Most movie sequels are bad. Really bad. I'm not going to sit here and try to come up with a list of the worst ones, because I typically try to stay away from movies I think will be awful. That said, I have seen my fair share of awful sequels and they are not pretty. As a follow-up to our post about the best movie sequels, here are a few we could have done without.
1. Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Typically, I enjoy movies that try to come up with some other title for its sequel rather than merely slapping the number "2" (or "3" or "4") on the end. That is not the case with "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," as there is little that could have been done to save this movie for me. The first film was okay, and I understood the appeal. But I thought the ending to the first film was fine on its own — the Autobots had relocated to Earth and now Sam had a really cool car. Good enough for me! Not good enough for Hollywood. The second film takes everything about the first film and amplifies it in the worst way. Were they even telling a story in the second film? I'm still not sure. The movie also came under fire for introducing two robots that had people wondering: uhh, is this racist? Here's what Roger Ebert had to say: "If you want to save yourself the ticket price for this movie, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
2. Grease 2
Some people will say things like "this movie is BETTER than the original!" You must disown these people and never speak to them again. "Grease 2," while not (that) bad on its own, cannot and will not ever hold a candle to the original "Grease." I will credit "Grease 2" by saying it had Michelle Pfeiffer and the return of Didi Conn AKA Frenchy. But I draw the line there. Rydell High without Danny, the original Pink Ladies and T-Birds, and Sandy is not a Rydell High I care about. The original "Grease" had everything, including John Travolta before he got all weird, adorably innocent Olivia Newton-John, an amazing soundtrack, fun characters, and it ended with a flying car. On top of that, no one can replace Rizzo, especially not someone named "Stephanie" (sorry, Michelle Pfeiffer). I can't blame "Grease 2" for trying, but I'm going to go ahead and pretend this movie doesn't exist.
3. Son of the Mask
"The Mask" came out in 1994 with one crucial element that made it so no sequel could ever live up to the original: it starred Jim Carrey. Because it was a box office success, there were efforts to make a second movie, but Jim Carrey declined, saying reprising roles didn't challenge him as an actor. Ten years later, "Son of the Mask" was released in theaters as an "unrelated" movie (AKA a movie so bad not even the original film wanted to be associated with it). In the least surprising news ever, the movie totally bombed, with good reason. It starred a super-creepy CGI dog, an even creepier CGI baby, and Jamie Kennedy. No thanks.
4. Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
Interestingly, a "Star Wars" film made it onto our previous list discussing sequels that were better than the original movie. But the newer "Star Wars" franchise is a whole other story. "The Phantom Menace" had the unfortunate task of introducing the world to one of the worst characters of all time: Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar Binks did little to add to the movie, especially because most people found him incredibly annoying and some argued his portrayal was racist. Unfortunately, a big problem in "The Phantom Menace" is that it's kind of boring. Backlash also stemmed from: some who thought the original "Star Wars" films were so perfect they shouldn't be messed with; crazy hype (it had been 16 years since the first series ended); and CGI overload. Overall, people still tend to feel pretty mixed about the movie. However, I think we could have avoided this mess all together by never having that sequel in the first place.
5. Sequels to children's movies
It's hard to choose just one, so I went with a general rule of thumb: "Don't make a movie sequel for a children's movie." There are exceptions to this rule ("Toy Story"), and believe me when I say I understand why film studios make sequels (money). But I still get to say it's a bad idea. "The Land Before Time" was an incredible movie, which still holds up today and will still make you cry like a baby. Its 11 follow ups? Not so much. "Ice Age" was okay. "Ice Age" parts 2, 3, and 4 — really? As much as I love Disney, not even they are immune from the awful follow-ups to their (usually amazing) first films. Some are okay (I like "The Lion King: Simba's Pride" actually), but did we need two additional "Cinderella" movies? I thought she was just supposed to live happily ever after?