In honor of this year’s Dumb and Dumber To and Horrible Bosses 2, we here at OneOfUs.net have provided a list of terrible comedy sequels that you shouldn’t waste a second of your precious time watching. OneOfUs.net’s own Christopher J. Herman and Thomas Mariani present a selection of the worst of the absolute worst comedy sequels to date. Who knows? A few comedies from this year might make next year’s list!
10. Ghostbusters II
Now, this is a divisive example. Admittingly, for all it’s faults, the second Ghostbusters film isn’t the most egregiously awful example of a comedy sequel, especially when you consider any of the other films on this list. At the very least, it still has the chemistry between Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson shine through at certain moments. Yet, the majority of this follow up to the much beloved original has the same crucial issue that hurts all comedy sequel (as you’ll see below); constant repetition to the point of being a remake of the first rather than a true sequel. From the Ghostbusters forced into the roles of underdogs to the giant being walking the streets of New York during the climax, the same beats are all clearly there from the original, which just makes it more of a way to show off the ghost effects rather than a fun new adventure with the beloved gang.
This also results in Sigourney Weaver taking even more of a backseat than when she was transformed into a dog demon and Rick Moranis attempts juggling scenes with Slimer being cute to appeal to the kids who watched The Real Ghostbusters at home and a romantic fling with Annie Potts that feels rather sudden given her relationship with Ramis in the last film. It all ends up being a disappointment, especially given the unfortunate fact that we won’t get the original crew together in another film. Ah well, at least it’s got Bill Murray yelling at a toaster. That counts for something.
9. An American Werewolf in Paris
While most tend to remember the original An American Werewolf in London for it’s horrific werewolf transformations, there’s also a lot of laughs to be had. Writer/director John Landis managed to balance out the gore with genuinely funny character based humor, which helps to endear you to the characters before they’re mauled to death. Unfortunately, neither the humor nor the werewolf transformations manage to work in this mostly in-name-only 1997 follow up, which is filled with cartoon physics, annoyingly bro-like characters and one confused looking Julie Delphy who’s desperately seeking another Richard Linklater/Ethan Hawke movie to shoot.
The whole thing feels like a person read the original outline of London before writing this as the bare minimum of research, with a few half assed returning elements like the ghosts haunting our lead or a shadowy secret around the lore of the werewolf, but they all feel forced and unfitting for a film that constantly breaks the rules of the original. It doesn’t help that Rick Baker’s Academy Award winning practical effects are replaced by late 90s CGI werewolves that look horrendous by any standard, but not even in a funny way.
8. Austin Powers in Goldmember
Right after winning millions over with his vocal work in Shrek but just before he ended up ruining everyone’s childhoods with The Cat in the Hat, Mike Myers released the third and (as of this writing) final film in his trilogy of 60s spy spoofs. The film served as one of the last live action financial hits for Myers before his career was justly ruined by the gratingly unfunny romp that charmed no one The Love Guru, which many argued showed a lack of original evolution with Myers’ comedy. The same can honestly can be said for Goldmember, where Myers’ idea for a new inventive character for him to play that people will fall for is a Dutch weirdo with a gold penis and a proclivity for collecting samples of dead skin. Not quite as fun as an incompetent Dr. No with the voice of Lorne Michaels or a seriously outdated British spy, is it?
The biggest issue with Goldmember is that the over the top antics of Austin and his pals lack any real direction. There’s a basic plot about world domination and Austin trying to patch things up with his estranged father (played as one of the film’s brighter spots by Michael Caine on the cusp of his Christopher Nolan ushered comeback), but it all just feels like a window dressing for cameos, overlong gags and general pandering. True, the original film’s plot wasn’t very complex, but the chemistry between Myers and Elizabeth Hurley as well as Austin’s hope to find his place in the then modern era of the 90s had an endearing sensibility that made the gags funnier. Here, none of that chemistry is present with new love interest Beyonce Knowles and Austin’s issues with his father come off as a ham fisted excuse for the horrid reveal that Dr. Evil and Austin are brothers rather than a genuine dynamic. It all ends up being about as self indulgent as anyone who attempted to do a bad Austin Powers impression post-International Man of Mystery.
7. Beverly Hills Cop III
At a certain point, someone needs to give Eddie Murphy an award for Most Consistently Disappointing Sequel Machine. Another 48 Hours, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and most of the others have taken the goodwill of his earlier work and flushed it down the toilet… which is an apt metaphor for his career in general. Many would cite Beverly Hills Cop III as the first true sign of a sharp decline for both Murphy and director John Landis, who destroy the charms that made them so endearing as artists. For Murphy, it’s the seemingly glazed over boredom that completely hides the once lovable and vibrant personality in this film. Instead of being the wisecracking Axel Foley that made helped make Eddie Murphy the mega-star he was in the 80s, he’s this bland every cop who just gets things done with the occasional unfunny sight gag or yawn worthy one liner that makes this feel more like a Beverly Hills Cop rip-off rather than a follow up. Similarly, Landis’ usual pension for Hollywood in-jokes and cameos seem to get more attention than any of the jokes that actually matter to the story or characters. Both Landis and Murphy have admitted that the film was a disappointment, but the latter’s continued attempts to make up for it with a fourth entry with Brett Ratner at the helm doesn’t inspire laughs so much as cries of terror.
6. The Hangover Part III
Many like to give the second film in the Hangover franchise a lot of grief and I don’t blame them. It’s probably the textbook example of a bad comedy sequel, reusing old jokes, giving little to no development of the characters and turning up the raunchiness just for the sake of being raunchy. But, for all it’s faults, the second Hangover at least still feels like an actually follow up to the first movie. With the third and (hopefully still final) entry in the series, director Todd Phillips decided to turn this R rated comedy franchise into a seedy, mean spirit and largely unfunny Tony Scott style action crime film. Now, that’s very clearly avoiding the issue of repetition, but it goes into a completely different problem of being in a totally different genre that the other films. It doesn’t help that talented folks like Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Jeffrey Tambor and John Goodman are sidelined in favor of the grating staleness of a whining Zach Galifanakis and an arrogantly screaming Ken Jeong, both managing to be far worse than they ever were in the original films. Oh, and did I mention there’s at least three different instances of animal death? What hilarity!
5. Caddyshack II
Caddyshack is one of the greatest comedies ever made. Hell, it’s considered to be the best by a lot of people. Directed by Harold Ramis, Caddyshack starred Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Ted Knight. With the exception of Chase and a first draft of the script co-written by Ramis, Caddyshack II has almost none of the original creators or characters. One of the most remarkable things about Caddyshack II’s place in cinematic history is how so few people actually know it exists. That says a lot about how bad the movie actually is. Supposedly, Dangerfield refused to return for the sequel even after being offered $7 million to reprise his role. Also, Murray sued the producers of the film for their use of the iconic stuffed gopher, for which Murray is credited with co-creating. Well, I’m sure none of that spelled disaster early on, right?
Taking place sometime after the events of the first film, the Bushwood Club is still a place where the wealthiest of snobs rub shoulders with lowly caddies and other miscreants. Jackie Mason plays a Dangerfield-lite character that spends most of the time mimicking the legendary comedian. Unlike Dangerfield’s crass R-rated one-liners, Mason is censored due to the film’s PG rating. Chase makes a handful of appearances, but he’s barely in the movie and looks as if he doesn’t want to be there to begin with. Dan Aykroyd plays a version of Murray’s original gopher hunting groundskeeper from the first film (for which Aykroyd received a coveted Razzie Award for). All in all, Caddyshack II suffers not only because it doesn’t do anything different than the previous film, but that it does absolutely nothing well in the first place.
4. Short Circuit 2
Yes, there was a sequel to Short Circuit, and yes, it’s even worse than the first film. For those that don’t know (you’re lucky if you don’t), Short Circuit was solely made to capitalize on the widespread success of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Unlike the cute/grotesque looking alien that warmed audiences hearts, filmgoers were treated to an annoying metal monstrosity named Johnny Five who primarily spoke in film and television references that were supposedly popular at the time. In the sequel, Johnny Five some how winds up involved in a loan shark/bank robbing scheme. It makes little to no sense and the sheer awfulness only increases with Johnny Five’s dimwitted responses to what’s going on around him.
The most painful scenes involving Johnny Five being initiated into a Latino street gang called the Los Locos. Johnny quickly embraces the horribly offensive stereotypes and becomes even more annoying than anyone could possibly have ever imagined. He even memorizes the Los Locos mantra, “Las Locos Kick Your Ass, Los Locos Kick Your Face, Los Locos Kick Your Balls Into Outer Space!” What wonderful entertainment for children that was.
3. Blues Brother 2000
You know it’s a bad sign when a sequel to a beloved film is missing one of the main leads. It’s especially worse if that lead happens to have died nearly two decades prior. Still, that didn’t stop Director John Landis and Dan Aykroyd from making Blues Brothers 2000 without John Belushi. Ackroyd returns as Elwood Blues, who learns that after his 18 year stint in prison that his brother, Jake (Belushi), died while he was locked up. Why Elwood wasn’t told that his brother was dead while serving his prison sentence is completely unexplained. Worse, Elwood spends most of the film attempting to fill the iconic shoes that his little brother left behind. John Goodman (the Belushi replacement) does a decent job, but he plays second fiddle to Aykroyd who provides himself with most, if not all of the jokes and dialogue for the film (Aykroyd and Landis penned the script by the way).
The movie attempts to copy and paste the same scenarios from the original classic with little to no success. Instead of being pursued by an angry army of Neo-nazis, it’s an angry army of gun totting rednecks. Instead of an epic car chase through a mall, you get a scene where the Blues Mobile suddenly becomes a submarine. Yes, you have wrathful nuns, incompetent cops and dozens of guest appearances from well known musicians and singers, but the film feels overlong and bloated as it attempts to remake almost the exact same scenes from the original. There was no way Aykroyd, Goodman, Landis nor God could save this painfully unfunny sequel to one of the greatest comedies of the 1980s. Well, it could have been worse. Jim Belushi could have played the role of Jake.
2. Evan Almighty
In Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey was given the powers of God. In the sequel Evan Almighty, Steve Carell was given the power to get pooped on by birds. Oh, it gets much worse. Billed as being the most expensive comedy ever produced (it was replaced by Men in Black 3 in 2013), Evan Almighty is infamously known as one of the biggest box office bombs in cinematic history. With a budget of $175 million (said to be much higher according to some sources), one would hope some actual effort was put into the movie. The answer is a resounding no.
Taking place years after Bruce Almighty, Evan Baxter (Carell) has gone from gibberish speaking Buffalonian news anchor to Virginia congressman. The sequel promised a “comedic” reinvention of the story of Noah. What audiences received were shoehorned religious messages, animal poop jokes and an overabundance of painfully unfunny physical comedy. It’s like the scriptwriters struggled to even come up with humorous scenarios for Carell’s bumbling character. Carell hitting his thumb with a hammer is hilarious, so it must be even funnier when he does it a dozen more times, right? Thankfully, Carell moved on to better things, but Evan Almighty will be hard to forget even after his incredible performances in films like Little Miss Sunshine and Foxcatcher.
1. Son of the Mask
Jamie Kennedy is the lead in the movie. If that doesn’t set off the warning sirens in your head than I don’t know what does. A sequel that is very loosely connected to The Mask, The Son of the Mask replaces the very talented Jim Carrey with the very obnoxious and not talented Kennedy. The “plot” revolves around a budding cartoonist played by Kennedy, who uncovers the same mask from the first film. Much like the original movie, the mask attaches itself to various people and turns them into a walking cartoon like gods with the powers of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. There’s also a sub-plot involving Norse gods Loki (Alan Cummings) and Odin (Bob Hoskins) who want the mask for their own nefarious gains.
It also features one of the most terrifying CGI babies to ever exist on film. Seriously, seeing that horrific little demon spawn twist its little rubbery head around while crawling around on the ceiling is really unsettling. Every joke falls flat and the sight gags hurt to watch. Universally panned by critics and audiences, The Son of the Mask ended any chance of a series of films (thank God). However, it did deal the deathblow to Kennedy’s career. So, there’s one good thing that came from this abomination.