Ever Wondered Which Movie Sequels Should Have Never Been Made?
Are you ready for a blast from the past that might leave you saying, “Oh, no, not that one”?
Have you ever walked out of a movie theatre, shaking your head, thinking, “Well, that wasn’t as good as the first one!”? If you nodded yes, you’ve probably been a victim of a bad movie sequel. We all have!
While movie sequels can be just as thrilling, if not more, than their predecessors, sometimes they miss the mark completely. They’re like the difficult second album for a band that had a hit debut. Everyone’s waiting to see if they can do it again, but the magic just isn’t there.
From superheroes to space invaders, from models to man-eating sharks, we’ve seen it all. So, let us check sequels that didn’t live up to our expectations.
“Highlander 2: The Quickening”
Imagine my surprise when I recently sat down to watch “Highlander 2: The Quickening”. I remembered the original “Highlander” movie fondly for its unique blend of history, fantasy, and adrenaline-fueled action. The sequel, however, was a different story altogether!
“Highlander 2” was released in 1991 as a follow-up to the 1986 film “Highlander”. The original movie told an intriguing story of immortal warriors, with a brilliant performance from Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, the Highlander himself. It had its own distinct charm and appeal, providing a compelling mythology of immortality, historical drama, and sword-wielding action.
But then came “Highlander 2.” In a wild departure from the original, the sequel decided to explain the immortals’ origin by turning them into aliens from the planet Zeist! Not only did this defy the enchanting mystery of the original, but it also turned the plot into a convoluted mess.
The story felt confusing, the characters lacked depth, and the dialogue was downright cheesy. The film was heavily criticized for its poor storyline, inconsistencies with the original, and lackluster execution.
Watching “Highlander 2” was, unfortunately, a disappointing experience. However, it didn’t dampen my appreciation for the original film, which stands strong with its captivating story and timeless appeal. The original “Highlander” movie was imaginative, thrilling, and had a sense of epic grandeur that the sequel simply couldn’t replicate.
That’s why I think the original “Highlander” deserves a reboot. Despite the missteps of “Highlander 2”, the concept of the immortal warriors battling through the ages still holds a lot of potentials.
A reboot, if done correctly, could recapture the original’s magic while updating it for a new generation. There’s so much history and fantasy to explore within the “Highlander” universe, and I believe a talented team could bring this story back to life in an exciting way.
“Jaws: The Revenge”
After the massive success of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” in 1975, everyone was clamoring for more. However, by the time the fourth film “Jaws: The Revenge” hit the screen in 1987, it seemed like the franchise had jumped the shark – and not in a good way!
In “Jaws: The Revenge”, the plot veers off into truly strange territory. Ellen Brody, widow of Chief Martin Brody from the first two films, believes that a great white shark is targeting her family out of revenge. Yes, you read it right! She is convinced that this killer shark is following her clan all the way from New England to the Bahamas, seeking vengeance.
There’s so much to poke holes in with “Jaws: The Revenge”. The shark roars like a lion, which is puzzling because, well, sharks don’t roar. It also seems to have a strange telepathic connection with Ellen. And let’s not forget the infamous scene where the shark stands vertically out of the water!
The film was rushed into production without a finished script, and it shows. Not only does it lack the tension and horror of the original, but the storyline is also illogical and the special effects are underwhelming. The performances feel forced, and the direction lacks the sharp, suspenseful touch that made the original “Jaws” a classic.
“Jaws: The Revenge” is a prime example of a sequel that failed to deliver. It’s proof that not every successful film needs a follow-up, especially one that doesn’t live up to the original’s legacy.
The movie was universally panned by critics and currently holds a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Quite a fall from the original “Jaws”, which is considered one of the greatest films ever made!
“Space Jam: A New Legacy,” also known as “Space Jam 2”
Who could forget the original “Space Jam”? In 1996, it combined our love for cartoons and basketball in an unforgettable way, bringing together the world of Looney Tunes and NBA superstar Michael Jordan.
Fast forward to 2021, and we got a sequel, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” this time starring LeBron James. But, as I quickly discovered, this sequel struggled to recapture the magic of the first film.
The basic premise of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is similar to the original. LeBron James, playing himself, gets sucked into a virtual universe. To save his son and escape the digital world, he must lead the Looney Tunes in a basketball game against a squad of super-powered opponents. Sounds like fun, right?
Well, unfortunately, the sequel falls short in quite a few areas. Unlike the original, which had a simple but effective storyline, “Space Jam 2” feels overloaded with plots, subplots, and a parade of Warner Bros. characters that make the film feel more like a long advertisement rather than an engaging movie.
The movie attempts to integrate modern tech and culture, with the digital universe filled with references to social media and video games. But this often feels forced and doesn’t add much depth to the story.
The charm and simplicity that made the original “Space Jam” memorable seem lost in the sequel’s race to pack in as many references and modern elements as possible.
The chemistry between LeBron James and the Looney Tunes doesn’t quite live up to the dynamic Michael Jordan had with the cartoon characters in the first movie.
While LeBron James is undeniably a fantastic basketball player (not as good as Nikola Jokic, IMHO :)), his performance in the film often felt stiff, and his connection with the Looney Tunes lacked the natural ease and humor of the original.
“Speed 2: Cruise Control”
Remember the rush you felt watching “Speed” in 1994? The high-stakes premise, Keanu Reeves’ charismatic performance, and an adrenaline-fueled bus ride made it a thrilling watch. In 1997, “Speed 2: Cruise Control” aimed to recapture that excitement, but on a cruise ship. And guess what? It didn’t.
“Speed 2” shifts the action from a city bus to a luxury cruise liner. Sandra Bullock reprises her role as Annie, now dating a new guy, played by Jason Patric. When a villain (played by Willem Dafoe) takes control of the ship, the couple must find a way to save the day.
Here’s the catch: Keanu Reeves, who was instrumental in making the first movie a success, is conspicuously absent from this sequel.
Reeves declined to return for “Speed 2,” citing the lack of an inspiring script as his primary reason. He was replaced by Jason Patric, and as it turned out, Reeves’ instincts were spot on.
“Speed 2: Cruise Control” lacked the tension, pacing, and gripping action sequences that made the original movie so riveting.
The plot was seen as far-fetched and lacking in originality, with the slower pace of a cruise ship failing to match the breakneck speed and high stakes of a bomb-laden city bus.
The absence of Reeves was deeply felt. His chemistry with Bullock was a highlight of the original “Speed,” and the sequel couldn’t recreate this spark with the new lead actor.
This led to less engaging characters and interactions, which, combined with the lackluster storyline, made the movie a letdown for many fans.
“Exorcist II: The Heretic”
For anyone who has seen the 1973 classic “The Exorcist,” you’ll know that it’s a terrifying masterpiece of horror cinema. The chilling tale of a young girl’s demonic possession shocked audiences and made it a landmark film in the genre.
But when it comes to its 1977 sequel, “Exorcist II: The Heretic,” the reception was far from favorable.
“Exorcist II: The Heretic” attempted to continue the original’s narrative with a different approach. Instead of sticking to the straightforward horror of the first movie, it dove into metaphysical and philosophical themes.
It brought back the character of Regan, the possessed child from the first film, now a teenager still dealing with the trauma of her past possession. Yet, it didn’t live up to the expectations.
Viewers found the plot confusing and its execution far less frightening than its predecessor. The movie lacked the suspense and visceral horror that made the first Exorcist a hit. Its deeper foray into theology and pseudoscience alienated audiences, making it seem less like a horror movie and more like a muddled philosophical treatise.
To put it bluntly, “Exorcist II: The Heretic” was considered a major disappointment and was widely panned as one of the worst sequels ever made.
But then came “Exorcist III,” and with it, an unexpected redemption.
“Exorcist III,” released in 1990, brought back the chilling horror and psychological terror that defined the original film. This installment ignores the events of the second film and instead picks up 15 years after the original.
It follows Lieutenant Kinderman, a character from the first movie, as he investigates a series of brutal murders that bear a striking resemblance to those of a serial killer who died the same day as the exorcism in the first film.
To the surprise of many, “Exorcist III” was well-received by audiences and critics alike. It was praised for its suspenseful plot, well-crafted scares, and strong performances, particularly by George C. Scott in the role of Lieutenant Kinderman.
The film successfully captured the terrifying spirit of the original, re-establishing the franchise’s horror roots and making it a worthy sequel.
Where did things go wrong? “Zoolander 2” is a film that may have broken more hearts than it amused.
Released in 2016, a full 15 years after the original, the sequel aimed to reignite the outrageous world of male modeling that “Zoolander” so humorously crafted.
The original “Zoolander,” released in 2001, was a cult comedy hit. It revolved around the ridiculously clueless but endearing male model, Derek Zoolander (played by Ben Stiller), whose signature “Blue Steel” pose won over many viewers.
The movie was fun, absurd, and filled with memorable quotes. It left audiences laughing with its clever satire of the fashion industry and the often absurd standards of beauty.
So, it’s not surprising that fans eagerly awaited the sequel. Expectations were high. We all wanted to see Derek Zoolander and his rival-turned-friend Hansel McDonald (played by Owen Wilson) back on the catwalk, delivering more ridiculousness with their unique blend of charm and cluelessness. However, “Zoolander 2” failed to recapture the magic of the original.
In “Zoolander 2,” Derek and Hansel find themselves irrelevant in the modern world of fashion. They’re brought back into action when celebrities start getting murdered, all of them sporting Zoolander’s iconic “Blue Steel” look in their final moments.
The movie reunites the original cast and even introduces new characters, including a scenery-chewing villain played by Kristen Wiig. However, it sadly misses the mark.
Many felt the sequel was more of a retread than a continuation. The plot seemed to recycle jokes and scenarios from the first film, offering little in the way of originality. While there were a few moments that sparked laughter, they were far too rare.
What was once fresh and satirical now felt forced and tired. The sequel lacked the spark that made the first film so beloved.
“Superman IV: The Quest for Peace”
If ever there was a movie that might make you want to punch yourself in the face, it’s “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.” This 1987 film has become something of a legend, but not for the reasons any filmmaker would want.
Let’s travel back in time for a moment: It’s the late ’80s, and the “Superman” film franchise is one of the most popular series around.
The first two movies, starring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, were both critically acclaimed and loved by audiences. The third film had its detractors, but nothing could have prepared fans for what was to come with “Superman IV.”
In this movie, Superman decides he’s going to end the Cold War by getting rid of all nuclear weapons. To do this, he gathers up the world’s nukes and throws them into the sun. Sounds like a reasonable plan, right?
Unfortunately, this act leads to the creation of Nuclear Man, an evil version of Superman powered by the sun. Yes, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds.
From the start, “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” was plagued with issues. Budget constraints led to visibly shoddy special effects. The film was originally much longer, but a substantial portion was cut, leading to a choppy plot that makes little sense.
The fight scenes between Superman and Nuclear Man are particularly laughable, with the two characters awkwardly floating around against a clearly fake background.
Christopher Reeve’s earnest performance as Superman is one of the few bright spots in the film. Even so, it’s clear that he’s fighting a losing battle against the movie’s many shortcomings.
The rest of the cast, which includes Margot Kidder as Lois Lane and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, also seem to be doing their best with what they’re given.
“Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” was a critical and commercial flop, and it’s often cited as one of the worst films ever made.
Watching it from beginning to end is a test of endurance, a cringe-inducing experience that could make even the most patient viewer consider taking a swing at their own face.
While it’s become a cult classic of sorts for its sheer awfulness, it’s a far cry from the heroism and adventure that Superman is known for.