I knew when I wrote my previous Spasm that I had not included every Part Two that killed its franchise, but not only had I barely scratched the surface, it turns out I overlooked a few doozies.
So, without further ado, here comes the sequel.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
We’ve been hearing for nine years that a third film in the 28 Days/28 Weeks Later cycle was in the works—most logically titled 28 Months Later—but even in the midst of a zombie craze that just won’t seem to die, there’s been no serious momentum on it.
Which is a raging tragedy, because the first two movies are among the finest in the genre.
Help us, Danny Boyle, you’re our only hope.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
I admit it: I didn’t dislike the Andrew Garfield reboot series, I merely felt it was unnecessary to hit the restart button so soon—better Sony had gone forward with a true Spider-Man 4 rather than retell an origin story still quite fresh in the minds of moviegoers.
Much of AS-M2 feels like that Part 4 we never got, further fleshing out the relationships between Peter Parker and his main squeeze Gwen Stacey and introducing Electro, a villain we hadn’t met before…but in rehashing the Green Goblin storyline and expanding the mystery of Peter’s parents’ death, we’re still firmly in reboot territory.
Even with all the déjà vu, somehow a $700-million worldwide gross was deemed a disappointment, so Sony and Marvel are pressing the reset button yet again, with a new Spidey (Tom Holland, currently stealing scenes in Captain America: Civil War).
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
This unlikely sequel to Oliver Stone’s seminal tale of ’80s avarice never really felt like it was necessary, though it was somewhat poignant to catch up with Gordon Gekko (and, in a brief cameo, Bud Fox) all these years later.
The Color of Money (1986)
Another unlikely sequel, from director Martin Scorsese no less, furthering the story of pool shark Fast Eddie Felson from 1961’s The Hustler (Paul Newman, who scored his only Oscar for reprising the role here).
The feasibility of a third story was made moot when Newman passed away.
Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
Only the musical interludes and another Keystone Cops-worthy demolition derby keep this dreadful sequel from the “Ugly” pile.
Shame on Dan Aykroyd and director John Landis, who dishonor the memory of John Belushi with this desperate remake-slash-sequel.
BB2K is not the only ’80s comedy classic that tried and failed to catch the franchise train: some may recall Caddyshack II (1988); Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988); and Teen Wolf Too (1987).
Escape From L.A. (1996)
Even with a bigger budget, director John Carpenter manages to make this souped-up sequel/remake look and feel cheaper and campier than its low-budget cult classic predecessor.
Kurt Russell does his darndest, and his Snake Plissken is still a cynical badass worth rooting for, but none of the other ostensibly colorful characters can compare to the rogue’s gallery of creeps and cool cats from the original Escape from New York.
It’s literally the same story, but there isn’t an iota of fun to be had this time around.
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
I kept Conan off the list last time because a) the original film has already been rebooted, and b) Arnold Schwarzenegger turned up in the pseudo-threequel Red Sonja in 1985.
Rumors suggest Arnold is game for a third legitimate Conan epic, but after the dismal performance of Terminator Genisys and a slew of other D.O.A. actioners starring the ex-Governator, I wouldn’t count on it.
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
McG’s Charlie’s Angels adaptation was a surprise hit in 2000, despite its lack of chemistry among the trio of leading ladies, scattershot Matrix-style mayhem and sophomoric sexual humor.
True to its subtitle, Full Throttle is more of the same, dialed up to eleven. There are rumblings of a flat-out reboot, so at least we’ll be spared another reunion of Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu.
The Sting II (1983)
This risible in-name-only sequel cashes in on the Oscar-winning legacy of the 1973 Robert Redford/Paul Newman/Robert Shaw classic, but without the film’s winning original players or even an ounce of its effervescent charm.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2002)
Worse sequels to lamer horror flicks have indeed been made (and made it past Part Two), but perhaps audiences were so burned by the terrible first Blair Witch Project they shunned the obligatory sequel out of hand.
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)
With this cop comedy and Speed 2, Sandra Bullock is no stranger to the stinker sequel, but now that she’s got an Oscar under her belt we can be assured there will never be a Miss Congeniality 3.
Staying Alive (1983)
Another unlikely sequel, more so because it was Rocky and First Blood superstar Sylvester Stallone who created this abominable continuation of the quintessential disco-in-Brooklyn classic Saturday Night Fever.
It nearly ruined John Travolta’s movie career and, despite the success Stallone had making Rocky II and III, turned the credit “written and directed by Sylvester Stallone” into a Hollywood joke.