The Worst Sequels of All Time

August 31, 2012


Today we continue the 3-part series on sequels, The Good, The Bad, And The Contentious.

Last time we looked at The Good – some of the very best sequels of all time; the ones that rise above the expectations.  Read that list here.

And today? The Bad. Numbers 10—6 of the worst of the bunch.

A reminder about the criteria:

  • The Giggler, seen here in Death Wish 3 shortly before Charles Bronson shoots him in the back for stealing his camera… the camera Bronson bought expressly for the purpose of tempting The Giggler to steal it, so that he could shoot him. Yeah, we had some strange ideas about justice in the 80’s…

    It must be a part 2 – there will be no analysis of Police Academy 7, or Death Wish III (although if you haven’t seen Death Wish III, it is truly hilarious – way funnier than Police Academy’s 3-8).

  • It must be examined in relation to the quality of the original.  Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo may have disappointed you, but it was not a betrayal of the artistic standard set by the original.  A high-quality original isn’t a necessity, but the sequel must stand in contrast to it.


10. Die Hard: Die Harder.  The original was a beautifully made, beautifully shot, action film – an everyman trapped in a hostage situation surrounded by authorities who won’t listen – that also manages to be about American ideals of heroism and the mythology of the old west.  He wins because he simply cannot give up.  He cannot quit.  He is a die-hard.  It’s not, as the tone-deaf title of the sequel implies, that the bad guys in the film will all die, and do so in a manner that is not soft.  And even if that is what they meant, it’s still an idiotic title.  Are they imagining people exiting the theater saying, “Dude!  I thought people died hard in the first film, but they died way harder this time!”  The tone-deafness continues from there as it lazily constructs a plot of “same as before only, uh, how about in an airport this time.”  It doesn’t make sense, it’s cartoonish, and it’s as dumb as the original is smart.

THAT’S what the original film was missing! An adorable little kid blues brother! (Oh, and John Goodman? You’re better than this.)

9. Blues Brothers 2000.  Say it ain’t so, Elwood.  The original was anarchy and music wrapped in comedy. The sequel – even ignoring the obvious omission of deceased John Belushi – is actually embarrassing, physically embarrassing, to watch.  Remember in the original, when Jake “sees the light” in the church?  Here’s the moment as imitated and “enhanced” in the sequel.

8. Speed 2: Cruise Control.  Okay, so Speed was not high art, but it was a hell of a fun movie, and exciting start to finish: a bus that can’t drop below 50 or a bomb will detonate?  Oh, and the overpass ahead is still under construction?  Sure, by the time you’ve finished the movie and gotten a drink of water you’ve found 25 flaws in the plot, but still…  Then comes the sequel set on… a boat?  Movie-goers the world over asked themselves, well, nothing, because they didn’t go to the movie.  But a few people asked themselves two questions: “Just how ‘speedy’ is this ferry?  Because the ferries I ride seem to be powered by a lawnmower engine.  And why doesn’t everyone just jump off the boat?”  Here’s scene that manages to make a giant ship crashing in to an entire boardwalk shopping area dull:


7. Caddyshack 2.  Of all the “slobs vs snobs” comedies of the late 70’s and early 80’s, Caddyshack reigns supreme.   Career highlight-reel performances by Ted Knight, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray.  The sequel is like a factory-second knock-off version, with less interesting, less clever versions of everything.  Caddyshack 2 is to Caddyshack as strawberry gummy candy is to a fresh strawberry.

Short Round and “Willie” Scott, in a typically understated moment.

6. Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.  It’s possible your memory has convinced that this is a good movie, because Crystal Skull is terrible, so you’ve told yourself that “the first 3 were great, they should have stopped there.”  Well, it’s not good.  Watch it again and you’ll see.  And contrasted with the cinematic perfection of the original?  Ouch.  Even Spielberg has said that he only made the third film to make up for the second. The plot is simultaneously convoluted and boring, Short Round is awful.  But is there a bigger indicator of the differences between the two than the lead female characters?  Raiders of the Lost Ark is hard-drinking Marion “Until I get my money back, I’m your God damn partner!” Ravenwood.  Temple of Doom is shrieking, whining Wilhemina “I sleep in my jewels, and nothing else” Scott.  Some movies are too perfect to make sequels to.

Tune in tomorrow for numbers 5-1 of the worst sequels!

And Marion, I still adore you. You can be my God damn partner any time.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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44 Comments on “The Worst Sequels of All Time”

  1. Daniel Koeker Says:

    I kind of have to agree with Blues Brothers. That was definitely not the style and awesome that I remembered…


  2. WomanBitesDog Says:

    All truly terrible.


  3. topiclessbar Says:

    I’m sorry…I have to disagree on Temple of Doom. It is AWESOME. Short Round is awesome. “Dr. Jones! Dr. Jones!” And the scene where they rip the dude’s heart out? That was a jaw-dropper when I was 10. Great movie.

    Die Hard 2 is great as well. Where did these high standards come from all of a sudden? I will agree that Caddyshack 2 has flaws.

    Troll 2 is pretty bad. That one immediately comes to mind. If you haven’t seen it, go download it. You’ll be in for a treat.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      You may be hearing more about Troll 2 here tomorrow…

      The heart-ripping scene in Temple is the reason the PG-13 rating was invented. It was first used on Red Dawn, but even after Spielberg toned it down, it was too intense, but the studios were terrified of giving Spielberg an R rating, and thus incurring divine wrath.

      And I suggest setting aside a couple evenings and watching Raiders/Temple and Die Hard/Die Harder back to back to really illustrate how far the sequels fall.


  4. Blogdramedy Says:

    “Temple of Doom” was just something Steven whipped out to keep the future Mrs. Spielberg busy. 😉


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I wonder how they talk about that one? “Thanks for putting me in a big blockbuster!” or “Oh, thanks a lot for making me a headache-inducing harpy in one of the worst films you’ve ever made.”


  5. thefoodandwinehedonist Says:

    I think I have to disagree – Caddyshack two has to top any worst list. Simply because of Ackroyd trying to do Bill Murray’s classic role. It’s so bad that I’m embarrassed for Kevin Bacon and he’s a few degrees away from Caddyshack 2. But I guess I’ll have to see what’s in the top 5


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Isn’t Ackroyd’s Bill Murray impression just agony?

      I can’t remember how they rationalize a second weirdo/idiot/lunatic groundskeeper working the course, but I’m sure it was inspired.


  6. becomingcliche Says:

    Okay, I am about to make you very, very sad. I have only seen two of the sequels mentioned in this post. And one of them happened to be Breakin’ 2. Here’s the part that will leave you weeping. I kind of liked it. Granted, I was maybe12. I am not sure that excuses me, though.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Being 12 is a totally valid excuse, particularly if you saw it when it came out, because then it’s reasonable that you were just excited to see something about breakdancing.

      Take my advice and hear me now, though: Rent Planet B-Boy. It’s about the world breakdance championships in 2005 and it is amazing. jaw-dropping, heart-thumping, “I want to breakdance right now” amazing.


  7. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Even though I’ve watched Temple of Doom too many times, you are right, I think the most annoying thing was her nonstop screeching. I loved the third one (I’m a huge Sean Connery fan). I’ve never seen the fourth one (not a big Shia LaBeouf fan)

    All the other movies you mentioned must have been horrible, because I couldn’t sit through any of them for more than five minutes.The Speed one? Oh GOD. The worst. My husband LOVES the first one, but even he couldn’t get on board with the second one. (Get it? get on board? huh? was that stupid? yeah.)

    Speaking of Keanu and bad sequels, I’m curious if you’ll put the Matrix one up next.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’ve tried to watch Temple of Doom so many times thinking, okay, I must have been in a bad mood, or had food-poisoning those other times. Nope. It’s bad. I haven’t seen the 4th one. I suppose I will at some point, drawn like a moth to fire. Then I’ll watch Raiders again immediately.

      You may, at some point, somewhere in this series, here about the Matrix sequel…


  8. Go Jules Go Says:

    Okay I haven’t seen all of these, but considering the ones I HAVE, I’m going to take your word for it on all counts, especially since there’s a reason I haven’t seen the others.

    And I think your movie-food analogy skillz rival your captioning ones! Another gem: “Caddyshack 2 is to Caddyshack as strawberry gummy candy is to a fresh strawberry.”

    The “Die Harder” title always makes me laugh, but I think it’s because it reminds me of one of my favorite movie lines of ALL TIME: “Kill him a lot.” (From Buffy the Vampire Slayer…probably didn’t even need to tell you that.)


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      One of my favorite bad lines from a movie, ever, is (And this is said without irony or Buffy-esque humor): “If there’s one thing I know about crazy killers – they are crazy, and they will kill you.”

      Now that’s good writin’.


    • sj Says:

      Jules, I LOVE the Buffy movie! I loved it when I came out and it still makes me laugh today.

      Watching PeeWee kicking around on the floor in his “death throes” is a guaranteed good time.


      • Go Jules Go Says:

        Yes! I keep thinking there will come a day when it becomes ‘bad’ cheesy, but no. No. I just need to accept its amazing timelessness.


        • sj Says:

          Yeah, I don’t think it will ever be NOT amazing.

          Much like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. I don’t care, I love that movie beyond all reason.

          (also, I hope that both you and B-Man will be interested in joining our Monty Python group watch in September? I can only imagine you’d be SO MUCH FUN.)


  9. sj Says:

    I have seen all of these, and so far I totally agree with your list.


  10. pegoleg Says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw these sequels, but they were so awful I unconsciously blocked the experience from my mind. So yeah. I’ll take your word for it. (Short-round’s voice was almost as annoying as the obligatory, forgettable blonde chick. What was her name?)


  11. mistyslaws Says:

    These are right on. Speed 2? Yeah, whoever greenlit that piece of trash should be stuck on a never ending tugboat trip around the world for perpetuity. It didn’t even have Keanu, right? Wasn’t it Jasin Patrick, or am I misremembering? Yeah, if even Mr. Whoa turns down your movie……should have quit at that point.


  12. Blue Aventurine Says:

    Know I’m off to a great start this AM…
    Playing around on WordPress and I read your blog entry as “Squeals” like as Eeek! Then I start scan reading while thinking, “he must be featuring movies (because I noticed the picture from a Indian Jones) with really bad, embarrassing screaming from women… boy that Man is clever!”

    The coffee cup comes to my mouth and I inhale the aroma. By some magical chemistry chemical adjustment, my vision clears up and a deepening comprehension takes effect. “Oh, sequel!”


  13. normapadro Says:

    I like the speed 2 movie, but the miss congeniality 2 I dislike. I don’t like the hitting that goes on. I think it’s too corny for me.


  14. Stacie Chadwick Says:

    Agree on every single count. Although I did tolerate the Temple of Doom movie. If nothing else, it got Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw together.


  15. susielindau Says:

    I have to agree with you! Legends with Tom Cruise would be on my list because he flipped his hair out his eyes the entire movie!


  16. Flim Flam Bobbins Says:

    Shhh! You’re not supposed to tell people about Caddyshack 2. No one’s supposed to know!


  17. Sandy Sue Says:

    Uhh… Did you *have* to remind me of all the hours I’ve wasted? Caddyshack and Blues Brothers were rents that I could at least eject from my player, but the others were full-frontal wastage in theaters. I’m a very forgiving viewer. I’ll hang on until the end with most movies. All three of these made me want to slash my wrists—or the director’s, or the people who put up the money to make them.

    I am, shall we say, ambivalent about see the top 5 on your list tomorrow. You may hear the scream from over there. “Nooooooooooooooooooooo!”


  18. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    It’s a rare sequel that can outshine the original. Your list and reflections reinforce that view. I love the Indiana Jones’ movies, but I agree that “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” leaves a lot to be desired.


  19. The Bumble Files Says:

    I haven’t seen any of those movies. I didn’t even know there was a Caddyshack 2 (loved the original). Wow! Well, I’ll take your word on this.


  20. Angie Z. Says:

    Oh the horror! That photo alone of the Blues Brothers sequel convinces me that this was definitely worthy of being on your list.

    You’re right…my memory has failed me as I believed Temple of Doom was a good sequel. I might’ve been just remembering the part with the bugs as I hate bugs and felt Spielberg was making a strong statement there about the dangers of large insects.

    Did the kid in Temple of Doom make that movie before or after making Goonies?



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