Every summer there are films that capture the world by storm. Some are funny, others dramatic, and others simply action packed and entertaining. Unfortunately, there are far too many instances in which a few summers later, the unthinkable happens; a sequel is made. Granted there have been many great sequels (i.e. The Dark Knight), but sadly there have been far more that have failed to live up to the glory of their predecessors. As summer approaches packed with sequels of fan favorites such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers, let us take a look back at the ten worst sequels of the past decade. Let it be known that the criteria for this list has equally to do with the success of the first film as much as the failure of the following installments to live up to expectations.
10. Jurassic Park 3 (2001)
Who could forget the excitement of yet another installment to one of the most beloved franchises birthed from the 90’s? Now ask yourself this. Who can remember anything about Jurassic Park 3 aside from the fact that there was an excessively large dinosaur that had somehow gone unnoticed for an absurdly long time? There was a slight bit of hope with the recasting of Sam Neill as Alan Grant, but that proved to be nothing but false hope. Leaps and bounds below the excitement and imagination of its predecessors, Jurassic Park 3 earns its spot as number ten on this list.
9. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Before I go on with Attack of the Clones I want to point out that the only reason The Phantom Menace did not make this list is that it was made in 1999. Be that as it may, Attack of the Clones provided plenty of elements to despise and would likely be closer to number one on the list if not for all the hate mail I’d likely receive from certain Star Wars fans. For one, Jar Jar Binks is in the film which is a huge problem in and of itself. Also, the acting in this film is terrible, even for a Star Wars movie. The story is mostly fluff and serves little purpose and seeing a computer graphic Yoda doing back-flips isn’t as satisfying as one might imagine. Needless to say, this movie was only slightly less disappointing than The Phantom Menace.
8. The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The original Matrix film captured imaginations and put a new twist on both the science fiction genre and cinematography/special effects techniques in general. The two films which followed took a brilliant story and (arguably) ruined it with unnecessary plot twists and a general feeling of confusion and lack of closure. Even if one takes the time to watch the animated series, The Animatrix (which fills in some of the various plot holes created by the final two films), the overarching tale created is still nothing short of absurd. To be fair, many fans of the original Matrix film were less concerned with the story and more concerned with the amazing action and fight scenes. Thus, they were more than pleased with the trilogy as a whole.
7. Men in Black II (2002)
Men in Black II is a classic case of an action-comedy sequel gone wrong. The formula? Take everything that people found funny in the first film and overdo it. Then, add more explosions. And finally, find a way to somehow add an unnecessary and jaded love story. The result? Ending up on this list.
6. The Ring 2 (2005)
The success of the original 2002 film prompted waves of Japanese horror film adaptations in the US (i.e. The Grudge). However, The Ring 2 was nothing short of a disaster. Rather than incorporating a dark twisted back-story as the first film did, The Ring 2 attempts to spook its audience through several rather annoying jump-scenes. The only scary thing about this movie was watching Naomi Watts trying not to laugh as she proclaims “I’m not your [explicative] mommy”.
5. Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
As many others, I was quite skeptical when approaching an Indiana Jones film featuring a very “seasoned” Harrison Ford. Nevertheless, I went in with an open mind. The movie started off promising, but as it continued on my optimism slipped. The film plagues its audience with horrid computer graphic effects, insanely corny action sequences, and of course; aliens. This sequel was so bad that it prompted a very harsh satirical reply in the form of an episode of South Park (which to say the least was less than family friendly).
4. Saw II, III, IV, V, VI, & Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2005-2010)
Argue with me if you like, but the Saw series got progressively worse until a dull 3-D finale. The original Saw was intelligent, had a legitimately shocking ending, and used gore as a form of horror rather than just for the sake of gore. The sequels following the original were nothing more than an attempt to see how many cool ways people can get killed. A guilty pleasure for sure, but the original Saw is a film that lost a lot of its legacy through trite sequels.
3. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
With a new Transformers installment due this summer, one can only hope the third will not mimic the disaster of the second film. While Revenge of the Fallen had an enormous box office debut ($ 108,966,307 in the US opening weekend ), it was met with a huge wall of criticism. But this critique was non-exclusive. Not only did critics and fans (and lets not forget Megan Fox) speak out against the film, but even some activist groups got involved in the fight crying foul over robots that were seen as a form of racial stereotyping. At least there is nowhere to go but up for Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon (or so we hope).
2. Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)
This needs little explanation so I will be brief. What this film lacked: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, and humor. What this film had (unfortunately): Bob Saget as a tortured father figure, Eugene Levy as an inappropriate principal, Luis Guzman as a Hispanic janitor father figure for a young Harry, and of course unfunny jokes about excessive amounts of poop (also involving Bob Saget).
1. Spiderman 3 (2007)
The number one spot on this list goes to what is quite possibly one of the most disappointing films ever made. Fans who were first introduced to Spiderman by the film series were insulted with almost three hours of a terrible love story and an emo montage of Peter Parker. Fans of the original Spiderman TV series and or comic book were promised to finally see the famous villain Venom on the big screen and instead were met with an excessively pathetic villain portrayed by the ever annoying Topher Grace of That’s 70’s Show. Did I mention James Franco’s character, who happens to be one of the few likeable characters in the film, gets killed off in a less than climactic finale? In fact, this film was so bad that rather than create a fourth film as originally planned, the entire series is getting a complete makeover in a 2012 reboot that will start the story all over with a new cast.
The Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com