Why Do So Many Sequels Suck?

There’s good ones, but most sequels are bad. Is there a reason so many don’t out-do the original?

Donate to this week’s charity here Check out our store here

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

Leave a Reply

71 Comments on "Why Do So Many Sequels Suck?"

Raptor Rex
Guest

Isn’t Sequel Month, over already?!

MountCDOSgamer
Guest

Yes, but Doug got sick so had to delay this editorial.

7Morkai7
Guest

STFU, Doug, Clerks 2 was/is awesome.

Adonis
Guest

STFU, Doug, Son of the Mask was/is awesome.

Temporally Displaced
Guest

I remember seeing an interview with Will Smith where he argued that the reason sequels get made in the first place is that the original was so good that people wanted more. That means that if a sequel regresses to the mean and is merely average, it will still be worse than the original.

Bad movies rarely get sequels, so most sequels will have a higher bar to clear than an original film.

Someoneelse
Guest

I miss the days when bad movies didn’t get sequels

Cyborg-Rox
Guest

Are you a century old or something?

ThatManWithTheHeadband12
Guest
ThatManWithTheHeadband12
For your “Letting too much time pass”, there’s Ace Ventura Jr., Son of the Mask, Dumb and Dumber To, and now Bigger Fatter Liar (which, btw is basically a remake with a video game pitch instead of a homework assignment/movie script). It’s also kind of the case with Rory and Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Instead of being in the situations we see her in in what was supposed to be more closer to right after we left off, it’s instead 8 or so years later. Ones that don’t make as much sense to have… Read more »
Hardback247
Guest

Dumb and Dumber To is an absolute masterpiece compared to Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.

happymel
Guest

They made a sequel to Big Fat Liar?! Wha-? No! O.O

Tailslover13
Guest

Holy crap, you’re right! They’re seriously making a sequel to Big Fat Liar! I know it has poor reviews, but I LOVED that movie growing up! Great, another movie I loved going to be given a crap sequel. Goody.

ThatManWithTheHeadband12
Guest
ThatManWithTheHeadband12

Big Fat Liar had the charm of Dan Schneider’s writing as a Tollin-Robbins production, Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes when they were at the top of the world, had Paul friggin Giamatti, with Donald Faison, John Cho, Jaleel White AND Taran Killam (who at that point was Spalding on Moody’s Point; now doing Hamilton)? There’s a lot to like.

But this? Has so little heart to it.

Also, did you know that there’s a Surf’s Up sequel that’s a WWE co-production and features WWE wrestlers as surfing penguins? Yeah. It’s real. Just like the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and upcoming Jetsons films

MLPFan91
Guest

John Cena: “Guess you didn’t see me coming!!”

batlrar
Guest

So, Kindergarten Cop had a sequel. Last year.

ThatManWithTheHeadband12
Guest
ThatManWithTheHeadband12

So did Jinga All the Way

Crocoshark
Guest

I think one of the reasons sequels tend to be bad is because the creative expression part is over; the writers told the story they wanted to tell and the rest is just for the sake of making more. “Okay, we’ve told the Adventure of So and So. Now what? Put them in the same situation again? Go off in some weird direction?” “I dunno, just make something.”

Anon Tumahab
Guest
I think most people would agree Peter MacNicol is the sole “good and original” part of Ghostbusters II. Read the original script and the sequel script. In the original, none of the characters were defined. Louis’ part was written for John Candy while Peter’s part was written for John Belushi. Even Sigourney Weaver ad-libbed her best lines, while Bill Murray pretty much ad-libbed everything. Everyone was free to make the character their own. In the second script…it was written to the actors playing the roles. The only person it WASN’T written to Peter MacNicol, who, just like the original movie… Read more »
ErichoTTA
Guest

The Phantom Menace isn’t a sequel! It’s a prequel! Don’t you know that?! Yeah, “The Dark Knight Rises” still has a higher rating on the IMDb than “Citizen Kane”. Oh and so does “The Matrix”. We still disagree with you on that.

Mides
Guest

But any schmuck can cast their vote on IMDb.

SpeedyEric
Guest

Just because people say that certain movies suck, they still won’t stop me from enjoying films like the entire Dark Knight Trilogy, the entire Transformers series, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the DC Extended Universe, the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Home Alone 2 (which I don’t own on DVD, because of Supreme Leader Trump’s pointless cameo), and the entire Matrix Trilogy.

ven
Guest

Ok, first

Dark Knight rises suuuucks.

Ratings on IMDB are not really saying much, might be downvoting a movie because the effects are so bad, no CGI or anything, not even color. Another thing, older films have slower way to tell a story, most younger people today are way to impatient to watch something like that.

The Matrix was ok, the Matrix Sequels on the other hand, not so much…still better than the dark knight rises.

Someoneelse
Guest

Of all the films he just named Dark Knight rises was like the only one I could respect

Someoneelse
Guest

Actually I didn’t mind home alone 2 beats 3

SpeedyEric
Guest

@ven
The character of Bane in TDKR was far superior than the braindead version from Batman & Robin, Anne Hathaway did an awesome job as Catwoman, and Christian Bale, Michael Cane, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman still gave it their all.

Anon Tumahab
Guest

Trump cameos in Home Alone 2? Huh…I never noticed that.

Anon Tumahab
Guest
Before I watch this one, here’s my main theory on the difference between a good sequel and a poor one. The difference is intent. Most people who make sequels do so with the idea of doing everything that “worked” in the original, only “bigger and better”, believing that’s an easy formula for success. Those who make good sequels are out to tell a good story…one just as good as the original. They’re out to make a movie that, by itself, without any reference to its past, is good. And for the most part, good sequels are like that. “Aliens” is… Read more »
Máté397
Guest

There was a Sin City 2?

Goat Boy
Guest

“We’d be spoiled”

You’re saying we’re not?

happymel
Guest

I tend to like sequels but then again, I usually haven’t seen the bad ones. I actually kinda enjoy Wolverine: Origins and I definitely enjoyed Terminator: Genisys. The only disappointing sequels I’ve seen are (technically) the Phantom Menace, Transformers 2 (I like all the others) and the third Batman movie.

SadakoMoose
Guest

I’m still never getting over the Blair Witch 2 thing. It’s, at best, a good movie buried under studio meddling and at worst an average episode of Freaky Links. Joe Berlinger isn’t a bad director, and the story makes more sense in the “European cut”. That spooky ass bootleg is the closest we’ll get until Lionsgate/Artisan finally releases the Director’s Cut. Still better than nothing, glitches and all.

Honore de Ballsack
Guest

the earliest draft of Blair Witch 2 didn’t have anything to do with Blair Witch, some studio person just tacked the name Blair Witch on because the original was a big hit and very different from the other horror movies that were around at the time.

disembodiedvoiceofreason
Guest
disembodiedvoiceofreason

Am I the only one who thought clerks 2 was good?

MST3Khaleesi
Guest

I thought I was the only one! Greetings, fellow dissenter with questionable tastes and morals!

Blaze The Movie Fan
Guest

I think the biggest issue is that sequels usually miss what made the first movie so great.

Nami Lazuli
Guest

I know why. Money. They want a quick buck instead of taking the time to make something of quality or original.

Jvill
Guest

Well let join the STFU train

STFU Dough, TDK Rises was/is awesome.

clo
Guest

Wtf what do you mean Home Alone 2 gets a “bad reputation”? People love HA2, possibly more than the original

MountCDOSgamer
Guest

I wouldn’t go as far as to say people love HA2 more than the original. The movie does has a reputation for mostly rehashing the first movie, but it is also beloved for the times when it did do fresh and new things. Even though Doug considers HA2 a bad movie for the most part, even he likes the parts that were more original and has listed it on a top Christmas movies list for that reason.

MLPFan91
Guest

The movie improved because of Tim Curry, who looks so delightfully evil (despite being totally right in reporting a stolen card and attempting to catch a child going willy-nilly with said card).

MountCDOSgamer
Guest

That was one of my favourite parts too, and I didn’t even know who Tim Curry was at the time!

Brad1ey Shaw
Guest

I didn’t see ‘Clerks 2’ or ‘Son of the Mask’ so I don’t give a crap about ’em.

Nice video, Doug.

Angryatthecritic666
Guest

Awww man, now I have to wait till next week to see his new intro

Babinro
Guest
The problem with this discussion is that factors discussed are WAY too complex to have any merit. This analysis correctly points out movies that seem to fit every permutation you can think of and so there’s no clear direction as to what choices are ‘right’. All you can really say is that odds are against a sequel being on par or better than the original. Anything else is just ‘best guess’. Example: Inception Sequel…go. Is it too late or too soon? How close do you stick to the formula? Do you risk explaining how more things work? Do you risk… Read more »
Strangefacts101
Guest

22 Jump Street is a great satire of movie sequels. The entire movie is about how the characters tried something new, but utterly fail; so they’re told to go back to Jump Street and “do the same thing” but with higher stakes and a bigger budget. However, they’re constantly thinking they should break through their ceiling.
That’s the whole joke. An investigation literally compromised by the need to adhere to formula and the constant nagging desire to change things up.

But what it comes down to is two things. Smart writing and screamingly funny jokes.

44Burnes
Guest
Yeah, why was Clerks 2 harped on so much? As someone who dreaded it upon release, I was pleasantly surprised to feel it kept the vibe of the first quite well, whilst evolving some aspects…Keep in mind, I’m saying this about a movie with a donkey show, but my point stands! There’s the dance number, sure. It can be considered trying to be grosser, but remember, the original introduced a lot of people to snowballing. Not to mention, 2 actually had a sort of arc, and Randall’s moment toward’s the end was excellent, and about as good as you could… Read more »
Chosen Zelos
Guest

This.

I haven’t logged onto the site in years, forgot i even had an account sometimes. On a whim, not entirely sure if it would work, typed in my user name and a possible password and wohlah, got on. Got on just to type out my reaction to all the kinda cringy Clerks 2 hate and while scrolling just found This. This comment pretty much covers everything I wanted to say.

So, thanks.

Also, Red State was mmeeeeeeh.

Bye again tgwtg/channel awesome, maybe i’ll log back on in another 3 years or so, on whatever they’ll name this site at that time.

Moon Spirit
Guest

I’m gonna say that I thoroughly enjoyed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I’m not saying it’s the best one, that goes to either Raiders or Last Crusade. I’m saying it gets a bad rep, though I agree the fridge was the last straw for 99% of everyone.

And I also enjoyed Home Alone 2, but the first will always be king.

So yeah, what I’m saying is that he’s right: sometimes we need more bad so we can filter out the good from them.

Soan
Guest

I didn’t even know there was a Sin City 2. I hated the first movie anyway.

Tailslover13
Guest
Honestly, I love Home Alone 2 even more than the original. It was honestly a lot funnier (mostly thanks to Tim Curry and all the scenes at the hotel), it was just as touching, and I just found myself more invested this time and more excited. The first one felt a lot slower and mellow, but the second one felt faster and sillier, which is what it SHOULD be. I love both of them, but I’d still go with Home Alone 2. And…if I’m being honest, I don’t MIND Home Alone 3. It wasn’t horrendous; it was just…mediocre. Anything past… Read more »
CraziBastid
Guest

Seriously Doug, what’s with all the Clerks 2 hate?

Tross
Guest
That seems to be a weird thing with movies in particular. Book sequels can often outshine their predecessors and as a gamer I can say that game sequels are something fans often hope for because they usually build on the original game and further refine and improve the mechanics while also providing a decent continuation of the story if there is a continuity to be followed. Sure, there are bad book and videogame sequels too, but there’s a much better track record in either medium than with movies, where people usually expect sequels to be bad. It’s hard to say… Read more »
KurvosVicky
Guest

Genuine question – why do you always whenever you think you’re saying or questioning something meaningful and deep and thoughtprovoking, you do the specific things of squinting your eyes staring at the camera while doing a quick slight headturn and lifting your upper lip, all while also being a bit more high-pitched than usual with your voice?
It’s just that whenever you do this, it comes off as really cheesy to me, and… to be frank, it kinda makes me cringe. But hey, I can do and say cringe-worthy stuff too, so it’s not like I’m innocent from doing that myself.

Spike-Prime
Guest
To be honest, I think there’s a much easier explanation even than the ones provided, sensible and logical though they be; The vast majority of things are going to be either terrible, or mediocre. That’s basic mathematics; if there is a grading curve, 49% have to be below average at least, but when you look at the sum total of films made every year, most are really bad, with the cream of the crop rising to the top. So, obviously, sequels would be no different. That, and we need to have people fuck up–sometimes colossally–to show us how not to… Read more »
Le Messor
Guest

Was it Thomas Edison who said something like ‘I didn’t fail in the experiment, I simply found another way NOT to do it.’

… words to that effect, too lazy to Google it.

Spike-Prime
Guest
Yeah, I looked it up and you’re pretty close with that, he said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” And he’s right, it might’ve been a mess, he might not have succeeded in the final result on that one try, but success is the ultimate triumph after trial and error (and in Eddison’s case, often ripping people like Tesla off and claiming their work as his own). And that’s how life goes, whether it be to make 200 terrible movies a year with only 12 out of all of them being good, or performing… Read more »
Le Messor
Guest

“and in Eddison’s case, often ripping people like Tesla off and claiming their work as his own”

There’s gotta be something to say about this as relates to the notorious ‘Hollywood keeps copying itself’ syndrome. 🙂

wpDiscuz