With the two mega number twos including "The Hangover Part II" and "Kung Fu Panda 2" hitting theaters this week, it got us thinking about movie sequels of the past - good AND bad. So in a Starpulse salute to the bold and not so beautiful world of second cinematic outings, we’re going to jump feet first into both the daring and depressing realm of all things part two.
Tomorrow will feature the best of the bunch, but today’s focus is the real 'winners' of the group. (Yeah right!) A bunch of second rate, highly laughable, easily forgettable and downright detestable flicks that almost make you forget about the genius from which they spawned. Here is a list of the Top Ten Worst Movie Sequels Ever – and age has not sweetened their ever-bitter aftertaste!
Most of you have not seen this shameful sequel to the classic 1984 Tom Hanks comedy and there’s a reason. Forget the fact that this was a straight-to-video follow up – its true anonymity comes from frankly being unfunny. And that’s exactly what this sequel in-name-only has down to a science by taking none of the originality (who can forget Max - the magical sexual mule!), clever moments ("We are now leaving Nun Central on our journey to hell and beyond!") and gross-out humor done right ("Is that the foot long - And then some!") from the first film and simply sophomorically filling the empty space with bad cleavage and Harland Williams. Don’t be tempted by this foul turd in the party punch bowl – even Adrian Zmed would be a no show for this bad bash.
The fact that the first "Weekend at Bernie’s" - with its one-note gag - worked on any level is nothing short of a modern day miracle. (Though a little dead Terry Kiser does go a long way!) But take away all the fresh grounded comedic ideas (like the fact that it was actually bumbling nimrods Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy who were giving movement to DOA goofball Bernie Lomax giving the appearance of life!) and instead infuse an inane and insane voodoo music device that makes our deceased host dance whenever notes are played and you’ve got the makings of one forgettable flick that should have been buried in the sand next to the iconic goofy grinning guy. Alas, there are worse things then death.
Whoever thought that the reason the original "Mannequin" worked was not because of the chemistry between stars Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall nor the work by an ass-kissing James Spader as a yuppie bad guy, but due simply the turn by "Designing Women" star Meshach Taylor as flamboyant window dresser Hollywood should be forced to watch this part two trite with eyes pried wide open Clockwork Orange style. Void of any fun (Taylor takes bad acting to a whole other level!), romance (stars Kristy Swanson and William Ragsdale make even "Gigli" couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez look like Taylor and Burton!) or originality (if I hear 'Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now' one more time I’M gonna jump out the visual display window!), this is the kind of follow up that gives those thankless hardworking wooden woman on display a bad name.
7. "The Two Jakes"
Sure, ANY follow up to the Robert Towne written, Roman Polanski directed original would most likely pale in comparison, but why did this Jack Nicholson helmed sequel have to be so damn dreadful? From the bad performances (Keitel looks much like the audience – ready to fall asleep!) to the thin and familiar story line (cheating, adultery and oil instead of water works – recycled "Chinatown" anyone?!) this is a classic example of when good actors direct badly. (Forget it, Jack. It’s not "Chinatown!")
I didn't know that Director Michael Bay had fallen with the first outing of "Transformers" (stupid me – I loved the thing!), but his revenge is nevertheless palpable in this second horrible excuse for an action flick. Not only does he make this uninspired follow up long (how many mundane fights can you squeeze into one hundred and forty-nine minutes?!), lame (a bad chick robot – "Terminator 3" alert!) and insulting (Mudflap and Skids are the new Jar Jar Binks!), but Bay and company even had the audacity to kill off their hulking lead star for at least eighty percent of the film – and no, we’re not talking LaBeouf.
It was hard enough for famed writer/director Dan O’Bannon to make this wonderfully memorable film from underneath the shadow of George Romero’s classic trilogy, but to then taint it by making this sub par sequel is truly unforgivable. Gone are the comedic elements (having James Karen and Thom Mathews back as bumbling idiots doesn’t help!), the clever one-liners (“send more cops!”) and overall unique horror/humor tone. Instead it’s replaced with a shi**y story (did they even have a script?!), horrible acting (kid on set alert!) and crappy directing. Things get worse with every subsequent sequel (with the exception of the creative part three!), but the lingering sting of this immediate follow up is a pain that even eating human brains could not take away.
Forget Michael Douglas. Forget writer Joe Eszterhas. And most importantly forget Director Paul Verhoeven. The only thing needed to make a memorable and stylistic sequel to the original "Basic Instinct" is simply Sharon “show us your beaver” Stone – right? WRONG. Plagued with bad elements like a slapped together script, a more then fourteen year older Stone and second rate Douglas wannabe David Morrissey, this one swept the Razzie Awards and it’s easy to see why. Anyone who thinks that Michael Caton-Jones (he of "Doc Hollywood" fame!) is on par with a master stylist like Verhoeven deserves an ice pick to be put out of his or her misery.
3. "Blues Brothers 2000"
Not only did misguided Director John Landis wait over eighteen years to make a follow up to the classic tale of Jake and Elwood Blues, but his casting, which should have included original star John’s brother Jim, was the definition of askew. By the end of this incredibly humorless waste of celluloid there are no less then four annoying Blues Brothers (and not related by blood folks!) – John 'no replacement for Jim' Goodman, Joe “Brother from Another Planet” Morton and some baby-faced kid thrown in for good measure. Quick note: that bump you just heard was not the sound of a blues rhythm guitar or snare drum, but merely Belushi rolling over in his grave – shame on all of you.
2. "Caddyshack II"
What do Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight have in common with Jackie Mason, Dan Aykroyd and Robert Stack? All are bonded by the famed title of "Caddyshack," but one group made a little story about a pretentious country club a sheer hoot, while the other gents simply rode on their backs for the sake of a few extra sheckles. (I’ll let you guess which is which!) The result is a comedy follow up that doesn’t even manage to illicit a chuckle by accident. Like an undisciplined schoolchild, this shack should have been held back.
Is anyone really surprised by this selection and it’s top of the list placement? (I thought not!) From the original surprise hit "Speed," the person replacing an MIA Keanu and supporting players Jeff Daniels and tasty baddie Dennis Hopper (who both died in the original!) to keep the franchise going is…Sandra Bullock?! (And this was pre-"Miss Congeniality" everyone!) Add a pinch of uber-dull hero Jason Patric (a walk-through role if ever there was one!), over-the-top crazed villain Willem Dafoe (not his finest hour!) and set the whole thing on a "so scary" out-of-control luxurious cruise liner (oh, no – they’re out of Mai Tai mix!) and you’ve officially got the worst sequel EVER made.
Check back in tomorrow for the flip side of this sad sack coin - the Top Ten 'Best Sequels' Ever!