Op-Ed

Five Movies With Bad Sequels

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We’ve all seen them: movie sequels that never should have been made. The original movie was great, so when the sequel comes out, you think, “Hey, why not? The first one was good, so I’ll give it a shot.” And then you watch it, falling into a trap that has been catching moviegoers since the late 80s, and end up pulling your hair out and wanting your money back.

Here’s a list of five movies that should never have had sequels.

1. The Matrix

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The Matrix (1999) blew everybody’s mind with powerful storytelling, guns galore, and limbo-esque, slow-motion bullet-dodging. If you can forgive Keanu Reeves for his dodgy acting (pun absolutely intended), The Matrix is a late 90s pop-culture classic. Reloaded and Revolutions both receive points for their use of mechs with guns, “ghosts” and “vampires,” and ample special effects – but seriously, did these movies do anything for the overall story arc besides complicate it? The Matrix should not have had sequels, which is why I pretend that they’re all not real.

2. Highlander

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I almost put Mortal Kombat (1995) on this list, but then I realized that not only should it never have had sequels, it probably should never have been made itself. Nevertheless, Highlander (1986), which also featured Christopher Lambert, did make this list… because Sean Connery, Christopher Lambert and Clancy Brown swinging swords at each other’s immortal necks is awesome. This movie spawned five sequels that never should have been made, each getting progressively worse as they were cranked out. Kurgan said it best in the first movie: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”.

3. Tremors

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Kevin Bacon starred in Tremors (1990) with Michael Gross, who starred in the television series with Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd starred in Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox, who flipped off my father at a bar once. My father spawned me, which gives me a Bacon Number of 5, and further proves that Kevin Bacon was in enough movies to establish the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon paradigm. But you know which movies Kevin Bacon didn’t act in? Any of the sequels to Tremors, because they are all horrible.

4. Saw

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The original Saw (2004) was great—at the time I had literally never seen another movie with such a unique set of torture conundrums, and the twist at the end made me jump out of my seat; I didn’t see it coming at all. The sequels, on the other hand, began to plague the theatres for the next six Halloweens thereafter. They made this list because they quickly became unoriginal, and, like every M. Night Shyamalan horror movie ever made, the twists became expected and ultimately unsurprising. This series should have been cut off at the leg from the beginning.

5. Starship Troopers

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Starship Troopers (1997), while not really a very good movie anyway, did have its shining moments when it was released, receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1998 and winning praise for its employment of satire and irony to criticize social conventions. Unfortunately, watching the sequels (Hero of the Federation and Marauder) is about as fun as motorboating a porcupine. Horrible acting, poor special effects, and a straight-to-DVD release – I’d rather get my brains sucked out by a bug than watch these again.

~ Zack