The old adage that film sequels are worse than their original titles usually rings true, and the team at Voice Magazine decided to write about the productions that prove that this saying exists for a reason. Join us as we take a deep dive into the world of nostalgic disappointment!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
This film series was intended to be a chance for fans of the original Harry Potter series to reenter the wizarding world. All of the right elements seemed to be there - focusing on the weird and wonderful creatures of the Harry Potter universe was a smart move (everyone loves a Niffler) and there could be some nice references to prelude Harry’s time at Hogwarts. Instead, these films turned out to be a huge mess. Weird casting choices of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald and Jude Law as a young Dumbledore made for bewildering viewing, and all of the homeliness of the original series was lost through the American setting. The films’ only saving grace are the actual CGI beasts themselves who have more stage presence than the real human actors. Otherwise, this series doesn’t hold a candle to the original Harry Potter films and has just reinforced J. K. Rowling’s current irrelevance.
- Claire Jenns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Following an impressive sequel in The Mummy Returns, which featured a pre-blockbuster star Dwayne Johnson, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor served more as a spit in the face of the franchise. Despite the return of Brendan Fraser and John Hannah as Rick O’Connell and Jonathan Carnahan respectively, Rachel Weisz was notably absent as Evelyn Carnahan-O’Connell, with Maria Bello instead being recast in the role, alienating longtime fans of the franchise. Admittedly, a scene where Rick attempts (and fails) to learn how to fly-fish was amusing to watch, though this is genuinely the only sequence I can look back on with fondness. With a largely forgettable plot and rehashed elements from the previous entries into the series, most viewers were left wondering if this sequel was really necessary.
- Ali Muzaffar
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
To be honest, any entry into the Terminator series after Terminator 2: Judgement Day tarnished its predecessor’s legacy, though T2 still stands as one of the greatest sequels ever made. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, on the other hand, attempted to catch lightning in a bottle, but fell flat by doubling down on action-heavy set pieces rather than the tense thrills offered by the titles preceding it. The plot sees Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-101 sent back in time to protect an adult John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his future wife, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), from the murderous T-X (Kristanna Loken), in what represents a poor reworking of T2’s core narrative. Not even a cameo from Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman could convince audiences that this was a film worth watching. Having directed the previous two films, James Cameron had no involvement in Terminator 3, which in hindsight, foreshadowed the lack of quality on display throughout the production.
- Ali Muzaffar
The Next Karate Kid
Who knew Karate Kid produced four films? We most certainly didn’t as it failed miserably to offer anything new to the franchise. The same story, just a different protagonist and honestly the first three were bad enough. Hillary Swank takes on the lead role as Julie, using this discipline to combat the anger and rejection in her life. Although this is still considered her break-through performance it still wasn't enough to regurgitate a miracle from this worn out plot line. The film just didn't need to happen. If you are going to watch a Karate Kid film we recommend the 2010 rendition that included Jaden Smith or the original.
- De-Mornae Clarke
If one genre certainly knows how to kill any credibility a franchise may have had, it’s the horror genre. The Scream franchise is a cult classic that should have ceased filming in the year 2000 when the Sydney Prescott story came to a satisfying conclusion, as she came face to face with her estranged brother Ronan for one last “scream”. In no way did Dimension Films need to revive the franchise in 2011 for one of the worst sequels ever. Despite having the original cast with a few new faces thrown in, the story, the incessant jabs at overplayed horror troupes and the overall lack of thrill, fright or anything else, Scream 4 was a huge waste of time. Emma Roberts running around with a knife trying to convince audiences she’s this sinister, vengeful character was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Scream 5 is currently in production, and as much as I know it’s likely to be even worse than this one, I’m still probably going to watch it.
- Saskia Calliste
I know it’s not a sequel as such but hear me out. I love Black Widow’s character. She was done so dirty by Marvel in ‘Endgame’ that it put a dampener on the entire film. Having been a key part in all the Marvel films and having been over-sexualised for most of them, she deserved a bigger and better sendoff – but ‘Black Widow’ wasn’t it. Not only did they choose a weird time in Natasha’s life to pick up from, but the film was also boring. Besides putting faces to personalities we could have guessed Natasha had come across in her life, there was nothing new or interesting about her story. Why not an origin story, Marvel? Why not a series? Anything would have been better than kicking this character while she was already down by producing this uneventful, two-hour slog. All it did was make me wish they had treated Black Widow with the respect she deserved when she was alive.
- Saskia Calliste