The top five most disappointing movie sequels of all-time

From "Episode I" to "Crystal Skull," the movie sequels that were complete letdowns

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This year, we have received and will receive sequels to some of our favorite movies of all time, from “Star Wars: Episode VII” to “Jurassic World.” We eagerly and somewhat nervously anticipate these sequels, afraid that they could suck. I think it’s safe to say that no sequel this year will be as disappointing as these five films.

 

  1. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008)

Ah, the film the coined the term “nuking the fridge.” “Indy 4” was released 19 years after “The Last Crusade” from 1989. While “The Temple of Doom” from 1984 was disappointing, “The Last Crusade” is what made Indiana Jones holy again. Then came this atrocity. Admittedly, the film isn’t that bad; however, it’s Indiana Jones. If it’s not at least pretty good, it’s a disappointment. This film is definitely the later. There are a lot of minor problems with the film, from the nuke to the gophers to the fact that the film is about aliens. The thing that is really bad about the film, however, is Shia LaBeouf. Okay, so LaBeouf isn’t a horrible actor, but he isn’t especially good either. Here, in combination with writer David Koepp’s crappy dialogue, is one of the most annoying characters opposite Jar Jar Binks. LaBeouf is whiny, stupid, and downright rude in the film, leaving me hoping he would just die. Major character step down from Sean Connery’s Dr. Jones Sr. in “Crusade.”

 

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” Grade: A

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” Grade: B-

 

  1. “Batman Forever” (1995)

In 1989, “Batman” completely shocked the world with its great acting, epic music, and gothic, dark tone. The sequel, “Batman Returns,” definitely wasn’t as good as its predecessor, however it was still a very good sequel. Warner Bros. Pictures, however, decided to chicken out and go for a more “kid friendly” tone, so exit Tim Burton and enter director Joel Schumacher, the man who almost single handedly killed comic book movies period. What came next was the euthanization of a franchise. Batman, now played by Val Kilmer, is boring and stale, the villains are bad on a disgusting level, and the film itself just had no substance. Instead of being an epic and dark superhero film, it just felt like an hour-and-a-half toy commercial. The film is eye candy for the blind.

 

“Batman Returns” Grade: A-

“Batman Forever” Grade: C

 

  1. “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” (2000)

Very few horror films are ever praised by mainstream critics. “The Blair Witch Project” is one of those few. With its realism and horrifying premise, the film scared its way to becoming the most profitable movie of all time in 1999. In his review, film critic legend Roger Ebert gave the film a perfect four stars, more than he gave Best Picture winner “The Silence of the Lambs.” Following on the heels of its predecessor’s success, Artisan Entertainment released  “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” the following year. The irony is that it is about as distant of a sequel as you could possibly get, yet it’s still called “Blair Witch 2.” The acting is about as painful to watch as having a root canal done, with characters who are downright hateable. There is nothing good about this movie. Absolutely nothing. The Marilyn Manson punk music is distracting, the “hip” cinematography is nauseating, and the “scares” are about as scary as watching a puppy play with his tail. Not nearly as cute though. This movie almost single handedly ruined the Blair Witch mythology and killed any chances at another sequel. Not to mention, there is no “book of shadows” in the movie, or anything similar. It might as well have been called “Book of Crap: Blair Witch 2, kind of.” At least then the title is halfway true.

 

“The Blair Witch Project” Grade: A+

“Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” Grade: D-

 

  1. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (1997)

“Jurassic Park” is my third favorite movie of all time. I grew up with it and I will always love it. The sequel, however, I try to forget. Much like “Indiana Jones 4,” “The Lost World” isn’t that bad. In fact it’s decent. Decent, though, is not an acceptable word when describing either “Jurassic Park” or director Steven Spielberg. Spielberg seems to release beloved classics year after year. Here however, Spielberg seemed to sleepwalk through production as this film lacks all the emotion, all the excitement, and all the depth of the first film. Goodbye actors Sam Neill and Laura Dern. Hello annoying Julianne Moore and ridiculously over the top Arliss Howard. In addition to the lackluster acting and bland directing, the film has a boring story and way too much CGI. This is not a “Jurassic Park” film; it’s a giant monster film, and that’s not what the original is all about.

 

“Jurassic Park” Grade: A+

“The Lost World: Jurassic Park” Grade: B-

 

  1. “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999)

Finally, the film that helped ruin the greatest science fiction franchise of all time. Everything about the original Star Wars trilogy is great, everything about this film isn’t. All three of the original Star Wars films are classics, whereas this one is mediocre at best. Jar Jar Binks is arguably the most annoying movie character ever created, director/writer George Lucas’ dialogue is straight out of a Hallmark movie, and the over the top CGI is painfully obvious and not good by any stretch of the imagination. Everything about this film is a complete opposite. The original trilogy had a great main character in Luke Skywalker; “Episode I” had three bad main characters. the original trilogy had five fantastic villains in Darth Vader, The Emperor, Boba Fett, Grand Moff Tarkin and Jabba the Hutt; “Episode I” had one mediocre villain in Darth Maul. The film feels like a complete mockery of “Star Wars” and good movies everywhere.

 

The original Star Wars trilogy grade: A+

“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”: C-

 

Honorable Mentions:

“Spider-Man 3” (2007) – B+ (sequel to “Spider-Man 2” (2004) – A+)

“A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2” (1985) – D (sequel to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) – A+)

Jaws 2 (1978) – C+ (sequel to “Jaws” (1975) – A+)

Alien 3 (1992) – B- (sequel to “Aliens” (1986) – A)

“Monsters University” (2013) – B (sequel to “Monsters Inc.” (2001) – A)

 

Well that was quite a depressing list. As with a few titles here, not all were that bad of movies, just extremely disappointing compared to the previous film. I’m just hoping I won’t have to re-do this list come December after the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” If so, “The Phantom Menace” at least won’t seem quite as disappointing.