One of the many truth’s in Hollywood is that if a movie is a success, it will most likely earn a sequel. However, many times all Hollywood can see is the potential money to be earned, and overlook the fact that the first movie simply does not need a sequel!
To me, there are three kinds of sequels. The first kind are the sequels which are intentional and thought out. The Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies, Superman II, The Harry Potter movies. These work because they were intended from the beginning. The second kind are sequels which were never intended, but they work because enough care is put into it so the product is a decent follow up (Back to the Future II & III for example) and possibly even surpasses expectations, turning out better than the original (Terminator II, Star Trek II).
The third kind are the kind I want to talk about today. The Hollywood sequel, where the is no reason for it except the fact that the original made money and is usually a horrible insult to the first movie. I could be here all day listing all the types of these that have come out over the years, but instead I want to share five specific films which I especially felt were just unnecessary and god awful to show the different ways Hollywood botches sequels.
Miss Congeniality II
This movie is terrible, but it does something that just drives me crazy! In order for it to work as a sequel it retcons the end of the first movie! One of the things in the first movie was the fact that Sandra Bullock’s character liked Benjamin Bratt’s and vice versa. They had a cute little chemistry together. The whole movie has them, specifically him, refusing to admit it. Then in the end when the criminal has been caught the two finally get together and everything is happy. Until the sequel, and since having the two together would not make an interesting story, what do they do? They have him break up with her…OVER THE PHONE! I mean, what a slap in the face to the original ending! Of course this has happened in countless other sequels, but this one really bugged me. Oh, and the rest of the movie sucked to.
City Slickers II:The Legend of Curly’s Gold
This is the kind of sequel that just makes me angry! Not only does it continue a story that didn’t need to be continued, not only does it retcon a major character death from the first movie…but they had to replace a pivotal character which just throws the whole thing off. One of the things that made the first film work was the chemistry and relationship between Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, and Bruno Kirby. Taking Kirby out and shoehorning in Jon Lovitz was just painful. Increasing Jack Palance’s role was worst. Beyond that, the movie is just bad. Horrible script, bad acting, and so on.
The Santa Clause III
This is an example of a sequel made simply as a cash grab, and the fact that it spits in the face of what is probably my favorite Christmas movie just bugs me! There is no reason for this to exist, and the film is bad. It’s full of plot holes, bad acting, and a story which is way underdeveloped. There was potential in it, but it takes forever to get to the interesting part and then it’s over in ten minutes followed by a quick resolution. Two things in this films favor is the fact that it’s mostly the same characters and actors playing them and it at least attempts to tell a new story. What if neither were the case?
Teen Wolf Too!
This is a perfect example of a sequel that just doesn’t need to exist. Basically all it is is a remake of the first movie, they just switched out Michael J.Fox for Jason Batmen and boxing for basketball. IT IS LITERALLY THE SAME MOVIE! But what’s even worst, since the characters are people we don’t know it gives us even less reason to see the thing.The point of a good sequel is to spend more time with the characters we love and advance the story of the first movie, which this totally fails.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls
Finally, this is an example of trying to recapture the magic years later and failing. Don’t you love it when a sequel is made years and years after the previous film came out? Usually because someone involved needed a paycheck. I actually wanted to see this movie when it came to theaters, alas I never did. Thank god! This movie was supposed to be a return to everything that made Indiana Jones a great movie series, and it just failed so bad! I am not even talking about the lameness of the nuking the fridge scene. What on Earth was Lucas thinking putting aliens in an Indiana Jones movie?? This movie was boring and just made me wish they had never resurrected that character.
Of course these were just five examples, I am sure I could come up with more. I am just happy that these days it seems that studios are less likely to rush a sequel into development just because the first movie made a little money.
Wait, what do mean Smurfs 2 is out in theatres?