As you know, The Hangover Part II premiers this weekend. And while the hype surrounding Todd Phillips‘ latest comedy almost guarantees it will be a hit, the quality of the film is yet to be determined. I’m really hoping it turns out well. Unfortunately, it probably needs a lot more than my well wishes in order to succeed. If history teaches us anything, it’s that sequels to blockbuster comedy films are usually garbage. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at the following 15 examples (although I probably could have listed 25). Let’s hope The Hangover Part II can buck the trend.
Note: There are many comedy sequels worse than the films listed here. But in our opinion, these are the most disappointing.
Major League is to Major League II what Wesley Snipes is to Omar Epps. This is due, in no small part, to the fact that Omar Epps replaced Wesley Snipes in the role of Willie Mays Hayes for the second installment. At any rate, the first film was fun to watch because it involved a group of underdogs overcoming the odds. Once they won their division at the end of the first film, they were no longer underdogs, so who gives a damn?
Forcing a degenerate character played by Whoopi Goldberg to live with a bunch of devout nuns just screams comedy, especially if you’re a middle-aged woman. But for the sequel, Whoopi’s character returns of her own free will to help teach at the school. Since she wasn’t forced to be there, the tension was gone. Besides that, adding a class full of teenage minority stereotypes really didn’t help.
The first Ace Ventura was stupid, yet hilarious. The sequel was also stupid, but was lacking in the hilarity department. Save for the Rhino-birth scene, I’m not sure there’s a single laugh to be found in this horribly thrown together follow-up.
How do you make a comedy about teens trying to get laid after all of the characters have already gotten laid? In all fairness, American Pie II was a tolerable film, so it can be done. But don’t ask the people behind Porky’s II how to do it, because they clearly don’t know.
I don’t use the word atrocity often, mainly because I don’t go to a lot of war-crime tribunals. But to fans of the original Blues Brothers, this film was like the Mai Lai Massacre. And as with Mai Lai, most of those responsible were never held accountable for their actions.
Weekend at Bernie’s managed to stretch an already thin premise to the breaking point, but it resulted in a surprisingly tolerable film. The sequel had no such luck, and quickly devolved into a first-class shit show. Given the nature of the film, I’m willing to suspend disbelieve to a point. But once the reanimated corpse was magically dancing around on its own, I called shenanigans. Unfortunately, I was watching the film by myself because everyone else was at the prom, so no one heard me.
Considering the great work Jason Bateman has done over the past ten years, it’s easy to forget he was in Teen Wolf Too. But I didn’t forget. And I never friggen will. On a side note, if a sequel has the word “too” in it, there’s a 99% chance it’s going to suck. Which brings us “too” our next film.
Although it is seldom accomplished, there’s always a need to try and improve upon the original when making a sequel. If your big idea to improve upon your film is to add a voice over of Roseanne, you might as well not try at all. Although compared to Look Who’s Talking Now, this film looks like The Godfather II.
Technically, this film is a prequel, so maybe it doesn’t belong on the list. Oh well.
In theory, the idea of the Star Wars prequels was promising because the original films set up an entire universe of colorful characters that people cared about, complete with an interesting back story. Sure, it didn’t turn out well, but the potential was there. Was there any potential for a Dumb and Dumber prequel starring two guys who look like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels? We’re not talking about the origin of the Jedi, here. We’re talking about a couple of morons. Who cares how they met?
Man, Jim Carrey films are really prevalent on this list (Note: I meant the original films: Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty). That said, he can’t be held accountable for Evan Almighty. I know the film is supposed to have a heartfelt message about faith, but what kind of loving god would allow a movie like this to get made?
Vacation was a film that just about everybody could relate to. At one point or another, most of us have been forced to partake in the forced family fun that is a road trip. On the other hand, most of us have no taken part in an all-expenses paid European adventure that we won on a pig-themed game show. The franchise redeemed itself with Christmas Vacation, probably because almost everyone has had to deal with family members during the holidays. But, everything went back to hell with Vegas Vacation.
The problem with making a sequel to a parody film is that the characters have almost no room to grow. Sure, you can stick them in a different, crazier situations, but it can’t help but feel like a retread of the original plot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re in the mood for more of the same, and the Naked Gun II isn’t a horrible film on its own. But when compared to the original, there’s really no reason for it to exist.
Taking a swinging spy from the 60’s and dropping him into the post Cold-War era made for one of the funnier comedies of the past twenty years. But putting the fish back into water via a time travel plot just didn’t work. Instead of watching a guy make a fool out of himself, the sequel showed us an idiot interacting with a bunch of other like-minded idiots. That’s not funny, and after a while, it’s just annoying. To this day, any time someone says “yeah, baby,” I want to punch them in the face.
Caddyshack is one of the all-time classic comedy films. Unfortunately, Caddyshack II is one of the all-time worst sequels. Why is there such a drastic difference? The cast! Besides cameos by Chevy Chase and the gopher, I don’t think there’s a single character from the original film. What’s the point of making a sequel when the only connection to the original is the setting (Bushwood County Club)? That’s like making a sequel to The Big Lebowski, and having the only connection be the bowling alley.