Special Friday Pick EIGHT - 8 Sequels that Broke Our Hearts

Friday, March 16, 2012
Ah, sequels. They’re always a gamble, aren’t they? Sometimes, they are immensely satisfying, expanding on the concepts we grew to love in the first thing, and ratcheting up the stakes in new and interesting ways. At their best, they compliment, if not always improve, on the foundations that they’re built on. But at their worst, they’re not just bad – they’re heartbreakingly bad. Their very existence taints the stuff that came before, shamelessly destroying everything that you once so loved.  We all have stories about these experiences, and in that spirit, this Friday we at MFAMLG have prepared something a little special: a collaborative, expanded Friday Pick Eight, where each of the contributors share two of their stories about the sequels that broke our hearts.

Check them out after the jump!

1.) The Matrix Reloaded
The infamous crappiness of The Matrix sequels is nothing new in the blogosphere, but it holds a special place in my heart for introducing my young mind to what I now call “the Spiderman 3 effect”. You see, when I left the theater I was giddy with excitement, honestly under the belief that it was not only a great movie, but better than the first. However, as I thought and thought about the movie, and the gee-whiz afterglow of the action faded, I grew to hate it more and more.

Nowadays, the Matrix Reloaded is a lot of things – self-indulgent, bloated, pretentious, and vapid bordering on self-parody. But to me? It’s also a liar. It’s the movie so sucky it convinced me it didn’t suck. And that hurts.
2.) Iron Man II
By the opposite token, I was dissatisfied with Iron Man II from about the middle of the movie. Even today, I remember it as a flabby, filler-packed, meandering, tepid film with little sense of danger, intrigue, or adventure. It was boring and inconsequential, which is something that a follow-up to Iron Man (indeed, something that a movie about a vigilante superhero in a hyperpowered mech suit) should never be. It doesn’t really have a climax, its villains are somehow more cartoony and half-baked than IM1’s Iron Monger, and of the recent crop of Marvel flicks it seems the most blatantly like a teaser for Avengers. A bad one.

But who knows? Maybe the opposite of the Matrix Reloaded is true here – maybe it’ll get better with time. I haven’t revisited it, but maybe I should. Maybe…



3.) Speed 2: Cruise Control

Despite the fact that Keanu seems to have one acting emotion, I sometimes still enjoy the movies he is in. Speed was one of them, and I did find it to be an almost believable, entertaining movie. I loved that one critic said that while he gets a bad rap for not being very smart-he had the brains to steer clear of the sequel. Truer words were never spoken. Even Sandra Bullock can’t save this snoozer.

4.) Godfather Part III

Madpoet and I were just discussing this movie the other day, and it really needs to be on the list. After two stellar and Oscar worthy performances as Michael Corleone the great Al Pacino did not need to become old and contemplative ….would we have sat through Brando acting like that? I suppose Coppola felt he could not let Michael end his life as a Don, with no true repercussions. But the toll on the family would have been enough to get a moral point across, and the way Michael has changed in his later years is in such contrast to the man we left in Godfather II, they almost don’t seem like the same men. To add insult to injury here, Coppola could just not resist putting his daughter in the film, and she cannot act. At all. We all think our kids are adorable in home movies. Sofia should have stayed there.

Jay AKA Madpoet
Trying to think of sequels that disappointed me is tricky. Do I go for the obvious? The obscure? I mean, I could write several paragraphs on Phantom Menace. What it comes down to for me is this question; Did this sequel need to be made?
5.) Highlander II – The Quickening
Highlander, while not the greatest movie ever made what with it's bad accents. It did have a cool bad guy, Sean Connery and people getting their heads cut off on epic sword fights. Highlander II? Let me see if I can explain the plot.
The ozone layer has been depleted. Duncan makes some kind of shield to protect the inhabitants of earth. As a side effect it plunges the planet into eternal darkness. Some company takes over of the shield, called the Shield Corporation. Terrorists are trying to take the shield down, because the ozone layer has been replenished. Duncan is in love with someone else, since the girl from the first movie is dead. Somehow, Sean Connery shows up (twice) even though he has been decapitated for hundreds of years. It turns out Duncan and Sean Connery are from another planet and were exiled to earth. There is another guy who is hanging out with Sean Connery who turns out to be a bad guy. Duncan and Sean Connery help the terrorists take down the shield. Duncan fights the bad guy that showed up with Sean Connery, chops off his head and they all go back to their home planet.
File this one under “why did they make a sequel?” Duncan had become “The One” at the end of the first film. Now he isn't. I thought he was the only immortal that remained? It was as if they wanted to answer all the questions that came up for the first movie and wrapped it in a nonsensical sci-fi story. The story is so convoluted that I don't even think I explained it right. I have seen the movie twice and I am still confused.

6.) The Final Cut – Pink Floyd
Not really a sequel to The Wall, but this album that followed is undoubtedly the most depressing album ever made. Ostensibly a Pink Floyd album, it is really a Roger Waters solo album with some of his Pink Floyd bandmates playing on it. Designed to be an anti-war album, Waters picks up some the war themes from The Wall and wraps them in a depressing prog rock cloud of gray.

Sure, prog rock can be pretentious, but most of the time it at least has a sense of wonder to it. The Final Cut is just pretentious, boring and depressing. Maybe it was a good thing Waters and Gilmour went their separate ways after this mess.

El Kaiser Guapo

7.) Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
The Effin Bear talks about "The Spider Man 3 Effect" in his first choice... well, this movie had that effect on me for about 8 years. In my defense, I was 11 when it was released to theaters, and what 11 year old boy who grew up on the holy trilogy WOULDN'T freak out about Phantom Menace in a fit of excitement? I was SO into this movie that my brothers and I owned every single action figure, including that one senate guy who has like two lines in the whole movie but still somehow warranted an action figure.  For 11 year old EKG, Phantom Menace was, indeed, awesome.
And then I turned 18 and finally rewatched the movie after becoming bitter and cynical and having my love of the original trilogy galvanized by a combination of their release to DVD and the Knights of the Old Republic games, and I realized something: George Lucas had destroyed everything that was good about the original trilogy in one fell swoop with Phantom Menace. Seriously, he reduced the best villain on film to a little boy who says "Yippee!" and calls people the Star Wars equivalent of "Poop Head" (Poodoo!). Also, he turned the Force from some mystical, spiritual power into little bugs in your blood stream. Magic bugs. And so, I realized my 11 year old self was, indeed, dumb and Phantom Menace is a crime against film.

8.) X-3: X-Men United
Last and, in my opinion, certainly least on this list is reserved a movie so colossally bad that to this day I try my hardest to pretend it never happened just so I can enjoy the movies that came before it. But often this is to no avail. See, where X-3 differs from other entries on this list is that in most of these cases, the sequel doesn't make us enjoy the film it followed up any less. The original trilogy is still awesome even if Episodes 1, 2, and 3 are terribad. But not here. No, X-3 is so bad, so painfully terrible that it has ensured that all the films that came before it are forever ruined merely because while watching them I know, I KNOW, that they only pave the way for this awful, awful film.
X-3 destroys every last moment of character development from the first two, meaning that all those great arcs amount to nothing. They screw up the awesome Dark Phoenix storyline. They manage to make almost every last character we had grown to love unlikable, and worst of all they made Professor X, one of Marvel's best paragons of right, do something so unapologetically terrible to ensure his own survival that it hurts my head just to think about it. There are no redeemable parts of this movie. It takes the heart from the X-men franchise and craps on it, and then blows it up in an action-stravaganza to hide said crap.
Basically, what I'm saying is: I hate this movie.


  1. Agree with you on speed 2 and Higlander 2 but think you've forgotten Shark 2 that really didn't live up to the first movie.

  2. Linda, we did think of Jaws2 which was, admittedly, awful.We also thought about The Sting 2 (really? replace Paul Newman & Robert Redford with Mac Davis? Someone was snorting something when they came up with that casting), Blues Brothers 2000 (just nasty awful)...and several others that popped up during the list making. In the end, we all just chose our top 2 and the rest shook out to the bottom of this endlessly despicable pile. It was fun to do, though! :)


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