In a year when making a straight-to-DVD sequel of a 24-year-old comedy (replacing Tom Hanks with OH-Face from “Office Space”) and a 2008 version of the eightiesest movie that ever eightiesed are both somehow acceptable, I feel it is more prescient now than ever to examine a list of Ten Sequels That Came Out Way Too Late in the hopes that history stops repeating itself again and again:
10. Caddyshack 2
All right, who do we have back? Only Chevy Chase? No problem. We can replace Rodney Dangerfield with any Jewish one-liner comedian. Jackie Mason? Great. Who can we get to replace Ted Knight’s legendary blue-blooded straight-man performance? The host of “Unsolved Mysteries”? Perfect. Finally, no Bill Murray? Just get anyone from SNL in the 70s. Is Garrett Morris not available? Fine, just throw in Dan Akyroyd and have him do a stupid voice. Wait a minute — this movie sucks! What the hell went wrong?
9. Son of the Mask
“The Mask” may have spawned an Oscar-winning soundtrack and a series of never-tedious catchphrases, but a sequel wouldn’t have been an act of sacrilege, except for the fact that “Son of the Mask” is the worst movie of all time. Not “one of the worst” — THE worst. I used to doubt it too, refusing to believe a movie could even be on par with “Master of Disguise” or “Rollerball,” until I finally watched it at a friend’s insistence, and immediately recanted.
8. Live Free Or Die Hard
Original: 1988, Part 2: 1990, Part 3: 1995
Part 4: 2007
This movie’s not nearly as egregious as the others on this list, but it perfectly embodies all four signs that a sequel is truly, truly desperate: 1) Traditional R-Rating traded in for a PG-13 to appeal to a wider audience, even if it means covering up the film’s catchphrase with a gunshot sound effect; 2) Title weirdly rephrased so it doesn’t involve the really high number of the sequel; 3) Lead actor now stylishly bald to mask the fact that he’s fifty-two; and, of course, 4) Waaacky Sidekick!!!
7. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Original: 1984, Part 2: 1991
Part 3: 2003
We need a plot for this new “Terminator” installment. Why don’t we have the machines send a robot back in time to pre-emptively stop John Connor before he grows up to be the leader of the human resistance, but have the humans also send someone back in time to try to protect him? Wait — that was the exact plot of movies One and Two, which were both groundbreaking and surely cannot be improved upon? Fine. Make the villain a hot naked chick.
6. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
I remember the first time I saw the teaser trailer for this film, which consisted only of titlers and a voiceover, then I turned to my friend and said “oh my God… they’re making a ‘Dumb and Dumber sequel! I can’t wait!” My friend then pointed out that the preview showed no scenes from the movie or mentioned who was in it, meaning it was likely some treacherous studio-mandated sequel in name only, and I immediately foresaw nightmarish visions that pretty closely resembled this.
5. Basic Instinct 2
It’s one thing for a sex-related movie to not be hot enough to masturbate to, but it’s quite another for a sequel to be so horrifically unsexy, it makes you angry that you were ever the slightest bit aroused by the original, causing you to simultaneously punch your crotch and your brain as punishment. I hope to God they make the third one earlier than 2020.
4. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Yes! It’s about time they remade a movie that embodies everything great about the eighties… for the NEW MILLENIUM! Who cares if none of the original cast members, writers, or any humans who were in the same country as the people who worked on the original are involved — it has the words “Dirty” and “Dancing” in the title! Plus I’ve always wondered how the discipline of dancing dirtily changed in the aftermath of September 11th.
3. Sylvester Stallone, 2006-2008
Previous ‘Rocky’ Installment: 1990, Previous ‘Rambo’ Installment: 1988
Rocky Balboa: 2006, Rambo: 2008
I recall Stallone on his 2006 talk show run for the mostly tolerable “Rocky Balboa” saying how the Rocky character’s desperate stab for one last moment of glory mirrored that of his own personal career, which was actually kind of poignant, if clearly smacking of self-rationalization. I’m not sure how the Rambo character’s desperate stab through the throats of a whole bunch more Southeast Asian terrorists mirrors anything in his personal life, nor do I have any idea how he’s going to justify that 2010 “Over The Top” sequel…
2. Blues Brothers 2000
The Simpsons pretty much summed up this film (and Jim Belushi’s career) in the episode “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” when Belushi, filming an in-flight movie on the plane itself, walks by yelling “Toga! Toga! Toga! 2000!” as a crew films him.
1. The Godfather Part III
Original: 1972, Part II: 1974
Part III: 1990
Gentleman, we’ve done the unthinkable — we won an Oscar for a sequel. Nobody thought we could equal “The Godfather,” but we’ve taken the story in a new direction and proven that sequels don’t just have to be obligatory, superfluous extensions of the original designed to coax some cash out of a public that craves the familiar. Well done, all.
[SIXTEEN YEARS PASS]
Hey, forget what I said — let’s do a sh*tty sequel to that sequel.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Jason X, Freddy vs Jason, Alien III, Alien Resurrection, Alien vs Predator, The Evening Star, Before Sunset (good, just weirdly late), The Star Wars prequels (which don’t technically count as sequels, but whatever, f*ck ‘em), dozens more
Any more we’re missing? Throw ‘em in the comments!