Sequels are notoriously difficult things to pull off, even for the best directors out there. There’s a lot of shaky ground when it comes to brining a beloved hero or franchise back around for a second spin, and they often stumble and fall as they hit the big-screen. So we took a look at the five big sequels that failed to live up to the expectations:
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
The Terminator franchise faced some tough challenges when the third instalment was in planning stages. James Cameron – the genius behind the original Terminator and the brilliant sequel – had no interest in coming back on board. The movie focused heavily on John Connor, but Edward Furlong was facing severe addiction issues and was unable to reprise the role. They did have Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it had been nearly 20 years since the original and robots don’t tend to age. Terrible dialogue and ridiculous moments left Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines a disaster until the final five minutes, when it actually gets kind of cool.
The Hangover: Part III (2013)
Most everyone that saw The Hangover Part II felt it was a pale retread of the original, so a third movie left little hope, even with hardcore fans. The filmmakers and actors tried to mix it up and throw the gang back back Las Vegas without an actual hangover-induced memory lapse, but with all-too-familiar jokes, set-ups and scenarios, The Hangover Part III still felt tired and predictable.
Batman and Robin (1997)
The stunningly inept Batman and Robin wasn’t only a shameful mess of an iconic comic book legacy, but it also hobbled the movie careers of Alicia Silverstone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris O’Donnell and director Joel Shumacher in the process. Amazingly, George Clooney managed to walk away from it unscathed. “With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go, ‘Woah, that was really shitty and I was really bad in it,'” Clooney said years later. “It was a difficult film to be good in.” We’re not going to argue, Mr. Clooney.
Anchorman 2 (2013)
Comedy sequels are incredibly tricky to pull off, as was the case with The Hangover sequels. Anchorman 2 worked very hard to walk the line by updating the timeframe to the early 1980s and moving the action to New York, but still maintaining the tone of the first one. But the gags and characters felt way too calculable as you could almost hear the jokes before the characters blurted them out. Sadly, it lacked the freshness of the initial go-round. No movie could possibly have surpassed the original and this was indeed a noble effort, but it’s the first one people will be watching years from now, not the sequel.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
A fourth Indiana Jones movie was something that people dreamed of, until it actually happened, now we want to erase it from our memories. The screenplay just wasn’t there, and bringing in Shia LaBeouf as Indy’s long-lost son was a critical error. “I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished,” LeBeouf said in 2010. “We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn’t happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn’t universally accepted.” And that reason, our dear readers, was that it was terrible.
Which movie sequel do you think dropped the ball? Comment below and tweet us @MenStuffZA and let us know…