These 10 movie sequels were all made because the originals were hits or, if not immediately successful at the box office, built a cult following. Instead of taking a chance on a new idea, some stuffed-shirt studio executive lazily attempted to capitalize upon the originals and put these into production.
These movies should’ve been left on the editing-room floor and are not worth the time it takes to watch them — unless, of course, you enjoy B movies so bad they’re actually kind of fun to watch.
“THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY” (2012)
With the subsequent “The Desolation of Smaug” (2013) and “The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014) to complete this new trilogy, Peter Jackson, the nerd king/director of “The Lord Of The Rings” franchise, really went overboard by stretching the 310-page children’s book into a nine-plus hour trilogy nearly the same length as the previous epics. “The Hobbit” does trace the history of Middle Earth for hundreds of years before “LOTR,” but it still didn’t need to be bloated into three movies when it was just one book. Movies are supposed to somehow condense literature — not bloat it to ridiculous proportions.
“THE GODFATHER: PART III” (1990)
Maybe comparing two of the best genre and all-around films ever made to this third outing is unfair, but director Francis Ford Coppola felt the need to make another, so it’s fair game. And it stunk all on its own. Following the iconic final scene of “Godfather II,” when Corleone family boss Michael is seen sitting alone in obvious discontent, is where the saga should have ended.
“BLUES BROTHERS 2000” (1998)
It wasn’t even released in 2000! And with comedy genius John Belushi dead, the characters he helped bring to life were just lame in the sequel to the 1980 original. The first movie also gained popularity through a cult following, but this follow-up was fatefully marketed as a big blockbuster. It just didn’t work all the way around. Maybe the best thing about the whole movie was the music — and maybe they should have just left the storyline out altogether.
“JAWS 2” (1978)
The original was a box office smash in 1975 and director Steven Spielberg’s first big hit. But making a sequel was probably a bad idea, I mean, seriously, what was Spielberg thinking? That audiences would believe there are even more killer sharks in the ocean? That’s a little bit of a stretch, and so was the sequel from the excellent original.
“STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE” (1999)
This was one of the most anticipated reboots/prequels of all-time to the blockbuster original franchise. The last of the first series was released in 1983, and maybe the saga should have ended there. This first film of the prequel trilogy looked nothing like the originals, had not a scintilla of their suspense and was just boring, not to mention grating to older fans, thanks to its pandering to kids and that damn Jar Jar Binks on the scene.
“SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL” (1997)
Even though the adorable Sandra Bullock came back, the sequel was made without the equally attractive Keanu Reeves. The sequel to the 1994 blockbuster lacked the tension that made the first one exciting. Maybe having to keep an ocean liner in open water at a certain speed just wasn’t as compelling as a bus in Los Angeles freeway traffic, which made the original such a fun, addictive action movie. And, come on, don’t act like you turn “Speed” off when you see it on cable.
“CADDYSHACK II” (1988)
After the huge success of the 1980 original, some hack Hollywood executive said, “Let’s see how can we get more money out of this story.” It was done in the easiest way possible by bringing back the annoying gopher and sarcastic Chevy Chase … except it didn’t work the second time.
“GREASE 2” (1982)
Michelle Pfeiffer as a bad girl was maybe the best — and only thing — to come from this 1960s-set sequel to the original musical. The story is about an English foreign exchange student who likes Pfeiffer, but is too nerdy to get with the head of a girl’s gang whose members only date greasers.
“MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI” (1979)
Somehow, a story about nostalgia of recent college grads, the Vietnam War and social strife of the mid- to late-1960s wasn’t as compelling or interesting as reminiscing about the early years of the decade and high-school cruising. Plus, Ron Howard had that dumb-looking mustache in the sequel and one guy went off to fight overseas. “More” just lacked the innocence and fun of the first and is actually pretty bad.
“INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL” (2008)
Maybe one of the most-anticipated sequels in many years, this movie really disappointed. There’s just something annoying and unlikable about Shia LaBeouf, too, even with the super-awesome Indiana played by Harrison Ford around. But the heartthrob LaBeouf isn’t why the move was terrible — the film was thrown together with a badly thought-out story and characters you didn’t care about … save for Indiana, of course.
“SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT II” (1980)
What an ignominious clunker for acting legend Jackie Gleason to have toward the end of his resume. He was simply awesome as New York City bus driver Ralph Kramden on “The Honeymooners” and as pool shark Minnesota Fats in “The Hustler.” Incredibly, he also made a third go-round as Sheriff Buford T. Justice! All three “Bandit” films had the same racing-to-beat-the-law-there plot device, but in the second film, Burt Reynolds’ Bandit was transporting an elephant — to the GOP National Convention, mind you — with Justice hot on his tail.
“WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S II” (1993)
Yes, Bernie was still dead in this sequel to the 1989 sleeper hit, so how its script and production ever got green-lit makes very little sense. The old, decaying body stench problem was solved in development by briefly bringing Bernie back to life through a voodoo ceremony. Naturally.
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.