This article is the second in a two-part series by the staff here at Goliath; in the first, we talked about great movies that deserved sequels but didn’t get one, and in this article we’ll be dedicating some time to speaking about some terrifically awful films that did manage to get sequels, although, in the case of most of these films, we can’t rightly figure out why. In a world seemingly struggling to produce quality entertainment, it’s astounding that these intellectual properties are the ones we fell back on when it came time to produce something for the silver screen. Most everyone involved in these films should be ashamed, or at the very least feel somewhat bad, about their involvement, because trust us when we say some of these films are awful. Not just bad, but incredibly bad. Remember, we aren’t talking about bad sequels (although most all of them are quite bad as well), we’re talking about the horrid, wretched films that somehow managed to get sequels into production. Here are 10 awful movies that didn’t deserve sequels (but got them anyways).
10. Grown Ups
The Sequel: Grown Ups 2
Grown Ups, which was released in 2010, wasn’t exactly a rousing success, which left many people (us included) curious as to how a sequel, 2013’s Grown Ups 2, managed to get made. Despite a star-studded cast that included Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Salma Hayek, and David Spade, Grown Ups was critically panned and commercially unsuccessful upon its release; it was puerile, unfunny and quite obviously an excuse for Sandler and his buddies to get paid while hanging out and acting like children (Sandler himself has said he now uses his movies as an excuse for paid vacations. The man actually said that). It should come to an as little shock, then, that Grown Ups 2 was even worse than its predecessor, with most everyone (cast included, we’re sure) wondering who the hell gave these people money to make a film in the first place.
9. Ghost Rider
The Sequel: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
We’re not ready to suggest that Ghost Rider, starring Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes, is a terrible film; it’s more disappointingly mediocre, which makes the fact that it spawned the atrocious sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance even worse. The sequel, which was critically reviled and is often cited among the worst superhero films of all time, is an embarrassment to the genre. While Ghost Rider never really reaches those lows, it’s still a fairly poor film that probably never deserved a sequel in the first place (although a reboot within the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains an incredibly intriguing idea). Critics were eager to point out the flaws in both Cage’s performance (those CGI abs, folks) and the shoddy writing of the Ghost Rider script; those, combined with a poor villain (despite star Wes Bentley’s best efforts), meant Ghost Rider didn’t stand much of a chance for success, or a sequel… or so we thought, back when we were naive to the intricacies of Hollywood.
8. The Flintstones
The Sequel: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
There’s a good chance you haven’t seen 1994’s The Flintstones since you were a child. If that’s the case and you still hold in your heart a tiny sliver of nostalgia concerning the film, do yourself a favor and don’t go back and watch it now (if only we could take our own advice…sigh). The Flintstones, which starred John Goodman, Elizabeth Perkins, Rick Moranis, and Rosie O’Donnell, was a pretty bad film that was neither a critical nor commercial success. But despite all that, filmmakers felt it necessary to release upon the world a plague in the form of a sequel, titled The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. Featuring an entirely new cast consisting of Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, and Kristin Johnson, Viva Rock Vegas is widely regarded as one of the worst films ever made; as such, we’re left to wonder (as are many others) who the hell was sitting around in Hollywood thinking this was a good idea. Someone explain it to us because we’re going mad!
7. Alien vs. Predator
The Sequel: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
This poor attempt to resurrect not one but two previously deceased franchises was a bit of a failure. Despite the presence of two of movie history’s most indomitable monsters, Alien vs. Predator was a disappointment, both from a narrative perspective and, surprisingly, from an action perspective. Featuring stale attempts at horror and even worse attempts at action set pieces between the titular aliens, Alien vs. Predator wasn’t exactly the kind of rousing success that usually inspires sequels; that said, we certainly got one with 2007’s Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, which delivered more of the same (despite the fact that nobody asked for it). With little humanity to invest in (the human characters are quite literally collateral damage in this fight between expert killers), both Alien vs. Predator and its sequel left us wanting, although we weren’t left wanting more of this poorly constructed attempt at a franchise.
The Sequel: Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
We like to let Bill Murray speak for himself, and we felt he annunciated our feelings on Garfield, which also starred Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt, in his brief Zombieland cameo. When asked on his movie deathbed if he had any regrets, Bill’s only confession is “Garfield, maybe.” Yeah… we’re liable to agree with you on this one, Bill. A shoddily assembled film which sees the titular feline of the comic strip fame attempting to save Odie, his owner’s new dog, after he’s been abducted, Garfield had no business spawning a sequel, least of all one with the terrifically awful pun Tale of Two Kitties in the title. The latter film, which saw Love Hewitt and Meyer return alongside Murray, was just as hated and unnecessary as the first; both are black marks on Murray’s otherwise stellar filmography.
5. Sex And the City
The Sequel: Sex and the City 2
Sex and the City, for all the hate it’s gotten over the years, holds an important place in popular culture. One of HBO’s most endearing success stories, Sex and the City was one of the first predominantly female-oriented shows offered off of cable television, and its influence is widespread and strongly felt even today. That said, both Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2 were entirely unnecessary creative endeavors. While the show admirably wrapped up most all of its storylines, HBO still felt it necessary to trot out a feature film version of the series (which was lukewarmly received), and then felt it further necessary to inundate the audiences of America with a sequel to that film, which saw the gang of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte spending time in Abu Dhabi, of all places. Yeah, we’re going to go ahead and pass on a trilogy, HBO.
4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The Sequel: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
We don’t really have the words to express how much we dislike Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. While we were happy to tolerate Shia TheBeef and Megan Fox in the first film because, you know, we weren’t tired of watching giant robots slug it out yet (that’s right; Michael Bay made the Transformers series so awful that we got tired of watching giant robots fight each other. Damn you, Michael Bay, for taking that away from us). Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen manages to suck the fun out of the franchise in a way we wouldn’t have thought possible before seeing the film. Despite the fact that the film features some of the worst writing in the history of cinema, it was a massive commercial success that dominated the box office, and led to the production of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, an equally underwhelming sequel that proved once and for all that giant robots throwing down just isn’t enough to carry a film (we say, as we weep over the pieces of our broken childhood).
3. Big Momma’s House
The Sequel: Big Momma’s House 2
We can’t imagine what a writer’s room in Hollywood looks like, especially when it comes to films like Big Momma’s House, the Martin Lawrence vehicle (remember that guy!?) that saw him dressed as a large, elderly woman so as to complete a mission for the FBI. Who was sitting around thinking “Man, we need to put Martin Lawrence in drag, and proceed to make him look like an idiot for 90 minutes?” Whoever it was, we want to see that dude fired. This is an awful film that managed to spawn not one, but two sequels that make the first look like Citizen Kane; both Big Momma’s House 2 and Big Momma’s House: Like Father Like Son are embarrassing pieces of cinema that don’t even deserve a place on late-night cable television.
2. Baby Geniuses
The Sequel: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
We didn’t think we’d ever get to a point in our lives where we wouldn’t want to watch a film about talking, highly intelligent babies. And we certainly didn’t think we’d ever get to a point where we wouldn’t want a sequel to that film, either. But that’s just what happened with Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, two films so critically and commercially unsuccessful they’ve taken a place in the special level of cultural hell reserved for things like Two and a Half Men and Catwoman starring Halle Berry. It’s a shocker, though, that these movies turned out so poorly. I mean, with a plot that revolves around the basic premise that babies are born intelligent and get dumber as they progress towards a certain age, we can’t really see where all of this went wrong. Really, we can’t.
1. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo
The Sequel: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
We feel like if we have to explain to you why Rob Schneider movies are bad, then you’re probably one of the nine people lining up to see his movies when they hit the theaters. And lo and behold, in a world where Firefly gets canceled after one season and Guillermo Del Toro can’t get funding for Hellboy III, we were given the great gift of a sequel to Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, which saw the titular character travel to Europe to once again be tricked into a life as a streetwalker in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Get it? Cause he’s in Europe? Yeah, we don’t either.