20 of the Worst Movie Sequels of All Time

20 of the Worst Movie Sequels of All Time

Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield in Grease 2
Paramount Pictures

These days, it seems as if movie sequels are the norm instead of something reserved for films with incomplete endings -- or those that were so fantastic that audiences practically begged for a follow-up. They've almost become expected after any film that does particularly well at the box office, or resonates especially well with viewers. We don't mean to say that movie sequels are a new phenomenon (they certainly are not), but in recent years, it seems that many film companies would rather recycle and re-market old ideas that were successful, than invest in completely new content. Yes, we mean they are eking every last dime out of an idea they've already paid for instead of paying creatives to come up with something new and fresh. 

Sometimes, this works out really well, and the film companies get their way -- while audiences still get a fantastic movie that lives up to or even surpasses expectations. Other times -- perhaps more often than not -- sequels don't even come close to the original and leave us all feeling totally underwhelmed. Some movie sequels are so utterly terrible that they actually leave die-hard fans completely shocked and bewildered that a plot line -- or cast of characters that started out so entertaining or impactful -- could possibly go so wrong.

There are times when it's the writing and times when it's poor editing, or less than enthusiastic or even heartfelt acting. We're not quite sure there's one single thing that causes a sequel to fail. We do know that sometimes a good thing should just be left alone, and the following 20 movie sequels are proof. 

Keep reading to see 20 of the worst movie sequels.

  • 'The Godfather: Part III'

    1

    There will be movie lovers who fight us on this one. We know it's The Godfather. We know it's Al Pacino. We know that anything having anything to do with the Corleone family will be better than most movie sequels, but The Godfather: Part III in no way holds up to the first two epic installments of the trilogy. Michael Corleone deserved to be frozen in time, right where he was at the end of The Godfather: Part II.

  • 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

    2

    No one -- we repeat, no one -- needs or even wants to see a sequel of a movie over 20 years after the original. We just don't need it. Perhaps, if there had been a new installment every five to 10 years, Gordon Gekko's return to the big screen in 2010 would have worked. But the Wall Street craze has long past by the time the sequel was made, and the theme just did not resonate with 21st century audiences.

  • 'Glass'

    3

    The problem with Glass was Split. Split, which was actually a sequel to Unbreakable that came out back in 2000, was so well done, and the acting by James McAvoy was so stellar, that Glass just did not even compare. Director M. Night Shyamalan's work tends to be hit-or-miss in general, so it's actually not all that surprising that one was so right and the other was so wrong.

  • 'Zoolander 2'

    4

    Ben Stiller's Zoolander sequel just did not have the heart of the original. The dipsy Derek Zoolander wasn't nearly as funny as a 50-something-year-old dope as he was a a 30-something-year-old dope -- and even jokes that should have hit the funny bones of Stiller's biggest fans just didn't quite do it. We guess after years of fans asking for more hysterics from our favorite male models of the year, Zoolander 2 was inevitable, but sadly, it was a flop.

  • 'Basic Instinct 2'

    5

    We hate to even say this but while Sharon Stone has the pretty face to pull off the seductive serial killer role twice, without the rock-solid skills of a co-star -- like Michael Douglas -- she just doesn't have the acting chops to carry a sequel on her own. Basic Instinct 2 had a strange plot and didn't at all attain the level of intrigue and terror of the original. 

  • 'Caddyshack 2'

    6

    Chevy Chase definitely loves a sequel, and while the funny man is pretty much always good for a few chuckles, Caddyshack 2 just didn't have the originality of, well, the original. Honestly, it must be pretty hard to write new jokes for the same characters over and over again. Seriously, though, Chevy and crew really just phoned this one in.

  • 'Terminator Genisys'

    7

    Terminator Genisys adds absolutely no value to the Terminator franchise. There are a lot of Terminator films, and many are decent, if not outright good, and some are definitely bad ... but Terminator Genisys is the worst of the lot. The concept is murky, and the writing just doesn't hold up. Not even the over-the-top graphics are enough to make up for the film's lack of substance.

  • 'Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2'

    8

    The original Blair Witch Project was a film that people either loved or hated. Either way, it was an innovator and ushered in a new trend of found-footage horror movies that still endures more than 20 years later. The studio apparently couldn't pass up the opportunity to cash in on the unexpected success of the first film and ordered a sequel. Sadly, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was much more like a standard horror flick and offered almost none of the pure terror incited by the original.

  • 'Teen Wolf Too'

    9

    Michael J. Fox can't just be replaced. It just can't be done -- especially not in one of the films that helped usher him from child star squarely into teen heartthrob territory. Not even Jason Bateman, whom so many of us have grown to know and love, can fill his shoes. Michael J. Fox was seriously the most lovable, relatable guy to ever play a werewolf, and there's something about the charisma he brought to the role that just could not be recaptured by anyone else.

  • 'Superman IV: The Quest for Peace'

    10

    For many Americans, Christopher Reeves is Superman, or at least the first and most iconic Superman that many of us have ever known. We can't and won't take that away from him, but Superman IV: The Quest of Peace was a big, fat disappointment. The film was, dare we say, boring. From production to direction, and even the concept itself, nothing about it was quite right.

  • 'Blues Brothers 2000'

    11

    The music is, of course, good and probably the only redeeming quality of Blues Brothers 2000. That said, this sequel to The Blues Brothers, which was released nearly 20 years earlier, just wasn't anywhere near as funny as the first film. While we all love John Goodman, his brand of humor is just not the same as John Belushi's, and he may not have been the best comedian for the role.

  • 'Speed 2: Cruise Control'

    12

    Noticing a theme here? When a lead character in a hit movie is replaced in a sequel, it more often than not, just doesn't work. Sandra Bullock absolutely has the acting chops to carry a film, but the chemistry between her and Keanu Reeves is a huge part of what made Speed so enthralling. Some of the action sequences in Speed 2: Cruise Control were entertaining, but the writing and the plot in general paled in comparison to the original, which, of course, had us all on the edge of our seats.

  • 'Batman & Robin'

    13

    Batman & Robin should have been a good sequel. It had a cast full of the era's biggest names, including George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. People should have loved it, but it took the hyper-fantasy of 1990s-era superhero movies to a whole other level. It was just too out there, too bizarre, and, if we're being truthful, it just came off as plain silly.

  • 'The Hangover Part II'

    14

    Nope. It wasn't necessary. The Hangover gave us plenty of gross, disturbing guy humor to last a lifetime. There was no need at all to make a sequel chronicling the pre-wedding shenanigans of the four misguided friends we were first introduced to during the famed Las Vegas bachelor party. But of course, with the original being such a huge hit, there was money to be made that the studio just wouldn't pass up.

  • 'The Hangover: Part III'

    15

    And yup, they did it again. (What?! It's true.) The Hangover: Part III actually exists. This time, there's even a kidnapping. As can be imagined, though, none of it is even funny anymore. To be honest, it's actually kind of shocking that any of these actors still have legitimate careers after the Hangover trilogy. They're actually all really talented, though, which is probably why the studio was able to drag this out for so long.

  • 'Son of the Mask'

    16

    It's not possible to take an iconic film character and substitute the lead actor in a sequel. It does not work. Like, ever. Jamie Kennedy was so bad in Son of the Mask, he was actually nominated for a Razzie for his performance. Instead of even trying to make his own mark, Jamie Kennedy seemed to be attempting to emulate Jim Carey, despite the fact that he wasn't even playing the same character. It was all cheese and no real humor.

  • 'Transformers: The Last Knight'

    17

    With Mark Wahlberg playing the lead role, it's really tempting to want to see Transformers: The Last Knight, but don't do it. This movie is an absolute disaster. The plot makes no sense, and the overuse of CGI makes it utterly difficult to watch. Even the action sequences are so unrealistic and over-the-top that they end up having no effect at all -- other than maybe a mind-numbing one.

  • 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason'

    18

    It's hard not to love Bridget Jones, or at least not to empathize with her, but the second installment of the Bridget Jones films, Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, just doesn't fit. In a desperate attempt to freshen up the humor of the original, Bridget finds herself trying to get out of a Thai prison, and the audience ends up with way too much of that plot and not enough of the romantic antics we want to see from these films. 

    (Womp. Womp.)

  • 'Independence Day: Resurgence'

    19

    Despite having a cast full of big names -- including Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman -- Independence Day: Resurgence is a total dud. Wanna know why? Because there's no Will Smith. Even with some of the supporting actors from the original film, Will Smith made the original Independence Day a hit. He played an absolutely epic role during the peak of his career, and audiences loved it. The sequel did not succeed in capturing any of what made the original so impactful. The story line was lacking, and the film completely fell flat.

  • 'Grease 2'

    20

    Grease 2 was such an epic failure that people rarely even talk about it. (Maybe we actually avoid talking about it because it was such a huge cinematic disappointment, that we all wish we could erase from our memories.) The original Grease film is obviously a classic that continues to reach the hearts of people all over the world, more than 40 years after its release. But Grease 2 was incapable of even achieving a small amount of that feeling. The film attempts to flip the script by introducing two brand-new lead characters, and having the exchange student be the male character, and the Rydell High cool kid as the female lead -- rather than following our beloved Danny and Sandy post-high school. 

    The new characters are bland and uninteresting, and the actors have zero chemistry with each other. The studio should have known that no one would ever be able to live up to what John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John created.

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