6 Terrible Movie Sequels That Ruined Their Own Franchises
We live in a time of endless, unstoppable sequels, reboots, and revivals, but not all of them can be Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Jurassic World-sized successes. Paramount found this out the hard way when Terminator Genisys sank at the box office like a T-800 solemnly descending into a vat of molten steel, giving a sad thumbs-up as he goes. The planned sequel was immediately dropped, and we won't see a reboot till James Cameron and Tim Miller's sixth installment.
But at least the Terminator will be back. Here are six other sequel catastrophes that did all they could to destroy their franchises forever.
1| Speed 2: Cruise Control
Speed had all the ingredients for Fast and Furious-level franchise-dom. Unfortunately, Keanu Reeves turned down its 1997 sequel because "the script wasn't great". Jason Patric (aka Michael from The Lost Boys) joined Sandra Bullock for this follow-up instead, which took the action up a notch by locating it on a cruise ship. Suffice to say, that was pretty much the last we ever heard of him.
We think Wikipedia puts it best when it says that Speed 2: Cruise Control"was and continues to be widely regarded as a travesty in filmmaking". The Father Ted episode 'Speed 3' is the closest the film is ever likely to get to a follow-up, and we're OK with that.
2| Fantastic Four
Fox hasn't been kind to Marvel's oldest property. The original two Fantastic Four films were embarrassingly dorky, but all eyes were on director Josh Trank to see if he could bring the magic of his small budget hit Chronicle to the series in 2015's reboot.
He could not. Like Terminator Genisys, ambitious plans for a sequel made before the first film had even been released were carefully pushed under the table like an unwanted stalk of broccoli. There are much better uses of Michael B Jordan's talents.
3| Grease 2
How to follow musical classic Grease? How about a watered-down, gender-swapped version of the original story with a bunch of forgettable songs thrown into the mix?
In Grease 2's defense, it's the only movie on this list that could in any way be considered to have a cult following (and regular sing-along showings at the Prince Charles Cinema). But let's just say there was no Grease 3 and leave it at that, shall we?
4| Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Whatever you might feel about the found-footage genre—and tearful twentysomethings running around in circles in the woods—The Blair Witch Project was something new and unusual when it apparently left some cinemagoers thinking it was real back in 1999.
How better to follow it up a year later with the conventional shot and highly confusing horror sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2—which features neither a book nor a witch.
Technically it didn't *quite* kill the franchise as 2016's Blair Witch revived the property and made a modest killing.
5| Jaws: The Revenge
Under the definition of 'The Law of Diminishing Returns' in any respectable encyclopedia, you will find mention of the Jaws series. Beginning with a modern classic, by the third sequel we had a family victimized by a vengeful—and apparently psychic—shark that follows them all over the world for reasons. (We're kidding. There is no reason for any of this.)
Hats off to Jaws: The Revenge for scoring an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with its "illogical, tension-free" plot and "cut-rate special effects". It also managed to bag Michael Caine in a supporting role, who was unable to collect his Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters because he was shooting this monster. At least he got a nice new house out of it—we got nothing.
6| Dumb and Dumber To
Pretend with us for a minute that the straight-to-video prequel never happened, and it was 20 years between Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels's exquisitely silly cult comedy classic Dumb and Dumber and 2014, when their characters Lloyd and Harry walked back into cinemas.
Or should we say limped? The "needlessly abrasive" Dumb and Dumber Towas a mean-spirited rehash which begged the question: why haven't these two grown up yet? All we were left with now were two sequels to pretend never happened, but at least no sign that we will ever have to suffer the indignity of a third.
Honorable mentions go to A Good Day to Die Hard, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Superman Returns, which despite all their best efforts couldn't kill their franchises. And there was Freddy vs Jason, which by rights should have been the miserable, explosive end of two franchises, but couldn't even bring down one.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.