Earlier this week I did a post about reports of a possible sequel to "Bull Durham". That got me to thinking about other follow-up films. I've heard many people say that they are against sequels. I won't go that far because there have been some that are worthy follow-ups to the original film. On the other hand, most seem to exist for the sole purpose of padding a star's bank account.
Below (in alphabetical order) are 13 random sequels that I've seen over the years. They run the gamut from being exceptional to being straight up garbagio. For the most part, I steered clear of obvious film franchises such as Star Wars and Batman.
Along with any thoughts regarding the 13 follow-ups I've listed below, please also include in the comments section your choices for the best sequel you've seen and the worst you've seen.
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1. Aliens (1986)- Because of the 7 year gap between this and the original, any skepticism was understandable. However, this is one of the few sequels that arguably either matches or surpasses the original. It helped that the director of Alien (James Cameron) as well as star Sigourney Weaver were both back onboard.
"Getting out while you can? Don't give this sucker no statue. Give him guts! I told you I wasn't going away. You got your shot, now give me mine. "
2. The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training (1977)- Without stars Matthau and Tatum or director Michael Ritchie, what was the point?
3. Blues Brothers 2000 (1999)- Belushi's dead, 'nuff said.
4. Bride of Chucky (1998)- Several months ago, I was channel surfing late Friday/early Saturday and caught this on the USA Network. Normally I don't watch theatrical movies on commercial TV, but I couldn't bring myself to turn the channel. Not only does this "so bad, it's good" movie feature John Ritter in a surprise borderline cameo appearance, but it also contains a love scene between Chucky and his bride (voiced by Jennifer Tilly). If you didn't lost your breakfast, lunch, and dinner after reading the last part of the previous sentence, props to you. The next time that Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl complains about the quality of her storyline on the hit show (which might be tomorrow), the producers need to point out that she could do a lot worse (Bride of Chucky was one of her early films).
5. Grease 2 (1982)- When Danny and Sandy went flying off into the sunset via automobile (wtf was that all about?) in the 1978 original, that should have been the end of it. If you bring this film up to Michelle, I wonder if she'll be c-o-o-l about it or put a beatdown on you Catwoman-style.
6. House Party 2: The Pajama Jam! (1991)- We went to see this at the theater anticipating a lively follow-up to 1990's House Party. Although it was OK, it was a huge void missing... the late, great Robin Harris (who played Kid's father in the original). They tried to compensate by using clips of Harris via flashback, but it wasn't the same.
7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)- Another sequel that I think lives up to the original. Hiring Sean Connery to play Indy's dad was a brilliant move because he and Harrison Ford played off each other extremely well. Thanks to the opening sequence featuring River Phoenix as a young Indy, the movie It was also answered some questions about our hero (how he obtained his scar, fedora, etc.).
8. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)- About the best thing that can be said about this mess is that it effectively put an end to the franchise... for now anyways. Co-star Michael Caine once said of the movie: "I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!" Hey, at least he's honest.
9. The Karate Kid Part III (1989)- This third installment was a big comedown from both the 1984 original and the 1986 follow-up. One of my lasting memories of part III is that Ralph Macchio was pushing 30 at the time and looked every bit of it (the so-called "kid" had a gut that was visible throughout most of the movie).
10. The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991) - This follow-up to the surprise 1988 original didn't let me down. When I see that director David Zucker and writer Jim Abrahams are attached to a film, I look at it like Smucker's ... it has to be good.
11. Rocky III (1982)- Although not a great film, it's a definite improvement over the dreary first sequel. A lot of that has to do with Mr. T. as Rock's opponent Clubber Lang, who delivers some of the best lines in the film:
"Dead meat! "
and of course...
"No, I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got! "
12. Superman II (1981) - As good as 1978's Superman: The Movie was, this was better! One plus was that it gave The Man of Steel three formidable foes, led by Terence Stamp as the arrogant General Zod. Also, it was great to see Clark Kent get his revenge at the end of the movie on the truck driver who gave him a beatdown during the time that Clark gave up his powers to be with Lois... what the hell was he thinking when he did that?!
13. A Very Brady Sequel (1996) - 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie is one of the best adaptations of a TV show because it spoofed the ripe-for-parody sitcom by moving the stuck-in-the-1970s Bradys into the 1990s. The sequel continues in the same vein with several funny references to not only the TV series, but also addresses the "what if" question surrounding the attraction between step-siblings Greg and Marcia.
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