Paul Blart should feel better after seeing this list.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 finally opens in theaters Friday and it’s about time. The amount of people around the world who have been clamoring for a sequel to the 2009 original must number around… well, maybe a dozen or so.
In all fairness, the first Paul Blart was a box office hit, raking in $183 million worldwide and cementing Kevin James’ status as a bona-fide movie star.
Critics, however, weren’t so kind. The original finished with a 33% tomatometer on the Rotten Tomatoes website, meaning that one third of noteworthy critics gave it a positive review. The outlook has been even bleaker for the sequel. As of this writing, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has a 0% tomatometer, which will be hard for even a studio to spin into something positive.
A couple of the quotes from critics are as follows:
“What would a film be like if every single person involved made as little effort as humanly possible?” – Tom Huddleston, Time Out
“It’s better than some of the other titles in the Kevin James back catalog… but that’s like saying one bout of syphilis was better than another bout of syphilis.” – Matt Neal, The Standard
In keeping with the spirit, we thought this would be a good time to take a look back at some of the worst movie sequels in history. Check out our rankings below and let us know if you agree.
JAWS 2 (1978)
We admit that whatever followed the original Jaws was bound to be a disappointment, but this sequel was worse than expected. The story was lackluster but an even bigger problem was the sheer downgrade in quality of the animatronic shark. Typically, technology is improved for sequels, but the shark in Part 2 was so phony-looking that it caused viewers to laugh more than jump out of their seats. Someone really needed to step in and say, “We’re gonna need a bigger budget.”
BATMAN & ROBIN (1997)
With such non-classic catchphrases as “Freeze-well” and “Let’s kick some ice,” Batman & Robin is known as the sequel that killed the Batman franchise — until Christopher Nolan revitalized it with Batman Begins. It’s as if the writers had a gun to their head and were told to come up with the worst puns imaginable or else. There really is no other explanation for this mess of a movie. Forcing viewers to embrace a different actor playing Batman for the third time in the past three films didn’t help matters.
SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL (1997)
1997 was not a good year for sequels, as evidenced by its second entry on the list. We knew we were in for a ride — though unfortunately a corny one — when we read the sequel’s title “Cruise Control.” It almost sounds like something the Batman & Robin writers dreamed up. Thankfully, Sandra Bullock didn’t let this maritime stinker sink her career. Chalk up this poor choice of hers to a contractual obligation.
THE HANGOVER PART III (2013)
We went back and forth over whether to rank The Hangover Part II on this list instead. After all, Part II was a near-exact retread of the original. However, it still had its share of funny moments. Part III, while changing up the formula of the series, is just a flat out bore. It also had a severe lack of laughs for something that is supposed to be a “comedy.” Let’s hope when the series is rebooted a decade from now that the producers aren’t as lazy.
CARS 2 (2011)
Do we dare rank a Disney movie on this list? In our opinion, we had no choice — and it’s one of their collaborations with Pixar no less! The Disney/Pixar combo almost always equals critical and box office gold. While the follow-up to 2006’s Cars did take in $191 million domestically, it was a relative disappointment and ended up with a mere 39% tomatometer. The script just lacked the charm and wit that we’ve come to expect from the powerhouses involved.
GREASE 2 (1982)
At least the creators didn’t attempt to use the Danny and Sandy characters. That would have made this unnecessary sequel even more of a disaster. However, with no memorable songs and a cheese ball script about an English guy trying to prove himself worthy to the leader of a girls’ gang, there is absolutely no reason to watch this garbage. Like Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer was able to just sweep this dud under a rug.
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003)
By the time the third Matrix rolled around, many fans were beginning to suffer from “convoluted plot overload.” In addition, the vision of Neo saying “Whoa” remained stuck in people’s heads for days on end, leading to what some doctors have described as “Keanu fatigue.” A better story may have cured the problem, but unfortunately, Revolutions didn’t have it.
SON OF THE MASK (2005)
“Let’s make a sequel to The Mask but instead of Jim Carrey, we’ll cast Jamie Kennedy!”
That must have sounded like a good idea to some executive at some point in time. We’re not sure why or how, but it did. (A Carrey-less follow-up worked out great for 2003’s Dumb & Dumberer, right?) Throw in a lame plot about raising a child and you’ve got a film that isn’t even so bad, it’s good.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END (2007)
The writers must be fans of the Wachowskis because they took a page out of their “less is not more” playbook for this sequel. The plot in the third Pirates film was a little too complicated for some who were hoping to just watch a good, fun popcorn flick. The only memory I have of this film is Johnny Depp surrounded by a big fog of white. That’s not a good sign.
STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999)
You all knew it was coming… and while technically a prequel, it just wouldn’t be right to leave The Phantom Menace off this list. The reason can be described in two words: Jar Jar.
Let’s just hope the next one in the franchise does better… the trailer looks hopeful. Check it out HERE.