After initially being excited by the Blader Runner 2049 trailer, I thought to myself that the original Blade Runner for the past 35 years has been a perfectly fine as a standalone self-contained film, it hasn’t needed a sequel and I’ve never noticed any real demand for a sequel.
Blade Runner 2049 so far doesn’t have me too worried, I’m leaning more towards an optimistic outcome. Denis Villeneuve has directed impressive films such as Arrival, Prisoners and Sicario, the casting choices look on point, Roger Deakins is one of the best cinematographers around and has done work on most of the Coen Brothers films from The Big Lebowski to No Country For Old Men.
Everything is suggesting that Blade Runner 2049 will likely be decent, but nothing is guaranteed and regardless of if it turns out to be good or not, it’s still an unnecessary sequel. I started to think of other standalone films that had unnecessary and terrible sequels and hopefully, Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t get added to this list.
The Hangover is a pretty basic movie, it’s not bringing any new high art to the table, in fact, the story line is more or less Dude, Where’s My Car, but the difference being, you know, The Hangover is actually funny. It works because it has the right cast, gags and level of stupidity, and it never takes itself too seriously because it’s downright absurd. It works as one film and they should have left it at that, there is no open ending or need for a sequel… unless you want to make a dick load of money.
The Hangover 2 exist because, to quote Wall Street here “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” As a money grab The Hangover 2 is very successful, the first film cost $35 million and made $467 million, the second made more money $586 million, but audiences luckily got smart because The Hangover 3 saw a drop in earnings. Overall a very financially successful film trilogy, but we all know the sequels didn’t need to be made.
Grease is one of the most successful musicals ever made; it’s had a string of Broadway and live TV remakes. None of them come close to the 1978 film, and even a bitter misanthropic cynic such as myself can’t resist the charm of the love between Danny and Sandy. Grease taught us that if you want someone bad enough, to get them to notice you, you just have to change every aspect of your being to appeal to them. Never be yourself.
Grease ends with the couple literally flying off into the sunset in a car, and that is as definite an ending as they come. Money strikes again however and we’re all exposed to the terribleness that is Grease 2. No one asked for this role reversal sequel, even the musical numbers are not as cool, a bunch of kids singing about going back to school, Michelle Pfeifer singing about how she wants a “Cool Rider” — this film can cool fuck off.
If you have never seen The Fugitive do yourself a favour and watch it, and once you do that do yourself another favour and do not watch the sequel US Marshals. US Marshals sees the return of Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard, but this time he is chasing down Wesley Snipes. As far as unnecessary and bad sequels go, this one probably isn’t the worst on the list, it is at least tolerable. It’s just a basic bitch action film that is derivative of the entire genre and brings nothing new to the table.
I’ve met people that dislike the first Karate Kid film, and it’s fair to say I cannot be friends with these people, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. There were many life lessons I learned from this movie such as don’t hit on pretty girls when you’re new in town they might have a boyfriend in the Kobra Kai. It also taught me to seek out old Japanese strangers to teach me karate when I am challenged to prove my masculinity, or that sweeping the leg does not resolve issues, and lastly that Joe Esposito’s You’re The Best Around will always boost my self-esteem.
The Karate Kid II, on the other hand, taught me to not have faith in sequels.
The Boondock Saints is an interesting one to put on this list because as it stands on Rotten Tomatoes The Boondock Saints has a 20% Rotten score from critics. To be fair though, there are only 25 reviews, this film flew under the radar back in 1999. I think this is a classic example of critics not being in touch with the audience, because the audience score is 91% fresh from 334,000 user ratings, averaging a 4.2 out of 5 stars.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day came out 10 years later, and it just fell flat. I wouldn’t say it is a horrible movie, there are plenty of truly bad films, this one just really misses the mark and whatever made the original interesting is nowhere to be found in this sequel.
The Lost Boys, like many other films on this list, is a great self contained movie with no need or demand for a sequel, but that didn’t stop some possible fanboy director making Lost Boys: The Tribe. The only returning cast member from the original film is Corey Feldman; like most child stars in the 1980’s his career burned out (I’d assume the tick of midnight between 1989 and 1990 on New Year’s Eve). His performance is just bad, in the original film he was one half of the vampire hunting teenage duo the Frog Brothers, but as a fully grown adult, the role is just as unnecessary as the film itself.
My Dad loves vampire films, me on the other hand, I can take or leave them. Through Dad’s love for the genre, I have ended up watching a lot of vampire films, and the first time I watched From Dusk Til Dawn neither of us had any idea what it was about. My old man had a habit of just impulsively grabbing VHS’s off the shelf at the video store, and going into that film blindly was possibly the best way to go into From Dusk Til Dawn.
It was 1996, so there was no YouTube, we didn’t have the internet, and the obsession we all have for trailers today was not a thing then. Trailers were mostly something we would just fast forward past on the VHS to watch the film we rented. Watching a movie was a gamble at the time – perhaps I might be embellishing a tad in nostalgia by saying this; but I kind of miss that uncertainty and mystery that came with renting an unknown movie.
So we watch From Dusk Til Dawn and it seemed like a straightforward robbery gone wrong movie, Clooney and Tarantino hold a family hostage in their RV and need to cross from the US into Mexico. Okay simple so far, but when the film reaches its destination it does a big unexpected 180 and suddenly there are fucking vampires everywhere! Our main players are all using holy water filled super soakers and condoms to kill these vampires at a strip club and it’s pure insanity. I was shocked, amazed and immediately told every other 10 year old friend in primary school to watch it.
Fast forward three years later, and I find the sequel on the shelf at the local Civic Video. I got a bit excited, Dad also got excited, and we went home and watched From Dusk Til Dawn: Texas Blood Money, and it was just really dogshit bad. I honestly think that was the only time I’ve watched it, I can barely remember what it was about and the thought of watching it again was really unappealing, cause seriously, fuck that movie.
Perhaps not knowing that From Dusk Til Dawn was a vampire film really blew my mind when it suddenly was, because the first two acts play out like a normal thriller/crime movie (and a good one at that), but that last act just jumps out and surprised the hell out of me. From memory the second film just can’t pull that off, there is no continuing story about Clooney’s Seth Gecko after the events that went down at the Titty Twister, it’s just an unrelated and slightly connected sequel that had none of the awesomeness of the original Robert Rodriguez film.
Side note: Everyone wanted Sex Machine’s dick gun – it’s a dick gun, it’s the most manly thing a man could ever man.
Blue Brothers was one of the first musicals I watched as a kid. It was comedic, and most importantly the music wasn’t show tunes, rather it was Blues, R&B and Soul, and there were famous musicians doing popular songs. Dan Akroyd and John Belushi are such an awesome and funny duo, and the car chase scene and pile up at the end is one of the most iconic car chases in cinema history.
Much too many years later Blues Brothers 2000 was made, and putting it lightly this film was straight up terrible. Everyone involved with this film should know there is no substitute for John Belushi. I like John Goodman, but come on, even someone with a half a brain knows that is too tough an act to follow, even 18 years later. It’s just pure disappointment, it’s more disappointing than completing an arts degree and realizing you wasted time and money on a degree that will get you nowhere in life.
It is not good; I don’t want to be that guy that says “The book was better”, but the book did one thing right in killing John Rambo at the end of First Blood. The outcome was much more tragic; the cop that you hated kind of won and Rambo was betrayed by Colonel Trautman who guns him down with a shotgun blast. First Blood is a helluva film as it is, though every time I see that scene with Sylvester Stallone breaking down in tears in front of Trautman, I think if Trautman betrayed him and they killed Rambo that scene would land so much stronger.
Instead we have Part II; Rambo is in prison and Trautman says he can get Rambo out and his criminal record expunged if he goes on a secret mission to ‘Nam to rescue POW’s still being held there. It’s such an awful sequel, I feel that maybe they had a sequel in mind all along, because First Blood came out in 1982 and the sequel came out in 1985, but I don’t think they had any idea what the sequel should be.
Jaws is a film that I’d likely list in my top 10 horror films. It may not have demons, monsters or much gore, but it deals with a threat much more grounded in reality, and that affected me when I was younger. Jaws kept me out of the ocean for good couple of months, and made me forever think that every bit of seaweed brushing against my leg was a shark.
Jaws 2 takes all of that away. If you watch Jaws and immediately follow it up with Jaws 2, prepare to have the impact of the first film completely ruined. It’s not often I watch a film when a bunch of teenagers are being stalked by a shark and I find myself rooting for the shark. Jaws 2 and the other sequels were a blatant cash in on the success of the first film. It was entirely unnecessary as the original could have been a standalone film, although to many it still is because we don’t bother watching the sequels.
The first Jaws succeeds because the shark is more felt than seen, Steven Spielberg was aware the prop shark from a lot of angles looked like a floating turd. Spielberg also the fortuitous accident of having the prop shark sink to the bottom of the ocean, this is why the scene when Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider go hunting for the shark we see the barrels being pulled with great speed across the top of the water. The barrels were a resolution to a problem that actually made the original Jaws better.
The second film didn’t have this issue, instead they show the poorly made prop shark every opportunity they get, it looks so bad that it takes you out of the film.
What makes your list of unnecessary sequels? Did I leave anything out? Disagree with my picks? Let us know in the comments, or on Facebook!