trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear, and Sandra Bullock ends up doing some things she would rather forget (watch out for the chainsaw scene). The script is terrible and whatever tension is built is dispersed by the unbelievable. An ocean liner can’t slide across a beach staying upright. Bad, bad, bad.
8. The Ring 2
The Ring had atmosphere, tension, a strong plot and plenty of real scares. The Ring 2 fails to do anything with the plot which means the atmosphere starts to dissipate. However the main problem is that it’s just not that scary. If atmosphere and tension are missing it makes fear that much harder to generate. As a ghost story it might work, but as a horror story it’s a big disappointment after the incredible original.
7. Taken 2
It’s one thing to end up with a dud movie because of a second rate cast and lack of budget. It’s quite another when the cast is good, the writers are good and there’s a reasonable budget. On reflection Taken 1 worked, but perhaps only just. Liam Neeson bordered on wooden in the first film. In this one he crosses the line. Same with the fight scenes. In the first one he was believable. In this one he doesn’t seem capable of winning the fisty-cuffs. The hand held cut, cut, cut of the action scenes emphasises this perception and is way overdone. You don’t actually see him landing a blow, instead getting sore eyes from trying to follow the action. Totally annoying. Nothing is believable. Neeson giving his wife directions through a Turkish market that a local couldn’t follow much less someone who has never been there before. Contact stretches of the imagination just to allow the plot to progress. Enough is enough. Yuk!
6. The Butterfly Effect 2
Wooden acting, no tension or release and the central element of the movie (time travel) is not set up properly. It’s dull, unbelievable, poorly executed and basically so bad it’s difficult not to turn it off. It was very, very disappointing to see such a great original movie treated so badly in the sequel.
5. Caddyshack 2
Sometimes a film can go either way. Call it chemistry, call it luck. The first Caddyshack worked. The silly jokes were well delivered and well timed, the gopher was likeable, the actors sparkled. Caddyshack 2 didn’t work. Other than a few good moments the silly jokes were just silly jokes and poorly timed, the gopher was annoying and the actors tried but struggled with the script and jokes. It was also done 8 years after the original which was probably too long. Strike while the iron’s hot and you can keep everyone on board and on song.
4. Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd
A sequel with none of the original cast in it is pretty much always bad. Bad is one thing, absolutely unwatchable is another. This rehashes old jokes, badly. The acting is lifeless. The plot, script and direction are terrible. Dumb and Dumber with Carrey was a lot of fun. This is torture.
3. Blues Brothers 2000
Some films just shouldn’t have sequels. The Blues Brothers is one of them. Imagine a sequel to Withnail and I. It’s just ludicrous. Having the same plot is not necessarily a problem, and the songs can be great, but they were always going to struggle to replicate the feeling of the original and yes, they did need to replicate the feeling of the original. Without the magic BB essence it’s just another half good film with some car chases and music.
2. Son of the Mask
It says a lot about Jaws – The Revenge that this film is at number 2. This is an absolute disaster. With Jim Carrey the original Mask was in good hands and everything integrated very nicely. Here nothing works. Jamie Kennedy has talent but he simply doesn’t have Carey’s cartoon craziness and rubber face. He also has to battle a totally lacklustre script, ridiculous plot and second rate acting from his colleagues. The special effects are also poorly done. Like the next entry this is a case of the studios trying to make a buck and shooting themselves squarely in the foot. Don’t see it, not even to see how bad it is.
1. Jaws – The Revenge
A shark that knows where Ellen Brody is going and does the 2,000 miles to the Bahamas as fast as Ellen does it in a jet. A shark that looks like it overdid its last botox treatment it’s so expressionless; and moves like it’s been smoking a joint. Even worse, a shark that roars. This is ludicrous stuff and the ending is even worse. To expect an audience to swallow all this and happily enjoy themselves is simply insulting. Michael Caine must have wondered what he had got himself into. Average acting all round. This is not only the worst sequel of all time, it may well be the worst movie of all time full stop.