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Five Sequels We Wish Had Never Been Made (And Why)

Writing about Tron: Legacy yesterday made me wonder: What were the most disappointing sequels ever made? This isn’t a definitive list, but these five movies must be contenders for the main title…

The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revisited
I admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first Matrix – I blame the fact that I preferred its original version, back when Grant Morrison called it The Invisibles – but there was no mistaking just how much worse the two sequels were, as the success and expectations brought by the first movie went to the Wachowski brothers’ heads and they just failed to land the whole thing successfully. Looking back, though, I can’t help but feel this was the kind of thing that should’ve prepared us to be disappointed by the finales of Battlestar Galactica and Lost

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Firstly, please note that I am not including either Attack of The Clones or Revenge of The Sith here, in large part because I thought that they were both significantly better than Menace, and also because I like the idea of the Star Wars series getting better with each numerical episode all the way until Jedi lets you down in the end. Secondly, oh, Menace. You promised so much, and then you decided to talk about trade routes and undercut the character of Darth Vader by making him a whiny little kid. And then! Then! Midichlorians? Why would you ever think that anyone actually wanted an explanation for the Force? That’s why everyone liked it so much in the first place. For a lesson in just how badly someone can misinterpret what their audience wants, it’ll be a long time before anyone comes close to this sequel.

The Godfather, Part 3
Some movie series are meant to be a trilogy, with their themes and plots carefully considered and paced for maximum use of the format. And then there’s The Godfather trilogy. Let’s be honest; The Godfather was so good that it didn’t need a sequel, and that Part 2 added to the story was practically a fluke. Unluckily, Part 3 was the karmic balance to its previous installment, flawed in almost every way from writing to acting (Hi, Sofia! Looking forward to your directing debut!) and adding absolutely nothing but sadness to the entire Godfather series.

Superman III
Yes, Richard Pryor was a spectacular comedian and a big box-office draw. Yes, videogame culture was on the rise when this movie was being made. No, that doesn’t mean that it’d be a great idea to feature both in the third Superman movie. Here’s the thing: Superman: The Movie and Superman II succeeded the ways that they did because the movies were, for all the 1970s fashions, pretty much timeless; there played everything straight and classic, and allowed the stories to stand on their own. Quite why the third movie immediately junked that approach in favor of something far, far closer to the 1960s pop-culturetopia of the Batman TV show is still a mystery to me – The lure of bigger success? A lack of ideas of what else to do? – but it was a terrible, terrible idea that almost immediately lost the magic of the first two movies and forgot to replace it with anything.

Any Planet Of The Apes Movie After The Second One
They blew up the planet, people. That should have been your sign that even the people making the movie didn’t think there should have been another one right there.

Okay, now it’s your turn: What sequels just ruin your memories of the original movies? Fill the comments with your suggestions, and help me fill my Netflix Instant list up with more movies I really shouldn’t watch.


  • Gallows78

    Any Highlander after the first one.

  • Ian33407

    Everything after the first ‘Highlander’

  • Anonymous

    I never liked any of the (original) Batman sequels. The first succeeded well enough in what it set out to do, eg. show that Batman could be taken seriously as a character. Plus it had Nicholson as The Joker. But its sequels? It just had ugly caricatures of Batman’s best villains, and by the time of Batman And Robin, even the heroes where a joke.

    Fortunately, the current bat-franchise has been of exceeding high quality. So far.

  • Kandor

    Both Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, Iron Man 2, the Crow sequels, Highlander ones (although I loved the TV series even more than the first movie), The Never ending Story sequels, A Nightmare on Elm Street after the 3rd one… and many many others…

  • Eightiesologist

    Agree. And unfortunately, for some idiotic reason, Burton’s version of Penguin continues to pollute the comic book world, most recently in The Dark Knight series, where David Finch seems to be taking almost direct inspiration from the movie.

  • BoyBlunder

    Phantom Menace is by far the best of the three……and Jedi’s no let down bud……….

  • BoyBlunder

    Iron man 2 was awesome……….

  • Jabondo

    Spiderman 3 sucks rocks. Worst ever.

  • tada

    The Pirates sequels were just as bad as the Matrix sequels.

  • Zodiac Firebroom

    all of them?

  • pDUB

    i hope spinoff doesn’t slowly morph into cracked.

  • ZB

    The problem with this article is it says WE wish were never made. Stop assuming everyone agrees with your opinions.

  • boo

    I disagree with the planet of the apes sequels. They were all pretty cool and it fleshed out the development of the ape world.

  • 0bsessions

    “Why would you ever think that anyone actually wanted an explanation for the Force?”

    It’s hard to reconcile this with calling the ending of Lost disappointing. The main reason people cite Lost’s answer as disappointing is because it didn’t answer enough questions about the nature of the island. This smacks of double standard or “the grass is always greener” to me.

  • Squashua

    There should have been only one.

  • Jacob

    Don’t worry, it’ll never happen. Cracked is actually funny.

  • giannis

    Godfather III was great. No need for Matrix 2 & 3 and any planet of the apes, including the first one.

  • Nataniel

    My own personal critisicism of Lost`s ending is that it just sucked on all levels, writing-wise being righ up front.

    But if you defend “Menace”, I guess you just like to be polemical! :)

  • Whitworthian


  • Casa_del_mike

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
    Good lord that was awful.

  • Kryptoniteking

    Yeah, “Batman Returns”, “Batman Forever”, “Batman & Robin”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Oooze”, “Spider-man 3″, “Lethal Weapon 2-4″, “Aliens 3 & 4″, “Robocop 2 & 3″, “Rocky 4 & 6″, “Rambo 4″, “HIghlander 2 & 3″, “Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and up” and finally “Friday the 13th 3-10″ and you chose those are your “top 5″? Out of the 5 you listed you gave viable “whys” for “The Godfather 3″ and “Superman 3″. Your top 2 aren’t near as bad as the ones me or anyone else listed.

  • Oy

    Say what u want, i enjoyed all the POTA movies…except Tim Burtons mess.

  • Defcon

    That’s the second time i’ve heard the Lost-Star Wars “double standard” defense from Lost fans.

    It’s a lame defense.

    Lost was a show that was built on the question “where are they and what’s going on?” That’s the entire premise. That’s what drove the show and kept people coming back. That’s the bleeding hook.

    Star Wars was’nt about “what’s the force and how does it work?” It was a mysterious and mystical force, that some people had a greater connection to. That’s it. Star Wars wasn’t built around some mystery as to the forces origin. It was a plot device to allow for samurai with mystic powers, and anyone who wanted to ponder about it’s greater meaning could get the obvious religious and spiritual context. Star Wars had a bigger story to tell about the heroes journey, fathers and sons, and good ole space opera.

    As far as unnessary sequels, i’d go with Under Siege 2. It actually diminishes the first movie.

  • oy

    Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, and Jaws: The Revenge all stunk.

  • The Left Hand of Doom

    X3. Simply explained: Brett. Ratner. That and, ohhhhhh, NOTHING made sense! You have a device to depower Magneto, but when Jean Grey’s powers get out of whack, the only answer is to kill her? Huh? It was like the head honchos said, “Hell, we’re not making a fourth one, Brett, do whatever you want. Kill off Cyclops? Sure! Off Prof. X? Go for it!” For being Marvel’s first big movie franchise, I would have thought the powers-that-be would be taken greater care of it.

  • Jason Merrin

    I liked the Lost finale just fine, Return of the Jedi, while inferior to Empire Strikes Back, was by no means a letdown, and Episode II was much worse (in my opinion) than any other prequel movie (if only because of one Mr. Hayden Christensen).

    X-Men 3 for #1 franchise-ruining film ever. It might not have been the worst standalone film of all time (better than most of the movies listed here), but it effectively killed the message of the previous films with the introduction of a cure, and kind of destroyed any chance of the franchise moving forward effectively (hence moving backwards, and the even-worse Origins: Wolverine).

  • Bennyboo

    Spider-Man 3 and X-Men 3. Especially disappointing after the Spider-Man 2 and X2 were better than the inital installments.

    Also all Terminator movies after Terminator 2.

  • Slim Callous

    I really wish their was an original thought here. Instead they’re all very safe choices, movies which have all been universally panned for years. And you instantly lose all credibility when you say you didn’t like the first Matrix (which is your opinion, but that only means you were ready to dislike the 2nd and 3rd movie-not good movies but you see my point here? Came in with preconceived notions). For the rest, all your logic relies on “they sucked” rather than anything substantial like your Planet of Apes point (planet being blown up). Disappointing.

  • Discodoom

    To be fair, Matrix Reloaded, while flawed, set up what could have been an amazing third film. Seemed to me either the studio or the wachowskis were gun shy on what they wanted to do.

  • Sageshinigami

    If those are the complaints for why Phantom Menace is a bad movie…Star Wars fans suck. Seriously.

  • IH8Twilight

    Robocop 2 & 3 were so bad they almost ruined part 1 for me.

  • Anonymous

    Invisibles > Matrix.

  • werehawk

    I agree with Slim. Not the best column. There are some nuggets of support given for critiques of Phantom Menace (even without mentioning Jar-Jar) and Superman III (critique of uses of comedy/video game culture), but the rest of the column is purely whiny opinion (why throw in jabs at Battlestar and Lost? Regardless of merit, they have no place here). Better to write a real column contrasting actual techniques for making a sequel successful (Think Empire Strikes Back or Superman II) with weaker sequels.

  • Lennonillustrate

    How dare you speak ill of CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES!!! One of the greatest fims ever! Hang your head in shame!

  • Bennyboo

    Oh, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. What an awful way to try and bring that franchise back.

  • Jabbonyson

    the Fockers movies. the first one sucked bad enough.they had to go and make two more. i blame old people

  • Educatexan

    “Alone again, naturally.” We’re all different. I happen to like the Apes movies. The sequels that I deem unnecessary would be any sequel to Halloween and Friday 13th. The originals were scary, but the sequels degraded into gore-porn.

  • Jacob

    X4 is in development.

  • Jacob

    They tried to depower Jean, she destroyed any attempt at it. And they’re making another one.

  • Socallbc86

    conan the barbarian, scream 3, any batman movies from the 90s, Xmen sequels, Spiderman 3, i know what you did last summer part 2, and then there are the ones i haven’t seen but the i get annoyed as hell by the endless previews, franchise and fans. and those are: the fast and the furious, and twilight

  • Mr. M

    I disagree with the poster who said Lethal Weapon 2-4. I thought 2 was fantastic, but 3 and 4 should be erased from memory.

    I would also delete Die Hard 3 and Hannibal from any movie collection. Hannibal was one of those movies that I thought was pointless to make.

    Slim Callous is absolutely right, though, in saying these are safe choices, based on years of critical piling on. Nothing new here.

  • The Mad Monkey

    I have to concur with this statement.
    There isn’t much I can say that won’t spoil the series for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I like how the story came back on itself and the conclusion it reached. Despite decreasing support from Fox, those who made the movie did the best they could with what they had. It’s just unfortunate that Roddy McDowall wasn’t in all of them.
    The live-action TV series wasn’t all that bad either. I don’t, sadly, remember the cartoon…

  • Cicerobuck

    Bwahaha! Godfather III is an amazing piece of cinema. Its deep and obvious homage to Mankiewicz’s The Cardinal makes it one of the most relevant Copolla flicks alongside The Conversation

  • Cicerobuck

    ??? Of course it wasn’t.

  • M. G.

    Jaws 2 was fun. Nothing could come close to the original, but it tried hard to at least deliver something different…and lots of kids were eaten…plus COME ON the shark took down a helicopter. How awesome is that!

  • M. G.

    Alien 3 was a TURD. I know it has some followers, but any film that shamelessly kills off beloved characters from a superior movie in the opening (and closing) moments…SHAME ON YOU!

    Also…Weekend and Bernies II wasn’t so great. But it at least gave us the only protagonist-dancing-corpse in cinema history.

  • cookepuss

    I think that Superman 3 gets a bad rap. While it hardly lives up to the epic nature of 1 or 2, the movie does have its own charm.

    For one thing, there’s no Lex. Given how badly he was written and how he got butchered by Hackman, that’s a good thing. No Hollywood film has gotten Lex right. The closest any celluloid version has come was with the recent All-Star Superman DVD adaptation. The absence of Lex on film has proven to be a big boost.

    Second, and we have to be honest here, many of Superman’s comic pre-Crisis adventures have been downright cheesy. If anything, seeing as how Superman 3 was actually a few years before the post-Crisis reboot, the movie actually failed to be as cheesy as the source. Shocking, but true.

    Third, where exactly did you expect the movie to go AFTER Zod? Doomsday was years away and Lex had already been f****d up well beyond belief. Playing up the bogus Kryptonite angle and having Superman face an evil version of himself was, well, pretty comic book-like. Having him also face some weird technological death traps were also fitting of the genre.

    Fourth, this movie was as much of a product of the 1980s as the original was of the 1970s. The campy humor and emphasis on yuppie bad guys doesn’t sit well with some viewers. However, that’s not so much of a problem with the film as it is with the person watching it. Movies are often a signpost of the era. Even the best films are dated.

    I think that most people’s problem with Superman 3 isn’t that it was a bad comic movie or even just a bad movie. I think that most modern viewers dislike the fact that Superman 3 was TOO MUCH like the pre-Crisis comic, warts and all. Imagine bringing the 1960s Spider-Man to film as written. Imagine the bad wheatcake jokes or the hapless “puny Parker” gags. Imagine the excessive melodrama or monologuing, in the inimitable Stan Less style of exposition. That movie would sucked b@llz, especially when viewed with 2K11 eyes.

    As a product of 1982/1983, Superman 3 wasn’t too bad. Pryor was pretty funny. Superman had a fairly convincing enemy in his own dark side. Annette O’Toole was great as Lana. Kidder has never been hotter as Lois than she was in her brief appearance here. The effects, by 1983 standards, were pretty dope. All in all, it was a good movie. It was just lighter in tone than 1&2, which is not surprising since 1&2 essentially lapped over much in the same way that Halloween 1 & 2 did.

    For all the complaints about Superman 3, be thankful that there were no flying celophane S shields or Nuclear Man. Superman 3 suffered from the trappings of the source material, but was clearly successful enough to warrant a sequel

  • Ryan

    Hannibal ROCKED! It’s just an entirely different beast than Silence of the Lambs though

  • 0bsessions

    Probably not a popular choice, but I’ll always be of a mind that T2 was a waste of time. The first one was an interesting action movie. The second one was just a big mess of paradoxes and irreconcilable time travel fallacies combined with witty catch phrases. It’s an amusing enough movie in its own right as a drunk blow-‘em’-up quotable flick, but it absolutely pales in comparison to the original in terms of the overall plot.

  • elserge

    Terminator 3 i’ll leave it at that

  • shelby

    All Star Trek films starring the Next Generation cast. All of them stunk, and the film franchise should have been put on hiatus right after Final Frontier to give it some breathing room before starting the reboot.

  • Generalgrievous365

    I have to say that i LOVED the Matrix sequels. I honestly don’t know why everyone hates them. I admit they take a few viewings to make complete sense, but i think they’re amazing.

  • Yanks5179

    And they killed Cyclops because the actor wanted out to follow Singer over to Superman Returns.

  • Michael_howey

    I’m with you. The first is as solid a time travel movie there has ever been. T2 has visual advantages but otherwise is a big disapointment.
    Three tried to fix the feelgood ending but failed. Still, I can watch and enjoy them all.

  • Michael Howey

    Don’t forget the horror ones.
    Psycho 2-4
    Saw 2 – 3D
    Day of the Dead/Land of the Dead
    Nightmare on Elm Street 2-6
    All horrible in comparrison to the originals.

  • demoncat_4

    have to agree with the godfather for that film was fine as just one three wrecked it. the others on this list showed that if film is a hit hollywood will try and milk the idea dry with sequels

  • Laidbackpoet

    I liked the all the Apes movies except Burton’s remake. Still looking forward to the new one

  • Darkstream

    There should never have been any sequels to the original HIGHLANDER! There should been only one!

  • Hugo Sleestak

    I can understand it if people don’t like “Jedi” because of the teddy bears, but on all other levels it struck me as the best of the series. Luke finally had his act together. Leia was pretty hot, which was asking a lot of Leia. Anakin is redeemed. The special effects revolution which began with “A New Hope” was rock solid by the time “Jedi” was filmed. The story doesn’t ALL take place in space, or on desert planets, or on ice planets, for pete’s sake. “Jedi” gave us a great chase scene in a forest, which I thought was terrific. It also gave us Jabba the Hut, one of the classic alien villains of all time – without the race-baiting of “Phantom Menace.”

  • Gambit347

    As entertaining as it was, I probably could have gone without Predator 2. Predators was really good, though. Hoping for more there.

  • Sanzrafael75

    Superman 4 the quest for peace wtf was that

  • Anonymous

    It was. Matter of opinion, chap.

  • Gambit347

    I don’t care for horror movies at all (certainly modern horror movies) because they are, for the most part, gore/torture porn. I’d be interested in something that’s actually psychologically scary (where’s the next Vincent Price or Alfred Hitchcock?), but I digress.

    As for gratuitous sequels, let’s face it, horror movies are relatively cheap to make. A few gallons of fake blood, a couple rubber appendages, half a dozen lights (since there’s rarely ever decent lighting in a horror movie) and some Hollywood-area waiters … er … actors, and you’re set. And they always seem to drive kids to the theatres, for some reason. Maybe because guys think girls’ll get scared enough to lose their inhibitions and give it up fairly easily. Who knows.

  • rtnole

    Sorry, Nightmare 3 – Dream Warriors was the bomb.

  • Jim

    Avatar 2 – because you know there will be one and it will suck, especially since Avatar was not a great movie anyway.

  • Kelly

    No, Iron Man 2 did, indeed, suck.
    They should have called it Avengers #0.

  • SeamusMcClernan

    As somebody who paid to see “Ghostbusters” 18 times within the first 3 weeks of its original run, I choose to ignore the 2nd movie.

  • Anonymous

    Two out of two of Mr McMillan’s articles that I’ve read have been pieces of unentertaining self-opinion which damn near no readers agreed with, based solely on the comment chain. I have decided to begin hating his work professionally.

    If Phantom Menace had not been a Star Wars film, it would be far more respected than it is. It’s 100% what people didn’t want, but for what it was, it was pretty damn good. It was an intrigue film. And while people wanted Anakin/Darth Vader to be the main character, really, the main character of chapters 1-3 is Palpatine. The sole purpose of everything that happened in the film was to get Palpatine to a position of unchecked power. Throughout this second trilogy, he is playing six moves ahead from the Jedi.

    And Planet of the Apes may be the strongest science fiction film series ever.
    Hear me out on this.

    It had a single story thread that carried through the films. The ending of Planet of the Apes is one of the classic shock endings of all time, right up there with “it’s a sled” and “She’s a man” (the latter being so good that’s it’s been used many times in many different films) In every way, Man is responsible for his own downfall. In the first film we believe its by simple atomic holocaust, but as the films go on we learn it’s even more than that.

    There’s a bit of a hole in the narrative, I’ll admit. There had to have been a MASSIVE amount of discoveries made about Man’s history between Planet and Return, because in the first film they don’t know spit-in-a-cup about their past, but by the time Cornelius and Zira get away before the planet gets the big finger at the end of Return, they have learned all about how apes rose and overthrew man, in great detail (Not to mention how to repair, fuel and navigate a spaceship through a time warp, but I digress) But the rest of the story is so strong you don’t mind. In Escape, they TELL the government, almost verbatim, how everything happens, and in the next film (Conquest) after it all happens, the virus that kills all cats and dogs, they’re still ready to train apes, figuring they’ll be okay cause they know what to avoid, merrily trundling down the path of destiny.

    And in EACH film past the first, producer Arthur P. Jacobs found a role for his wife, Natalie Trundy. That’s a dedicated man. And let’s face it. Paul Willams as an orangutan. How can you NOT love these movies?

  • R3ckl3sson3

    Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End. Why? They just went over the top with the mythology of pirates, and too much supernatural stuff when Curse of the Black Pearl had one cursed treasure chest.

  • Xsikal


  • Pbloom78

    wow those are your five way to play it safe dude

  • Pbloome78

    dude that was the plan from the start with the first iron and the second hulk. and by sucking it was better than gijoe, jonah hex, transformers 2, spiderman three, superman returns, elektra, daredevil, wolverine, any ff,blade 3 (although i did like jessica biel and ryan renolds in it) and blah blah your expectations are just high

  • guest

    Agreed on Highlander after the first one. But the ends of Battlestar Galactica (with the exception of the last 3 minutes in Times Square) and Lost were satisfying and excellent respectively.

  • Richie Simonsen

    Batman and Robin
    Airplane II. Still funny but feels mostly like a whole re tread of first one except in space.
    Ghost In The Shell 2: Innonce
    Alien 4
    Halloween 3
    Jason X. Most of Friday squeals are bad but Jason in space is just dumb.

  • Mbsexton716

    Instead of talking about remakes “WE” wish were never made, how about all these GOD AWFUL “REMAKES/REINVISIONINGS” people keep trying to make. Ok why do we need a reboot of Red Dawn, or Fright Night. Why did they ruin Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween? Why does Russell Brand keep getting work and ruin a character Dudley Moore made lovable? When do we get our Krull remake or remake of Rocky or Rambo? How about we remake Revenge of the Nerds or Porky’s? Oh wait they are trying to. Damn you Hollywood.

  • paulski

    Hell, I liked it more than the first one. So no, it didn’t “indeed suck”.

  • Dpcoltx

    On rewatches, I actually liked the matrix trilogy. I don’t like mafia movies, so i should probably start a column as to why they all shouldn’t be made, whether others like them or not. Superman 3 was the worst of the 4 for me, but I didn’t really care for the others either. Some of the Ape movies were good, mostly the first and the one in the past where the apes had the revolution. Burton’s wasn’t bad, since I saw it before the others. I had no prob with menace, not even with jar jar, as weird as that sounds.

    The sequels that shouldnt be made are the ones that only retread old ground without offering anything new. I could name a few, but others would disagree. Usually, all movies are someone’s favorite for some reason and the cool think about geekdom is that anyone can find something redeeming about something they like. Except the protrusions on the cheats of the costumes in batman and robin….

    They put my aunt’s eye out. Honest.

  • thecolorsblend

    I could probably take the column a bit more seriously if the genius writing it knew the name of the third Matrix film.

  • Mr. M

    So…we’re all okay with “Austin Powers in Goldmember”?

  • Fred

    Loved the Matrix Movies and Superman 3 rocks to this day.

  • Clintp

    Men In Black 2

  • Jacob

    Austin Powers didn’t exactly have far to fall, so it’s kinda hard to fault it for having a bad entry.

  • Jacob

    Eh, after the first two, I was glad he died. They ruined him from the start.

  • Jacob

    Lol, The Matrix Revisited was a documentary on the original movie. Nice catch.

  • KAK

    X-men 3! Magneto riding the Golden Gate Bridge? Frasier Crane as The Beast? A blending of some of the great x-men story lines into one steaming pile? Thank you Bryan Singer for abandoning this franchise to produce the abortion that is Superman Returns, but yet still more watchable than X-Men 3.

  • Joestar

    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was so bad that it actually sent waves of suckness backwards through time and made the first movie (which wasn’t great, but not awful either) even worse than it actually was.

  • Mikerboarts

    Again on the Battlestar Galactica finale? Really? How did you want it to end? You could not have been a fan of every episode leading up to the finale, but hate the finale. It was all leading up to that. It had to be what we were given. I don’t see how much else could have been satisfying for any true “fan” of the show.

  • Philip A Moore

    anyone who forgets Weekend At Burnies 2, Cocoon The Return, and Rob Zombies Halloween 2 should not be grading the list as they were ten time as bad as anything posted here sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps it didn’t suck. However, it did lick, kiss and nuzzle donkey taint.

  • Capt USA(Jim)

    Conquest of the Panet of the Apes was arguably the best of the series, and no way was Beneath Planet of the Apes anything other than filler(of course it’s still better than the remake or Escape)

    agree about the Highlander mention, disagree about the Iron Man hate, it wasn’t quite as good as the first one, but it was still a fun ride.

  • alex

    I didn’t expect much from the Matrix sequels. Really! I watched the first one more than once. Sure it was a great action film, but half the film was set up and talking about their philosophical ideas. It’s great for a little while, but let’s face it that Terminator origin didn’t work too well. It was fine for one movie and one movie only. I also thought that the prophecy should of been proven bogus, as it was in the sequel which is why it wasn’t that disapointing. I didn’t expect much. The characters aren’t that interesting, just interesting for one film and one film only. It was like ‘attack of the Leather people’. I could list other things like the assualt on Zion. But why bother.

    Episode One. Wow, being a fan of the original trilogy it couldn’t of made expectations, but there are so many things wrong with the film. Some of them are right, like Watto is a great character. Jar Jar is not. Neither of them are really there, but the effects looked great. But yeah…

    I watched all five of the Planet of the Apes on television once and thought they were really good.
    Not counting Burton’s version ofcourse. What? They’re making another one.

  • Bob

    Transformers two and three … oh, and one.

  • Bob

    I think that The Phantom Menace was better than Revenge of the Sith. At least when TPM ended with some hope that Lucas would tie up the continuity. Sith gave continuity a golden shower.

  • Bill Reed

    But, a few of those are secretly awesome.

    And Friday the 13th Part VI is the best one.

  • X-fan

    The three Star Wars prequels made me throw out everything I had to so with the property. The POTA films were great for their time and I loved the TV show as well. The Matrix sequels weren’t as good as the original but I’ve enjoyed watch them several times since and they do grow on me with repeat viewings. Superman 3, while inferior to Donners vision, was still a good laugh. Watched it again recently and Pryor’s scenes are great.

    I would have felt better if you’d just said “I” instead of “we” in your headline, as it is clear you are speaking only for yourself.

  • Travis

    I don’t think that anyone has said Home Alone 2 yet. That was the first time I can remember being cheated by a sequel. All the “Oceans” sequels were really bad too.

    Come on people! Stop going around in circles and complain about something not mentioned will ya!

  • Blackphoenix77

    Ghostbusters II was an embarrasment to the entire human species.

    Batman Forever and Batman & Robin just sucked out loud. Batman credit card my ass.

    All of those endless American Pie straight-to-DVD abominations

  • Mike

    Ummm, how about the Legend of Zorro? And seriously, what’s with the hate for the Phantom Menace, Jedi, Ghostbusters 2, the Pirates movies, and Iron Man 2? And for the X-3 haters? I have a couple explanations for Scott and Jean’s deaths (I prefer to call them “disappearances”): Either they were both zapped into the future to care for their kid, or the Jean that died was really the embodiment of the Phoenix Force. As for the Prof, yeah, that was retarded and the Easter egg (if any of you saw it) was dumber

  • Kamurnio

    Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Loved the book hated the movie except for the giant sea serpent that almost killed everyone in the end. (which by that point I was hoping would happen) But I guess if you’re not a fan of Narnia in the first place, all of the movies have sucked.

  • Flip Maker

    Interesting, I have less of a problem with Superman III than I do with Superman IV: The Quest for Peach & Political Messages — that’s the sequel that, in my mind, should never have been made.

  • Jacob

    Jean was stabbed through the chest onscreen. She’s dead. In the movies, so far, the Phoenix was just the name of her alternate identity. Easily retconned, but a solid death as it is.

  • Jacob

    The DtD American Pie series is over. Not really endless, is it?

  • Sentinelofcalvary2009

    first of all episodes 1-3 of Star Wars were good movies. they weren’t supposed to be exciting like episodes 4-6 , but they did have the intensity of stories that were about the dark times of the empire and its rise. they also had a more tragic tone to them. let us face it they didnt have thefun adventurous tone of the original saga because they weren’t supposed to. we as fans all knew goimg into this what were were going to get and that is what we got. Lucas gave us a great set of prequels. i cried at the tragedy of annakin ‘s transformation from promising jedi to mislead and trapped servant of the darkiside.

  • Deco

    the planet of the apes films are all fine (I don’t include Burton’s) — they’re just from a different era, when sequels were rare, and each was of lower budget than the preceding. As a story-cycle they’re solid (except maybe the last one, which didn’t really add much to the story, but anticipated Mad Max and ilk but a long shot). So, no – basically you’re just reaching with that one, given that you skipped over alien, predator, robocop.

    But my main point? Leprechaun. WHY would they ever try to top the original masterpiece?!? (in da hood… uh-huh, ok, where can I get some of what they must have been smoking?)

  • Crescentcomics1

    Chronicles of Riddick pretty much shat on Pitch Black for all time…

  • JMC

    I agree – I just wish the budgets hadn’t got smaller with each sequel. But I thoroughly enjoyed the series and picked up the boxset recently on DVD.

  • JMC

    I can’t see how anyone can criticise Superman 3 and claim Superman 1, and especially 2 were played “straight and classic.” All three films have very campy moments especially the Lex Luthor/ Otis/ Ms Tessmacher Three Stooges routines, to the Kryptonian Disco outfits, to the whole Niagra Falls scenes etc. Richard Lester was the main offender, but Donner certainly was responsible for his fair share. I’m not knocking the films as I absolutely adore all 4 (yep, even Quest for Peace) but they are what they are. McMillan is clueless.

    As for Phantom Menace – apart from the child actor playing Annakin, I was absolutely blown away by that film (and still am). The Pod Race, the Space Battles, the Jedi/ Sith light sabre duels, R2D2, Underwater Naboo and the battle with the Federation. Seeing Jedi Warriors in their prime. Coruscant. It was mind-blowing. And all you can bitch and whine about are midichlorines? Really? Are you that petty? Sure, pull out the lame Jar Jar criticisms – but he was nothing different from all the R2D2/ C3PO scenes back in the 70s. Fanboys just love to jump on the criticism bandwagon with that one.

    Maybe a follow-up article: Five Columns We Wish McMillan Had Never Written (And Why)

  • Anonymous

    Actually, you should have said any Planet of the Apes after the third one. Escape from the Planet of the Apes is the best of the series after the first, and in my opinion, possibly better.

    X-Men Origins: Wolverine is most obvious on my list. Last Stand wasn’t great either. Oh, and Rush Hour–after the first, it went downhill. I could go on…

  • Jonathan Stopek

    Wolverine: Origins
    Any Batman film between Batman Returns (which I liked better than the original) and Batman Begins
    Superman Returns
    X-Men 3
    Highlander II – so bad they pretended it didn’t happen when they got to Highlander 3

    and to chime in:
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3 (and oh noes they’re making more)
    Spider-Man 3
    RoboCop 2 & 3 (especially since the original was so heavy on the Shakespeare references, and that entire motif got discarded for the sequels)
    Star Trek V
    Terminator 3 and Salvation
    Matrix 2 & 3
    Star Wars episodes 1&3, and the reissues, especially Return of the Jedi
    Hulk reboot
    Ocean’s 11 reboot – stick with the Rat Pack original

  • Bruno Rey

    I completely agree!!! I love Revolutions in maany diferent levels.
    Godfather III is a great movie!

  • JMC

    I love Star Trek 5! I admit it. Sure it’s not perfect, but it’s not a total disaster that everyone thinks it is. I’d love for anyone to give cause for why they don’t like it (and don’t forget to take into account that the budget was pulled out from under Shatner at the last minute!)

  • Jon

    Do we really need sequels? I mean some films are meant to be series (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter), and some are so good that if the original cast and crew stays that will be able to work strongly togther (Nolan’s Batman series, Donner’s Superman series) With Godfather remember that besides having Sofia he didn’t bring in Robert Duvall and had George Hamilton in his place, and also I don’t think that story was part if Mario Puzo’s original book. Either way, it’s all about the $$$.

    To give an answer though (and contradict myself) Spiderman 3 was a real let down.

    Oh, and Elektra was pure trash!!!

  • Jacob

    Wait, so a movie that’s not self-contained automatically sucks? The you guys are in for some MAJOR disappointment when Marvel finally rolls out The Avengers.

  • Mike

    I disagree about the ending of Lost, and the Matrix movies were still fun in the end. The fact that you didn’t like the first one shows you probably wouldn’t enjoy the second to.

    You missed a lot of really good (re: bad) stuff:

    Indian Jones IV, Spider-man 3, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Transformers 2, Jurassic Park 2/3, The list goes on and on…

  • erik weinfurter

    Die Hard 3 was awesome. 2 & 4 have to go, though!

  • Anonymous

    No sir… it would have to double its virtues to merely be “awful”.

  • Warren Z

    Raiders of the Lost Ark: what a wonderful gem of a movie. it even had a great female lead for Indy. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Epic fail on all levels. I maybe enjoyed 5 minutes of the entire show. Like seeing a good friend turn zombie, but sadder. After all the glory & fear in Alien and Aliens, Alien 3 was pathetic. All the imagination went into calling it Alien-cubed.

  • Cforshaw67220

    I had a friend who was obsessed with ‘Lost’, and he wouldn’t shut up about his theories about the show:

    “It’s the centre of a black-hole! It’s a spaceship! It’s a parallel reality!”

    When the finale aired, he hated it, and I think that was just karma balancing things out because of all the stupid stuff I’ve had to hear about the single most over-rated television series that has ever been made.

    The mystery was planned from day one? Jack was going to die in the original pilot, so how on Earth could it have been planned from day one when your main character wasn’t even going to be part of the show?

  • Cforshaw67220

    ‘Lethal Weapon 2′ was disappointing, to me, but only because Shane Black’s original idea sounded too awesome – Riggs gets killed, and Murtaugh goes on a rampage to take down the South African’s, becoming the “lethal weapon” of the title… Instead, they decided to eventually turn it into a sitcom with 3 and 4, and 4 is just plain silly, too many characters, and two tired old men managed to defeat Jet Li? Give me a break.

  • Cforshaw67220

    How do you spell troll?

    Oh, and has no-one mentioned ‘Troll 2’? Good, cos’ that film is pure awesome with the Rifftrax commentary.

  • Cforshaw67220

    Take that back! ‘Jason X’ was amazing!

  • Cforshaw67220

    Totally agree. You’ll also notice how nobody tends to suggest an alternative ending for either ‘BSG’ or ‘Lost’. Next thing you know, they’ll start whining about how Lucy never let Charlie Brown kick that football (even though she did).

  • Cforshaw67220

    ‘Home Alone 2’? That scene with the bricks being thrown off the roof is one of my most treasured childhood movie memories!

  • Olympichero62

    Batman 3 and 4 were frakking terrible. Lest we forget.

  • Mike Mctighe

    Aliens 3 takes the cake for me, not just because it’s underwhelming, but because it killed Michael Biehn’s potential as a leading man, and prevented a potentially very good third installment from being made.

  • ClaremontWhistleBlower

    Until the low-budget fiasco of Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the series had a pretty good track record. (And even Battle had some good moments…)
    Blow up the Earth?
    No problem, just go back in time! Bring the whole concept full-circle!
    The live-action tv series was limited by being produced for “family hour” viewing. Only so-so.
    But, the animated series had decent scripts and GREAT design work by Doug Wildey!

  • Mak

    Matrix: REVISITED? I didn’t realize that was a sequal. I guess the Author must have enjoyed Matrix: REVOLUTION. I thought that was the WORST of the Matrix films.

  • ClaremontWhistleBlower

    Mmmm…Foxxy Cleopatra…yeah, we’re good.

  • Madcattv2

    “The Return of Swamp Thing”

    (Although it did have a better Swamp Thing suit.)

  • Liam

    A second Matrix should have been made but not the way it was made. The second one had to much philosophy in it that bogged the movie down.

  • Pyrotwilight

    Hell, I loved all three Matrix movies.

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    The Avengers should NOT be a sequel to Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. If that is how it will be written then it’s going to be burned by critics and fans. It has to stand on it’s own firstly.
    Playing in a bigger sandbox is fine, but serve the main heroes first. Iron Man 2 was not as fun as the first one because they did what too many super hero movies did. Crammed too many characters and plots into a 2 hr movie (see X-Men 3, Blade 3, Batman 3-4~among other factors). I trust Josh to give the Avengers equal time (although that may change with editing) but don’t drop a ton of references to the solo hero films, I don’t pay my good money to watch essentially recap pages.

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    Please qualify your opinion regarding The Matrix sequels and the endings of Lost and BSG. I don’t see the correlation. You though Star Wars TPM was the worst of the prequels? You thought Attack of the Clones was better?! Oh my. This guy could actually prove that your opinion is wrong.

    I do agree that the Matrix sequels stunk. If we could have somehow gotten the highway chase into the first movie, I’d never feel the need to watch 2 ever again.

  • Zc

    That’s a common editorial device. It doesn’t mean all of us.

  • Paul Allen

    I agree too. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (the 4th one) is actually my favorite of the bunch.

  • Jacob

    There’s no point in having a shared universe if there’s no inter-connectivity. I went into Iron Man 2 wanting the beginning of Avengers and that’s what I got. I expect the same from Captain America and Thor. I don’t give a damn if it doesn’t stand on it’s own, to me it doesn’t need to. The entire point of the idea is that these movies exist together, jumping in and out of each other. Iron Man 2 did that beautifully, critics be damned (btw, reception was positive, critics liked it a lot). And there’s no reason to think they’d be recap pages, you can mingle in the other movies plotlines without having to recap it.

  • Merlinfilms

    I was thinking “any Highlander after the first one”. But then I looked at the comments and, hey, word for word, that’s the first thing anybody said !

  • Casey Justice

    Yikes! Beware of falling nerd rage!

    I will contend, to this day, that Matrix: Reloaded was a perfectly fine middle movie. It had a great set-up to a satisfying conclusion, asking new questions about the world and putting the characters in interesting situations. Unfortunately, they forgot to make a satisfying conclusion, ignoring all of the interesting shit from Reloaded and having Neo walk around a train station for an hour. God dammit.

    And Jedi is amazing. Perfect ending. Better than Empire. TAKE THAT, ALL YE HATERS!

    Finally, surprised at all the LOST convo in here, especially when it has nothing to do with the article. More surprised that people are still defending the ending. Look guys, can’t we all just admit that those guys successfully tricked us into making them rich off of a story that they had no ending for? Can’t we just move on?

  • Brian from Canada

    Phantom Menace was not 100% what people didn’t want. They wanted the fall of The Republic, an explanation as to what the Jedi Order was, and a reason for why Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader. And it’s there.

    But that’s overlayed with far too many cutesy special effects and Jar-Jar Binks — not to mention the clear racist overtones there. And then there’s the fact that the sequels jumped ahead to a point where the intrigue of the first really didn’t play into much. (I mean, come on: TEN years for Palpatine to move the galaxy to martial law when the Republic is dying BEFORE he gets in??)

  • Frank Beaton

    The reason GODFATHER, PART 2 was such a great sequel was because it wasn’t a sequel at all — it was the other half of the novel. Coppola and Puzo conceived it as two movies from the get-go. Which, I think, is a big part of why part 3 failed: the story was over. It just felt tacked-on and unnecessary.

  • Brian from Canada

    The initial choices are horrible. The last two Matrix movies suffered from the same thing every other “filmed at the same time” attempt by Hollywood has, and that is that the films don’t stand on their own without the other. Superman III had some fantastic moments and continued the interest in Clark Kent that needs to be there. Planet Of The Apes’ series — minus Burton’s — was excellent. And The Godfather III closed out Michael’s story in a poetic way.

    And some of the other choices people are offering are just as bad. Narnia 3? It’s the source material. Pirates 2? A solid plot foiled by the need to do two at once, and still exciting. Fast & The Furious? Never was intended as great cinema, and 3 onwards do capture the excitement of the first. And Supergirl? Not a sequel, though it was *horrible*.

    So let’s get to some REALLY bad sequels…

    Indiana Jones 2 had nothing to interest you in the story. Nothing. But #4 was worse because it had a cool set of villains, added a lot more to Indy’s backstory… and “nuked the fridge” through gross unrealism. That was the thing about Indy: it was always slightly plausible and there was always an out as to why it was never followed up. #4 blew it. And the fact that they’re talking about it “killing the franchise” is proof that it’s a gross mistake.

    Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen was best summarized by Rifftrax: Do we even CARE who survives the big battle scene? That’s quite a waste of time if you don’t care who survives and who doesn’t. Dark Of The Moon, or whatever the third one is called, is generating zero excitement as a result — proof of its being bad.

    Grease 2, and every sequel after: The first was perfected on Broadway years before the movie. The sequel didn’t do that. Instead, we get no memorable songs and weak acting.

    The Rocky Horror sequel that nobody remembers the name: shows how good THAT sequel was to one of the greatest phenomena in American cinema.

    And those are just off the top of my head.

  • Beow101

    I agree. I get sh!t for this all the time. If you watch all three movies together, you realize that the entire thing is one big philosophical thought experiment that goes through all the base levels of philosophy. Every fight has a meaning and every resolution makes sense in its own way. I think they did a great job of showcasing gnostic Christianity and its ties to Eastern philosophy. When you realize that the machines are the spirit, the matrix is the mind, the humans are the body, and that Neo is the messianic figure who will reconcile them all into one balanced being, the movies are actually quite clever.

    But I’m a nerd, and most of you probably think I’m an idiot for defending this franchise.

    I will say I was disappointed with the action in the sequels. The fight scenes don’t seem to have the same realism as the first.

  • Anonymous

    Caddyshack 2. ‘Nuff said.

  • John Mahoney

    I think you meant to say, “…I preferred its original version, when William Gibson called it ‘Neuromancer'”. This is one place where Morrison does not even rate in the conversation.


    To disparage the Matrix Trilogy is pure blasphemy. Clearly you didn’t get out of it what was intended by the creators (and I don’t mean the Wachowski’s). Sucks to be you.

  • Prodigalsun0911

    completely agree with you on that one. i cant watch batman and robin all the way through. the worst one of them all.


    Let’s all make a list of our favorite top ten lists written by people with nothing better to do with their time than gripe about sequels that came out over a decade ago!

  • The Solrak

    The first two Batmans (both with Michael Keaton) were great, and Tim Burton’s work (especially in the 2nd one) was really awesome: dark, grotesque, both scary and funny at the same time. But I hate that Joel Schumacher’s bat-discotheque in two next movies. Gross!

  • Carlos

    You don’t have to look forward to Sofia Coppola’s directing debut. It came out over 10 years ago.

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    So you think none of the movies should stand on their own? That would just cater to the fanboy market and that would be death. I didn’t say have NO connection but when you throw too much into the film it becomes a mess, again see X-Men 3.
    IM 3 is in danger of doing the same if they keep on that track. Not to mention adding some unnecessary sub-plots. I don’t want to see Thor, Nick Fury and Cap cramming for camera time if I go see Iron Man 3. I want to see them in Avengers. I go see Iron Man to SEE Iron Man.

  • Xbigvmanx

    My picks Batman & Robin, Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull, Any Police Academy after the the 2nd one, Star Trek Next Generation Movies (yes even first contact),

  • Jeremy Henderson

    I will agree with you in defending Return of the Jedi. It suffers from comparison to Empire, and yes, the Ewoks are an irritating early case of Lucas thinking about merchandising possibilities over story, but otherwise it’s phenomenal. Everything about the Mission Impossible style rescue of Han from Jabba’s palace is solid gold (well, until Lucas decided that we needed CGI musical numbers added), and the final confrontation between Luke, Vader and the Emperor was incredibly satisfying.

    And arguing which of the prequels was worse detracts from the most important point, which is that they were all terrible, terrible movies.

  • Zor-El of Argo

    I find it interesting that everyone pans Superman III but ignores Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. I like Superman III. Not nearly as much as the first two but I still enjoyed it greatly. It did the one thing no other Superman film has dare to try: go without Lex Luthor. Yes, Lex is his greatest enemy but does he have to be in EVERY movie? Was he really needed in Superman II?
    Superman IV was the worst of the bunch. Superman III still made over $100million. It seems most people don’t even remember there WAS a Superman IV(probably a repressed memory. GOD that movie sucks)!

  • Zor-El of Argo

    It’s not that Phantom Menace sucked. It just wasn’t GREAT. After so long a wait and all the hype Star Wars Episode I needed to be F%@#*&G AWESOME and it really wasn’t. It was merely good, but for the footsteps it was following it just wasn’t nearly good enough.

  • Victimblue

    Every movie after Friday the 13th part 4 was awful. They said part 4 was the final chapter…then it should have stayed final. Part 4 was so good they should have left it at a high note.

  • Shaun

    There was nothing “great” about the two Burton Bat-movies… They were watchable. Nothing more. I tried to watch the 1989 one again a couple of years ago, and it really hasn’t aged well. Is it because Nolan’s movies are so damned good? Maybe that’s part of it, but Burton just never understood Batman/Bruce Wayne to begin with. If he had, we wouldn’t have gotten Michael Keaton slumming through those two films. I could go on about those movies, but it would take all day,

    Still… They’re better than the Schumacher travesties. I’ll give you that!

  • Shaun

    I like Jedi fine… But giving Menace any praise, even faint praise, makes me question your judgment.

    Episode III, while not one my favorites, is a far cry better than Menace… That’s the best of the prequels, by a long shot. But even that one’s got its flaws, and being a sequel to Episodes I & II makes it a problematic film to begin with.

  • Shaun

    Nah… Pirates 2 was lots of fun. Stupid, yes, but stupid fun. I actually like that one better than the first Pirates.

    Pirates 3 was crap though, and I can’t say I’m terribly interested in seeing Pirates 4.

  • Shaun

    So you liked that “And then they all died eventually, and they all met up in heaven” crap? Really? Well… To each their own.

    Personally, I’d have preferred answers to the many, many mysteries they teased us with for the first five seasons, as well as resolution that made sense of it all.

  • Shaun

    An actual X4, set after X3, or are you referring to X-Men: First Class? That’s not really X4, coming before the setting of the first three X-Men films.

    To be honest, I have no idea if First Class is meant to be a prequel or if it’s a complete reboot. Anyone know?

  • xman4life

    X3: THE LAST STAND and other X-MEN prequel or sequel FOX puts out

  • Seven_2100

    Spider-man 3 dropped the ball bigtime, when has Peter Parker been into jazz dancing? the first 2 were classics and alone make me question the need for a reboot, but Speiderman 3 hang your head in shame.

  • tyranny4u

    Great Call on Crystal Skull. That is the definition of a sequel that I wish had never been made.