The 39 Worst Movie Sequels Ever Made
The goal with blockbuster sequels is usually "bigger, better." Unfortunately, more often than not, we wind up with inferior knock-offs that never should have left the drawing board. From "The Matrix Revolutions" to "Transformers: The Last Knight," here are the worst sequels ever made.
'Exorcist II: The Heretic' (1977)
The original "Exorcist" is hailed as being one of the greatest horror films of all time. This sequel is so bad that many prefer to classify it as an unintentional comedy. Even creator William Peter Blatty called it one of the worst films ever made.
'Halloween III: SEason of the Witch' (1982)
"Halloween III" is a lousy film by any measure, but it's especially bad in the context of being a sequel. It shares essentially nothing in common with the rest of the franchise, not even main villain Michael Myers. Instead, there's a bunch of nonsense about a witch's curse and Stonehenge or something? We'd rather forget this one ever happened.
'Jaws: The Revenge' (1987)
The Jaws franchise hails from a time when sequels were more about squeezing as much extra cash as possible out of a hit movie than actually improving upon the formula. With a dumb plot and a downright terrible-looking rubber shark -- THAT ROARS! -- this sequel didn't make anyone afraid to go back in the water.
'Superman IV: The Quest for Peace' (1987)
For those Superman fans who always wanted to see the Man of Steel fly mostly via stock footage and battle a guy with lightning-y Lee Press-On nails.
'Teen Wolf Too' (1987)
"Teen Wolf Too" is an example of our least favorite brand of sequel, the "let's rehash the first with a new character" formula. The original wasnt exactly high art, but it's basically "Citizen Kane" next to the sequel.
'Caddyshack II' (1988)
The fact that "Caddyshack II" received a PG-rating instead of the R that the original garnered tells you all you really need to know abut this sequel. That fact that Chevy Chase was the only cast member to stick around says even more.
'The Fly II' (1989)
It has the disgusting body horror in its favor, but that's about the only thing "The Fly II" retains from the original. If you're going to do a sequel without director David Cronenberg or star Jeff Goldblum, at some point you have to ask yourself why you're even bothering.
'RoboCop 2' (1990)
The original "RoboCop" stood out as much for its satirical wit as its extreme violence, but the sequel settled for recreating the latter. At this point, we're starting to think they should have quit before turning this one into a franchise.
'Weekend at Bernie's II' (1993)
The first "Weekend at Bernie's" barely had enough meat to sustain itself. We can't imagine why anyone thought the dead boss gimmick could support a whole new movie. Oh, and that whole voodoo curse most definitely did not help matters.
'Batman Forever' (1995)
Look, we also loved this one as a teen. But then we grew up, look past the Bat Nipples and neon everything and realized that this is arguably the worst Batman ever because there is no way Batman would ever forget or need reminding why he is Batman. The whole plot/arc of Bruce Wayne's character hinges on that empty conceit. Full of nope.
'Batman & Robin' (1997)
More neon, more shots of Batsuit rear ends. More terribleness. This movie somehow made one of the most likable actors ever, George Clooney, insufferable in the Batsuit.
'The Lost World: Jurassic Park' (1997)
Spielberg is very hit and miss (mostly "miss") when it comes to sequels. This dark, gritty, over-produced and underwhelming effort is Exhibit A of that.
'Speed 2: Cruise Control' (1997)
When the punny title is the most memorable part of your sequel, you know you're in trouble. This sequel recycled an already implausible premise, proving that you can't really build high-speed chase scenes with a lumbering cruise liner.
'Blues Brothers 2000' (1998)
The killer soundtrack is about the only thing propping up this belated, totally unnecessary sequel. With so many key cast members from the original "Blues Brothers" dead by 1998, we're not sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to revisit this universe.
'U.S. Marshals' (1998)
About as exciting as walk up the stairs after waking up from a nap on the couch, "U.S. Marshals" is an unnecessary spinoff-quel of the Oscar-winning "The Fugitive." The only good beat in it is when Tommy Lee Jones' Sam Gerard is confronted by an elevator by fellow Marshal Cosmo before going out for some form of revenge.
'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2' (2000)
Look, no one is blaming Artisan for wanting to put together a sequel to one of the most profitable movies ever made. But maybe they could have made an effort to actually replicate the formula of the original? By abandoning the found footage format, "Book of Shadows" winds up being a really generic and forgettable horror flick.
'Star Trek: Nemesis' (2002)
Patrick Stewart's Captain Picard, along with the rest of the Next Gen cast, only made one truly good movie ("First Contact") out of four. They deserved a better final voyage than this tonally uneven and boringly paced effort that cast Tom Hardy as Picard's evil, Reman clone.
'2 Fast 2 Furious' (2003)
The "Fast & Furious" franchise is unusual in that it didn't peak until five movies in. But we're still amazed it even made it that far, given how hard this sequel tried to tank the whole thing. It's little wonder Vin Diesel bailed in favor of "xXx."
'Matrix Revolutions' (2003)
You could cut the list of problems this bloated, talky sequel has in half and still be here all the day. Our favorite offender? Both Neo and Trinity die and their mentor, Morpheus, is denied even a short beat to react or grieve their loss. Missed opportunity in a near-total waste of your time.
'The Chronicles of Riddick' (2004)
Vin Diesel may have dodged a bullet by skipping "2 Fast 2 Furious," but he didn't do himself any favors with this ill-advised follow-up to "Pitch Black." Sometimes trying to pile mythology on top of a stripped-down sci-fi movie simply doesn't pay off.
'Son of the Mask' (2005)
Ten years earlier, audiences might have been thrilled to get a sequel to "The Mask." But this one arrived a decade too late and without the original's main selling point, Jim Carrey. We don't know in what world Jamie Kennedy is considered a worthy replacement, but it's not this one.
'Basic Instinct 2' (2006)
"Basic Instinct 2" is proof that Hollywood will do a sequel to anything when given half a chance. Other than maybe Sharon Stone, we don't think anyone was clamoring for a follow-up to the original. And where "Basic Instinct" had dangerous sex appeal, the sequel has little but unintentional comedy.
Cyclops dies off screen. He's a hero. He deserves to die like one. That, plus shoehorning in the Dark Phoenix storyline in a way that under-serves both it and the Cure storyline, make Brett Ratner's rushed threequel one of the worst ever for the genre.
'Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem' (2007)
There have been enough great "Aliens vs. Predator" comics and video games that there's no excuse for churning out such dreadful movies. "Requiem" somehow managed to be even worse than its predecessor, especially once the goofy "Predalien" showed up.
'Evan Almighty' (2007)
Apparently, Hollywood didn't learn the core lesson of "Son of the Mask" -- don't make a Jim Carrey sequel without Carrey's involvement. This bizarre spinoff to "Bruce Almighty" focused so much on pointless special effects that it forgot to actually be funny in the process.
'Spider-Man 3' (2007)
11 years later, fanboys are still shaking their Hulk fists at Emo Peter Parker and that ridiculous dance he does. Our first taste of Venom feels so obviously like a studio mandate -- one director Sam Raimi had no care space for, as you can tell by the going-through-the-motions direction.
'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008)
"The space between spaces!" Nuke the fridge! A sequel so disappointing, we are afraid of that which we should want: The proposed fifth movie to wipe the bad taste of this one from our mouths. We just don't trust Spielberg, who struggles with sequels, not to whiff it again.
'X-Files: I Want to Believe' (2008)
Of this cheaply-produced and very boring misfire's many wrongs, opening the week after "The Dark Knight" is the least of them. If you ever wanted to watch Mulder and Scully kinda sorta on the trail of sexually-confused men/makers of Frankendogs, then this is the movie for you.
'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' (2009)
It takes a special kind of terrible to make 2007's "Transformers" seem good by comparison, but that's the unique achievement of "Transformers: The Fallen." It's worse than its predecessor in just about every way, and that's before you factor in the robot testicles.
'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' (2010)
Here's another example of a sequel that had no great reason to exist in the first place. Sure, it's nice that director Oliver Stone and star Michael Douglas returned for "Money Never Sleeps," but that was quickly balanced out by Shia "Sequel Killer" LaBeouf and an underwhelming plot.
'The Hangover Part II' (2011)
Rather than blazing new ground, "The Hangover Part II" settled for trying to outdo its predecessor in terms of raunch factor. Not only is it a redundant movie, it's also pointlessly dark and unlikable.
'Taken 2' (2012)
"Taken 2" sticks so close to the formula established by the original that it's almost more a remake than a sequel. At some point, you have to wonder what's wrong with Liam Neeson that he keeps losing is family to international criminals.
'Star Trek Into Darkness' (2013)
KHAAAAN! is a name that has no meaning or relevance to any character in this movie, but it does for the audience -- which is why this over-produced and narratively undercooked and confusing blockbuster upsets us even more. We, as fans of "Wrath of Khan" -- which "STID" has the arrogance to do cover versions of some of that film's best moments in the worst of ways -- know how important Khan is. But the name drop resonates only with the people in the seats, not the characters on the screen. Also, if I am John Harrison/Khan, and you thawed me out from a 1996 cryosleep to make starships and photon torpedos? Our first question would be: "What's a starship? Seriously. When I went to sleep, phones still had cords, so..."
'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' (2014)
"The Amazing Spider-Man" was already a pretty underwhelming reboot of a once beloved franchise. The sequel managed to double down on most of its bad qualities, resulting in one of the worst Marvel movies of the 21st Century. The silver lining here is that ASM 2 was so bad it wound up paving the way for Spidey to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
'Terminator Genisys' (2015)
"Genisys" is one of that new, perplexing breed of franchise continuation that tries to be a sequel, prequel and reboot all at once. Needless to say, it didn't do any of those things particularly well, reinforcing the idea that this franchise really should have just called it quits after "Terminator 2."
'X-Men: Apocalypse' (2015)
When I first saw this, it was during a jetlag bender. I loved it. When I revisited it with the benefit of more sleep and a clearer head, I realized I was so, so wrong.
'Independence Day: Resurgence' (2016)
"Independence Day" was a technical marvel at the time, but the film would have raked in nearly as much money if not for the feel good story of humanity rising up against overwhelming odds. The sequel lost sight of that in its pursuit of bigger and better special effects. Like too many modern blockbusters, it's all carnage and spectacle and no heart.
'Transformers: The Last Knight' (2017)
It's like Michael Bay's last (thank Odin) "Transformers" was in a neverending game of "Top That!" with itself and failed every time. Basic narrative storytelling be damned, this movie is so long, you can take several naps, wake up, and totally be fine with not knowing what's going on. Because no one making it seems to, either.
4. 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'
Total Gross: $416,769,345 Clearly, moviegoers still love the "Jurassic Park" franchise. This sequel is behind only the first "Jurassic World" as the top earner in the series.