20 OF THE MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUELS OF ALL TIME: 11-15

Whos gonna suffer?

Rush Hour 3 is the type of sequel best left forgotten, or if you can help it, unseen. I liked the first two, which had a nice blend of zany Jackie Chan stunts and motor-mouthed Chris Tucker (the fact that he hasn’t made anything outside of the Rush Hour flicks since they began has helped keep him tolerable, I guess). This third one simply came along too late (six years after Rush Hour 2), and time hasn’t been good to Chan (who just looks tired throughout) or Tucker (who just looks…bloated). The action seems toned down and incredibly routine, and despite the several years off, nobody seems particularly enthused to be back – from Chan and Tucker’s performances to Brett Ratner’s lifeless direction. It all feels made out of obligation, as if somebody dusted off a contract from years before and suddenly realized a third movie had to be made.

Batman & Robin couldn’t have been any gayer if they were played by Ryan Seacrest and Matthew Morrison. At the effeminate hands of Joel Schumacher, the Batman franchise was steered from the dark and twisted world of Tim Burton, and back to the punny camp of the ’60s Adam West era. Only this time with 1,000% more neon lights. Excited fanboys lined up to see the devastating juggernaut Bane reduced to a walking cartoon, Arnold Schwarzenegger trying (but failing) to out-ham Jim Carrey from Batman Forever, and plenty of closeups of rubbery bat-butts, bat-asses, bat-crotches and of course, bat nipples. Heterosexual Batman fans were left in the cold here, as even the role of Batgirl went to sloshy-mouthed (and slightly pudgy) Alicia Silverstone. Perhaps we should’ve seen this coming after Batman Forever (law of diminishing returns, ‘n all) but really, nothing could have prepared anyone for this flaming trainwreck.

And what would this list be without Spider-Man 3? We all know it sucked, by what really made it suck was that the first two were just so damn good. At the time, Spider-Man 2 was considered one of the best sequels of all time – that rare instance of a sequel one-upping the original. Sam Raimi & Co. took an extra year coming up with a third one – surely that meant it would be just as good? No fucking dice. Turns out, Raimi apparently spent the extra time figuring out how to stuff the ever-loving shit out of this movie with villains, supporting characters, plots, subplots and dance sequences. It was almost as if Raimi knew this would be his last hoorah with the franchise, and just said “Fuck it.” As a result, we all learned that Tobey Maguire plays dark and conflicted about as well as Susan Boyle plays gorgeous, and casting Topher Grace to play Venom was every bit the bad idea it seemed.

Guilty.

Hannibal should have gone down in flames the minute Jodie Foster decided not to return. But you can’t keep a good cannibal and/or movie producer down, and so Julianne Moore is supposed to pick up the slack as she sorta half-chases Lecter through Europe. This movie is so fucking boring, you’ll likely nod off halfway through, awaking only to see Ray Liotta’s brains being scooped out, but not even considering the thought of rewinding it to catch up. The luckiest participant here is Gary Oldman, who’s so decked out in makeup and unrecognizable that he can convincingly deny any involvement.

The Godfather, Part III

Future Joe Mantegna advises Past Joe Mantegna not to sign on.

Talk about the black sheep of the family. I guess Francis Ford Coppola hates perfection, which is the only way to explain why he’d want to dilute the potency of the first two with this belated and unnecessary bore of a sequel. Then again, maybe he just ran out of money. To Coppola’s credit, he originally wanted to title the movie The Death of Michael Corleone, since he realized it was more of an epilogue than a legitimate continuation. That obviously didn’t happen, which is why “Just watch the first two” has long been uttered ever since 1990 or so. What went wrong? Well for starters, the main plot about Michael trying to go legit and partnering with the Vatican is Boredom 101. Then there’s Sofia Coppola’s infamous performance as Michael’s daughter, which severely undercuts her accidental murder at the end. Andy Garcia shows up because Sonny forgot to pull out, but he’s not half as memorable as James Caan was. Perhaps the worst offense is the near-3-hour running time, when a good amount of it feels like padding. It’s as if it was forced to run that long just to keep in line with the first two.

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