The saying “One good turn deserves another” might not always be correct, especially concerning movie sequels. Some movies capture our hearts, and we want to see more. The producers see this need and sense an opportunity to make more money, so they bring back the cast, get the cameras rolling, and dish out a sequel, often without the same care and attention as the first movie.
Fans watch this second installment, and it leaves a bitter taste in their mouth. Sometimes, these films are so badly made they almost taint all the good work the original did.
In an online discussion, movie watchers discuss some of the sequels that should never have happened. Here are a few of their picks for worst cinematic missteps.
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1. Mean Girls 2
Mean Girls was a smash hit in its time, a darling among teens and adults alike. Today, fans still rewatch the movie and enjoy the humor, plot, high school cliques, and even the dialogue. Though released in 2004, it remains a cult classic two decades later.
But the sequel, Mean Girls 2, released in 2011, nearly soiled all of that reputation. It made fans angry and many regretted watching it. Some complained, for instance, that Meaghan Martin’s progression from grungy engineering nerd to Plastic seemed unrealistic.
2. Sex and the City 2
Sex and the City was a 2008 romantic comedy that had lots of fans invested in its story. It received commercial success and acclaim, grossing over $415 million from a $65 million budget.
But a lot of fans who anticipated the sequel, Sex and the City 2, were disappointed, and many didn’t even finish watching it. Some of the lines in the movie were particularly bland and cringe.
Like this one, “We’ve got a lot of Abu Dhabi to do. Abu-Dhabi-do!” The first movie was fun and closer to the spirit of the original 1998-2004 series. The second one fell so far off it caused fan outrage.
3. Zoolander 2
The first Zoolander movie remains the favorite of many. The satirical comedy critiques the fashion industry and the competition that is woven into its very fabric, with Ben Stiller putting in a stellar performance as the eponymous Zoolander.
The second film, released almost two decades later, got people hyped up. Fans couldn’t wait to see Zoolander make a return to screen. But the film ended up being a money grab with no real story and bad acting.
4. Hocus Pocus 2
Participants in the group discussion mostly agreed that they enjoyed Hocus Pocus 2. But one user said their problems lay with the emotional aspects.
The main characters were portrayed as the bullied outcasts, but then they gaslit their friend’s boyfriend, Mike (Froy Gutierrez), into thinking he was bullying them. This reversal of situation posed a problem to viewers, impacting their enjoyment of the movie.
5. George of the Jungle 2
The second installment of the George of the Jungle movies had a different protagonist swinging from vines. Brendan Fraser, the guy who played George in part one, had problems with the studio, stating that it was “too cheap to hire” him back.
So they got a lookalike, Christopher Showerman, to take his place. The movie received generally negative reviews, rated a miserly 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. The story was hardly engaging and failed to evoke the kind of connections that the first movie did.
6. Now You See Me 2
The first movie, Now You See Me, got people enchanted by its magic and the seeming lack of it, drawing them in with witty dialogues, inventive heists, and high stakes. The air around the theaters was buzzing with the magic and brilliance of actors Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, and the many others who made the film wonderful.
But in the sequel, the magic seemed to have been lost. The antics of The Four Horsemen no longer seemed intriguing. A commenter on the platform said about the movie, “The only part I remember is when Daniel Radcliffe’s character says that he ‘dabbled with magic in high school.’ laughed for ages.”
7. Wonder Woman 2
After the stellar success of Wonder Woman, setting itself apart as one of the few DC Extended Universe projects that was done right, fans expected the follow-up to do well naturally. However, almost no aspect of the movie worked, making it a disappointment by almost every metric.
The characters’ acting, including leading actress Gal Gadot, was barely convincing. The plot was contrived, and the CGI seemed done on a budget meant for a B-level movie. It was an epic failure.
8. Cheetah Girls: One World
The first couple of Cheetah Girls films were well done. Some may even say the second installment was the best of the trilogy because its songs, scenery, and dancing were all so good. But Disney should have stopped there.
Cheetah Girls 3 didn’t need to happen. The girls travel to India in this installment to be cast in a Bollywood movie. The execution of this plot, which wasn’t engaging enough, left viewers wanting more.
9. Fast & Furious Franchise
The first films started as casual racing films where the actors cared about money, street credibility, and getting the girl. These were fun to fans.
But along the line, they transformed into high-stakes save-the-world plots whose originality and enjoyability lasted only as far as Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6. Every other movie since then, especially after Paul Walker passed on, could have been left only as imagination, and not a single fan in the franchise’s cult following would be lost.
The sequel to the beloved 2007 film Enchanted wasn’t very impressive. It lacked the magic and charm of the original, filling up scenes with way too many songs that viewers could stomach.
One user on the platform said, “The original Enchanted was perfect. The sequel had so many songs, my family was groaning a bit. Also, they made the ‘real world’ way too whimsical versus the fantastical one.”
11. Toy Story 4
The Toy Story series did a lot for kids in the early 2000s and was one of the best animated films of the decade. The characters, stories, emotional stakes, and general feel of the movie kept adults and children alike invested in each new release. Toy Story 3 was the perfect close to the story, completing the arcs of all the characters.
But for some reason, Toy Story 4 happened, threatening to undo all the good work the earlier films had done. One upset member on the platform complained, “Yes, it’s like, let’s take all of the heart and message in the series and replace it with a silly spork guy.”
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.