With the release of Scream 4 this Friday (or SCRE4M if you need to be a jackass about it), I figured I’d lead up to it with my list of the 20 most disappointing sequels that I’ve seen.

Random Blog Reader: Another list? Gee, there’s a fuckin surprise.
Me: Kiss my dick.

These aren’t necessarily the worst overall sequels of all time, but rather ones that should have been good, but by most accounts sucked. I find it interesting that roughly half of the sequels on this list are a Part 3, which seems to suggest that an awful lot of franchises ran out of gas after one sequel. It must also be said that this is in no way a reflection of the quality of Scream 4, which I haven’t seen yet. That review will come sometime this weekend.

Now, in no particular order, on to the Shit Show:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Let’s get this one out of the way since it’s probably the most talked-about turd in recent memory. You can say all you want about Harrison Ford being old (what’d you expect?), or Shia LaBeouf, or the weak villain, or the CGI bullshit, or Shia LaBeouf, or Ray Winstone flip-flopping more than John Kerry, or the great John Hurt being wasted playing a mumbling retard, Shia LaBeouf, nuclear refrigerator escape, CGI monkey escape, Shia LaBeouf…

Go ahead Indy - push him.

The movie’s chief offense is that it bored the shit out of me. I think it was around the second or third time that Jones, Marion & Co. got caught trying to escape in the middle act jungle scene that I actually caught myself from dozing off and drooling on my popcorn. And how do you waste Cate Blanchett? Give her a cartoonish Russian accent and make her play the weakest and most boring villain of the entire franchise. In the final act (after we sit through the CGI-equivalent of a bukkake video), Cate’s eyes get burned out of her skull by Spielberg Stock Alien #7. We all should’ve been so lucky.

(Insert tired Charlie Sheen joke)

Let Major League II stand as proof that making a neutered, PG-rated sequel to a foul-mouthed, R-rated comedy is about as good an idea as letting R. Kelly babysit your daughters. The plot is actually fairly plausible, with an aging Tom Berenger playing a manager this time, and a newly-rich and egotistical Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen – hold your heckles) losing his edge. But Wesley Snipes was too busy starring in action movies and not paying taxes at the time to bother returning, and the new characters are largely unfunny and unmemorable. Of course, a third installment (Major League: Back to the Minors) would end up making this one look like The Godfather: Part II, but at least we could smell that one’s stench from a mile away.

Jaws 3

Great - a shark with down syndrome.

Though hardly warranted, Jaws 2 managed to be a pretty respectable sequel. I guess the producers felt they then had the leeway to make an out-and-out abomination, hence Jaws 3 (formerly Jaws 3-D), made to bank on the gimmicky 3-D fad of the early ’80s. In retrospect it could’ve been entertaining in a cheesy B-movie kind of way, but in reality it’s the cinematic equivalent of a horse tranquilizer. This movie’s not even fun to watch when you’re pissed out of your brain (I’ve tried). The shark “effects” just make you wish the damned thing broke down every 10 minutes like it did for Spielberg. And how did Dennis Quaid get sucked into this? With his recent admission of having a coke problem early in his career, perhaps he did a few fat lines before reading the script.

This poor kid before his dreams were crushed.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the reason more theaters need to start serving booze. I was mildly sauced going in to this gargantuan train wreck, but there’s nothing but pain to be had once the medicine wears off. It’s the ADHD version of the original; that annoying person who talks constantly but really says nothing. Saying this movie suffered from the writer’s strike is like saying Patrick Swayze has been a little underexposed lately. It’s like someone banging on trash cans for 2.5 hours, and then kicking you square in the nuts. With explosions. Actually when all is said and done, this movie’s greatest offense is that it actually killed Shia LaBeouf – then brought him back.

I can think of many things funnier than Beverly Hills Cop III Schindler’s List and the AIDS virus come to mind for starters. Even though Beverly Hills Cop II wasn’t too good either, this third one reeked of desperation, given Eddie Murphy’s recent string of unfunny box office duds. Adding insult to injury was Murphy’s seeming refusal to return to the hard comedy that made the first one so great, leading to an overly silly movie, with Axel Foley a hollow shell of the character he used to be. Judge Reinhold returns but John Ashton and Ronny Cox are MIA, and the weak villain with his counterfeit money scheme barely makes those present break a sweat. The one or two laughs to be had are no thanks to Murphy, who’s simply going through the motions here in a petty attempt at holding on to his box office relevance. As it turns out, all he’d need is some fat suits to get his enthusiasm back.


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