It's almost here. Because you all were begging for it. The return of Renee Zellwegger in yet another sequel to 2001's Bridget Jones' Diary. Apparently, they're going to base the third installment on a series of columns author Helen Fielding wrote about Bridget trying to have a child in her 40s, and production will start later this year. Unfortunately, we're kind of over Ms. Jones at this point, after her last wacky and unnecessary adventure brought her antics to the edge of reasonableness. Sure, it'll probably make money, but it seems like that's really the only reason they're making it. (Well, that and actually giving Zellwegger something to do.) And it's not the first sequel that should never have existed. We won't go so far as to say that all sequels are a bad idea, but a good number of them are, and many of them involve Vin Diesel somehow. These are ten that we actively resent the existence of.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
The Blair Witch Project was what it was -- a film making experiment that turned into a worldwide phenomenon. It would have been shameless to try to make a second movie in the exact same found-footage style, but it was just plain stupid to make a cookie-cutter horror movie sequel, in which a new group of kids go to investigate the legend behind the found footage. Not only was it incredibly bad, with gratuitous nudity and a substandard plot, but it really had very little to do with the original, and only watered down its legacy.
We don't care how much money it made. We don't care how funny Steve Carell is. The bottom line is, making a sequel to the preachy Bruce Almighty, in which God comes back and gives a new Bible-related challenge to a minor character from the first movie, seems a little cheap, especially when that character is played by an actor who's since gotten infinitely more popular, and they need to change his career and invent a backstory in order to make the story work with him in it. And dressing Carell up like Noah? Hokey as Hell. Give him a different starring project, instead of hammering him into such a dubious "franchise."
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones stands tall among the great heroes of the screen, fighting Nazis and cultists in his three classic movies. Would we have liked more of them? Sure, but the time for that passed ten, maybe 15 years ago. So why, aside from money, did they need to make a fourth film, almost 20 years after the last installment, in which Indy is even older and more out-of-shape than he was back then? Not only did it totally ruin our memories of the virile adventurer, the sci-fi plot called into question all of his previous, entirely supernatural adventures. In other words, it made us question the existence of a God on several levels.
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
So they freed Willy, and then they realized they needed to free him again in order to have a sequel? If that's not a reason for whale entrapment, I don't know what is. I mean, haven't seen it, but it seems that Willy's new habitat is threatened by a flaming oil spill?! Why not go free another whale, like Shamu, or Jimmy, or Pete, and stop putting Willy in danger?
The first Highlander is not a masterpiece, but its inventive fantasy premise -- a race of immortals are destined to kill each other until there's only one left -- and gorgeous visuals created many fans. So when making a sequel, the filmmakers decided that setting it in the future, revealing the immortals to be a race of aliens, and bringing back Sean Connery, who had a good, clean death in the first one. It basically left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, one that two more sequels, one TV series and a cartoon could not wash away.
Aside from giving Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass something to do, what was the point in making a sequel to one of the few perfect movies in the world? Donnie Darko ended where it began, like a snake (or a rabbit) eating its tail, and not a single person who saw it thought to themselves, "Hey, I wonder what's gonna happen to that little girl from Sparkle Motion when she grows up."
Son of the Mask
If you want to make a sequel to The Mask (a dubious desire already), and you can't get Jim Carrey again, do not make a sequel to The Mask. No one wants to see Jamie Kennedy taking care of a Mask baby.
The Chronicles of Riddick
This Vin Diesel franchise actually had potential, back when it was just Pitch Black, and Vin was a mysterious convict who had to help the survivors of a wreck get off an alien-infested planet. So why did the sequel find Riddick taking on an army of death-worshipping mass-murderers, with the help of a gossamer Judi Dench? They raised the stakes -- and the scope -- too far, too fast, and the franchise floundered.
Under Siege 2
If Under Siege was "Die Hard on a boat," then of course, Under Siege 2 had to be "Die Hard on a train." Aside from how preposterous the idea of avoiding detection while on a train may be, the idea that a doughy chef who knows martial arts has a second opportunity to defeat a team of terrorists threatening global instability is not only stupid, it's insulting. To me and Steven Seagal.
Let me preface this by saying that anything that involves the Ghostbusters is, within reason, unimpeachable. But it must be said that the second Ghostbusters, while not without its good points, is mostly disappointing. Peter MacNicol doing a funny accent, a cute baby for moms and grandmothers to look at, a dancing toaster oven, Annie Potts in a bad wig, Rick Moranis in a Ghostbusters uniform, guns that shoot slime... Sadly, the filmmakers took more from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series than the original movie. Watchable, but not lovable.
Honorable Mention: The Godfather Part III
Godfather III is better off ignored when it comes to the acclaimed "Godfather trilogy." While the first and second films are widely regarded as masterpieces, nobody would miss the third if it was left out of the boxed sets, thanks to a poor performance by Sofia "What I really ought to do is direct" Coppola and a convoluted "Catching up with the Corleones" plot. The fact that it was written so the broke Francis Ford Coppola could score a paycheck -- even though he felt the story had been finished 15 years earlier in Part 2 -- did not help matters. If I were a man prone to puns, I would call it the "godfather" of unnecessary sequels. Wait -- I am prone to puns! "Godfather" it is!
What are your least favorite sequels? Rattle them off below.