The “Transformers” cash cow keeps getting milked, long after original franchise stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox left the series. And Mark Wahlberg, dinosaur robots and even bigger explosions in “Age of Extinction,” out in theaters this weekend, doesn’t justify the need for yet another installment. Here are 22 other sequels, some of which are decent movies, that were completely unnecessary, nonetheless.
“Son of the Mask” (2005)
The fact that this follow-up, which was released about a decade too late, made audiences miss Jim Carrey’s over-the-top antics says a lot about Jamie Kennedy’s senseless shenanigans as the mask of Loki wearer. The comedy also suffered from mask overload as Kennedy’s character, his baby and his dog all donned the lime-green façade. It’s no surprise that “Son of the Mask” was the most nominated film at the 2006 Razzies.
“S. Darko” (2009)
“Donnie Darko” director Richard Kelly publicly denounced involvement in this sequel, which picked up seven years after the cult classic, with Donnie’s younger sister Samantha experiencing terrifying visions as she mourned her brother’s death. The plot had more holes in it than Grandma Death’s “Philosophy of Time Travel.”
“Sex and the City 2” (2010)
It turns out you can’t take the girl(s) out of the city, after all. This sequel to the already-contrived first movie set the girls in Abu Dhabi, where they engaged in cartoonishly offensive, if not borderline racist, behavior. Variety‘s own Brian Lowry wrote that “There’s also some not-very-convincing rumination on the treatment of Muslim women — even in what’s supposed to be a relatively progressive Arab country — that seems more condescending than stirring.”
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008)
It’s hard to believe that this was a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Maybe expectations were too high, but resurrecting the franchise after 19 years was a horrible mistake. The poorly scripted CGI-heavy catastrophe did the impossible: make the great Cate Blanchett look bad.
“Basic Instinct 2” (2006)
Like the extensive list of actors who passed on the leading role, Sharon Stone should have had the basic instinct to turn down this movie. Not even a new take on her famous leg-crossing interrogation scene could save this box office flop, which made less than $6 million Stateside on a $70 million budget.
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (2010)
Shia LaBeouf and sequels clearly don’t mix well. But unlike the beloved “Indiana Jones” series, nobody was clamoring for another “Wall Street,” the return of Gordon Gekko — or his cuddlier “Money Never Sleeps” counterpart — or the reveal of his estranged daughter’s fiancé.
“Blues Brothers 2000” (1998)
The addition of two and a half men (John Goodman, Joe Morton and J. Evan Bonifant) couldn’t make up for the jarring absence of one of the original Blues Brothers, the late John Belushi. From its sea of cameos to its failed recreations of its classic car crashes, this was a cliché sequel through and through.
“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” (2004)
This is one film that should have been left in the corner. Aside from a cameo by Patrick Swayze, the Cuban-themed, 1950s-set “Havana Nights” bears no resemblance to “Dirty Dancing.”
“Speed 2: Cruise Control” (1988)
Keanu Reeves knew better than to board this ship wreck — set on a hijacked luxury cruise liner. Thankfully, Sandra Bullock’s career survived as the movie was overshadowed by another ship disaster pic, “Titanic.”
“Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” (2003)
Before original stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels decided to return for a true sequel, this year’s upcoming “Dumb and Dumber To,” New Line produced this prequel about a decade after the original film with more affordable talent. That decision was dumbest of all.
“The Two Jakes” (1990)
Although one of the better movies on the list, it was unnecessary, nonetheless. Roman Polanski’s 1974 noir classic is considered one of the greatest films of all time and thought to have been robbed of the best picture Oscar (“The Godfather Part II” won that year to become the first sequel to nab the top honor) so there was absolutely no need for a follow-up. Plans for a third film were abandoned after “Two Jakes’” commercial failure.
“Caddyshack II” (1988)
To say that it was unnecessary to make a follow-up to one of the best comedies of all times would be an understatement. This follow-up was void of the very people who made the pic comedy gold. Chevy Chase was the only one of the leads to reprise his role, but his part in the film was too brief to compensate for its many deficits.
“Grease 2” (1982)
The original really didn’t leave room for a sequel. After all, Danny and Sandy literally flew off into the sunset. “Grease 2” follows a new class at Rydell High (including Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer) two years after the original film. It flopped at the box office, killing future franchise plans.
“The Hobbit” Sequels
This whole trilogy was already unnecessary in the shadow of the groundbreaking “Lord of the Rings” movies, but splitting a single story into three films seemed purely financially motivated.
“Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” (2000)
This was dead on arrival. The psychological horror pic, which followed tourists visiting Burkittsville, Maryland after seeing “The Blair Witch Project,” couldn’t recreate the magic of the first, which earned almost $250 million worldwide on a shoestring budget.
“Staying Alive” (1983)
Most people erased the bad memory of this “Saturday Night Fever” sequel so it’s hard to recollect that Sylvester Stallone directing John Travolta in this 80s disaster of epic proportions. Everything that made the original a cultural phenomenon was thrown out the window as the former disco king Tony, now a struggling Broadway dancer, performed songs mostly written by Frank Stallone.
“The Matrix Revolutions” (2003)
Although Keanu Reeves had the good sense not to film “Speed 2,” the box office potential for another “Matrix” pic — released six months after “The Matrix Reloaded” — was likely too good to pass up. Too bad people were ready to pull the plug after the first film.
“Star Wars: Episode I-III” (1999-2005)
The “Star Wars” prequels might have been enjoyable as standalones, but didn’t serve a clear purpose as follow-ups to the beloved franchise. Not only did they undermine the mythos of the original trilogy, but they caused people to turn on Anakin Skywalker, Hayden Christensen’s version of him, anyway. Let’s hope “Episode 7” and future “Star Wars” installments make for better sequels.
“The Sting II” (1983)
You can’t just replace Paul Newman and Robert Redford with Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis and get away with it. The con was on the audience this time around.
“U.S. Marshals” (1998)
The sequel to 1993’s “The Fugitive” was so bad that its title wasn’t even faintly associated with the original pic. This was essentially a bad “Fugitive” remake centered around another wrongly-accused man (Wesley Snipes). Tommy Lee Jones makes you forget why he earned an Oscar for the first film.
Making a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” was a suicide mission from the get-go. Although the result was a good movie, it was unspectacular as a companion piece to one of the greatest movies ever made.
“The Godfather: Part III” (1990)
Just when you thought you were out, they pulled you back in 16 years after “Part II.” Although a good movie overall — and a masterpiece, compared to the majority of the films on the list — the franchise closer didn’t do justice to the first two installments, partly due to its convoluted plot and casting of Sofia Coppola, which earned her two Razzies.