Once was enough: 5 Bad Hollywood Movie sequels

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If we were to analyze what ingredients go into the making of a bad sequel, the lack of a concrete plot would top the list. Other reasons will include some pivotal characters (or the actors who played them) conspicuous by their absence or repeated and unoriginal plots, stunts and in some cases, even the dialogues.

Even if a sequel qualifies as relevant, the direction and execution of the idea and plot is sometimes so bland that it leaves you wondering, ‘What on earth had been so special about the first installment that I dared to turn up for the next?’

In a movie famous with its own set of sequels, Jurassic Park, there is a witty dialogue, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”  For the sequels listed below, the same goes for the producers and writers and the whole cast and crew. They were so engrossed in recreating a masterpiece and banking on the success of the predecessor that they forgot to do the preliminary research of whether the audience was REALLY asking for more!

1. Jaws 2

No one can so much as dare to think that the magic of Steven Spielberg can be recreated. It must have taken a lot of courage to actually think of competing with the gigantic wonder and phenomenal success that Jaws was. Jaws 2 suffers with the drawbacks of playing safe- you cannot expect the audience to be excited and awestruck by a mechanical shark upturning sailboats or breaking bones as they had been by the originality of the concept in the first movie. When an audience turns up to see the sequel, they come to watch a story above and beyond what they were told in the preceding part, not for some rehash!

2. Son of the Mask

This one suffers from a variety of illnesses like the absence of Jim Carrey, who had driven the libidinous hit comedy The Mask with his hilarity. In his portrayal of a socially-inept, cartoon-watching lowly bank employee and the transformation into a semi-cartoon, Carrey managed to carry the insanity in a way that makes it endearing and not creepy. But alas, in this movie the mask of Loki has fallen into wrong hands. And to be honest, it was not just the mask, the script as well! There can possibly be no other explanation to the insipid script.

3. Speed2: Cruise Control

We all love Sandra Bullock-her acting, prowess, her personality. But this movie had us questioning her credentials and that of the whole team. It was pretty clear from the beginning that this won’t work! Maybe, Jason Patric was not the problem, but he wasn’t the solution either!

One, Bullock is not cut out to play feeble or frail roles. Two, the assortment of the supporting cast does nothing to elevate our anger. Three, you can keep waiting for 110 minutes in anticipation of a stunt that never really hits the screen. Maybe the makers had a thrilling sequence planned but decided to go for a ridiculous conclusion instead. Bad choice!

4. The Hills Have Eyes 2

Described across review sites as ‘shoddy piece of corporate horror’, this film has no reason for its existence. The first part was a treat for the fans of hardcore horrors. Panned by critics and dismissed by viewers, this depiction of teens fighting inbred cannibals is a classic example of lazy filmmaking. So unless your laziness and impunity matches theirs, do not watch this flick.

5. Batman and Robin

Are there awards for attempted film-slaughter? If there are, you know whom to award it to. If I say that a superlative film was followed by a fiercely mediocre one, it would be unfair because I doubt if ‘Batman and Robin’ was even mediocre. Subsequently, Warner Bros. cancelled the unproduced Batman Triumphant. Even George Clooney couldn’t save the day!

Here’s some friendly advice, when making a sequel, you are already walking on thin ice (and a lot of expectations!), don’t take uncalculated risks, but don’t play safe either. Don’t repeat the plot, but don’t twist it inexplicably either. Know your audience well!

Kritika Narula
[email protected]

With a ginormous appetite for books, she is the kind of person who experiences Book Hangovers way too often. An unabashed fangirl, unbeatable optimist, movie-buff, art-lover, are some of the phrases that define her. In some alternate universe, she feeds on Mac and cheese every living moment. She actually fell in love at first sight: with big words. She can be found sipping coffee in the lawns of IP College, contemplating some quote she read somewhere, when not attending her commerce lectures. Drop her a mail at [email protected]. She’d prefer a tweet @kritika_n_books, though.

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