Illegitimate Offspring: The 10 Most Tenuously Connected Movie Sequels

Illegitimate Offspring: The 10 Most Tenuously Connected Movie Sequels

So, you have to make a sequel, but the original cast wants no part of it. Also, the plot of the first film makes a sequel logically impossible. Are you going to let that stop you? Of course not!

As the below movies prove, you're in good company! Well, you're definitely in company anyway.

Evan Almighty

Sequel To: Bruce Almighty

Tenuous Connection:
Evan Baxter, the anchor from the first movie. Oh, and God.

Plot Summary:
Congressman Evan Baxter is told to build an Ark, and he has to do it using ancient tools, because God is kind of a dick.

Why It Doesn't Work:
The first movie's premise was an interesting 'what-if' fantasy: "What if you had the powers of God?" Pondering this question while ignoring Jim Carrey as he twisted his stupid face around made Bruce Almighty almost tolerable. Evan Almighty takes this a step further and asks an even more thought-provoking question: "What if you had to build a boat? And also, you had a beard?"

For the sequel, news anchor Evan Baxter has become a congressman. How? Jim Carrey made him say a bunch of stupid crap on live television. You'd think saying "my tiny little nipples went to France" might make the campaign a bit challenging. Shouldn't God have mentioned this to Evan? "Hey, remember when you said a bunch of embarrassing stuff on live television, and how it's haunted you every day of your life, since it's totally unexplainable and frightening that someone else took control of your body? Yeah, that was my fault."

That's just the beginning of the dickishness from Evan Almighty's God, who presumably could have used His powers to prevent the flood, rather than have Evan build a stupid-ass boat. It's almost like they found it hard to write a family comedy based on the time God got mad and drowned the entire planet.

Speed 2: Cruise Control

Sequel To: Speed

Tenuous Connection:
Annie, the girl that wound up driving the bus in the first movie.

Plot Summary:
Annie takes a cruise with her boyfriend, but Willem Dafoe is pissed off for some reason and he hijacks the ship!

Why It Doesn't Work:
What are the chances that this poor woman winds up on a vehicle that gets hijacked by a crazy terrorist played by an actor too good for the role twice in her life? Really, if your trip gets interrupted by a guy with a bomb as second time, the problem isn't terrorism. It's you.

Jason Patric plays Annie's useless cop boyfriend, a role that was clearly written for Keanu Reeves and thus probably contained directions to react to every situation with an expression of dull confusion.

Of course, the most glaring problem is that the movie is called Speed and yet takes place on a cruise ship, the slowest form of transportation ever devised by man. Will Speed 3 be about a bomb on a hot-air balloon? A donkey? A Segway scooter? It almost seems like they came up with the clever 'Cruise Control' pun in the title, and wrote the movie around it.

Really, Bullock should have known something was up when Keanu turne down the role. If the guy who starred in a sequel to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure passes on a movie script, you probably want to stay the fuck away.

Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Sequel To:The Blair Witch Project

Tenuous Connection:
A bunch of kids that saw the first movie and liked it. A lot.

Plot Summary:
A handful of college students take a "Blair Witch Tour" in the town where the first movie took place and crazy stuff happens. Wait, not crazy. Boring. Boring stuff happens.

Why It Doesn't Work:
The first Blair Witch movie worked only because of the ambiguity that the marketing folks created. Was it really the hand-held video of kids researching a town legend? Whether or not you bought into the marketing determined if you found the movie scary. Most of us realized it was obviously a gimmick, and didn't really find much to be scared about with cameramen snapping twigs outside tents and secretly rearranging stones. But, it worked for the folks who weren't sure.

The second movie decided to eliminate the whole "is it real" aspect and so got rid of the one thing that made the first movie scary for the anyone. All we're left with is a movie about the actual story of the Blair Witch. Guess what? That story is lame; that's why they had to dress it up with the fake documentary gimmick in the first place.

Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is one of those movies that actually ruins the predecessor. Now that the whole hype machine surrounding The Blair Witch Project is completely forgotten, it would be possible for someone unfamiliar to see the movie at a video rental store and pick it up, thinking it actually is based on a true story. Oh, but Blair Witch 2 is right next to it on the shelf, and it's starring the guy from Burn Notice. Nevermind.

RoboCop 3

Sequel To: RoboCop

Tenuous Connection:
Anne Lewis, RoboCop's partner.

Plot Summary:
RoboCop helps a bunch of people assert their rights as property owners.

Why It Doesn't Work:
Peter Weller, the original RoboCop, decided to pass on the movie. Do you know anything else Peter Weller has been in? The guy basically faced the choice of being able to afford to eat, or starring in RoboCop 3, and he chose to starve.

His replacement tried his hardest to purse his lips and talk like a robot, but the lack of Peter Weller made the movie seem like it belonged on television. Pretty much the only person who showed up for this movie who had ever been in another RoboCop movie was Nancy Allen, whose only other regular acting gig is showing up in our nightmares to whisper "Murphy, it's you," over and over.

During this movie, RoboCop replaces his hand with an automatic assault rifle attachment, attaches a jet pack to his suit, and fights robot ninjas. How do the words 'jet pack' and 'ninja' even get typed into a script about a cyborg that weighs over a ton? Modern screenplay-writing software should detect something like that and pop up a little paperclip that asks you if you've lost your fucking mind, then erases your hard drive.

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

Sequel To: Under Siege

Tenuous Connection:
Has the phrase "Under Siege" in the title.

Plot Summary:
Ex-Navy chef Steven Seagal is on a train that gets hijacked by some guys who are doing something with computers and satellites.

Why It Doesn't Work:
This movie originally had nothing to do with the original Under Siege. It was a script called Dark Territory about bad guys that have to hijack a train to do bad stuff. It has nothing to do with the Navy. It has nothing to do with the previous movie. Basically, Steven Seagal auditioned for the part and got it, so the producers figured they might as well give his character the same name as in Under Siege and call it a sequel.

What's especially odd is that, around this time, Speed was in need of a sequel, which meant it needed a script about a fast-moving vehicle, explosions and terrorists. Dark Territory would have fit, but it was turned into a sequel to Under Siege instead. This left Speed 2 in need of a script, so they used what was originally supposed to be the script for the third Die Hard movie, about a boat being hijacked. This obviously left Die Hard 3 in need of a script, so they gave Bruce Willis a sassy black partner and used the script that was originally going to be the fourth Lethal Weapon movie. This obviously left Lethal Weapon 4 without a script, but apparently they went ahead and shot that movie without one.

The bad guys in this movie hijack the train because, as they explain, nobody can track them if they keep moving. That's the best justification the writers could think of for someone hijacking a train. Apparently it never occurred to these guys to rent a van, avoiding any potential run-ins with assholes wearing tiny ponytails. It's also a lot more unpredictable because it doesn't, you know, run on tracks.

U.S. Marshals

Sequel To: The Fugitive

Tenuous Connection:
Sam Gerard, U.S. Marshal with ridiculously huge ears.

Plot Summary:
Another fugitive escapes, and Sam Gerard has to find him, too.

Why It Doesn't Work:
This movie can't ever decide if it wants to acknowledge that it's a sequel or not. On the one hand, Tommy Lee Jones plays the same U.S. Marshal as he does in The Fugitive, so maybe you're supposed to know it's a sequel. On the other hand, it's the exact same plot as The Fugitive, which makes it feel more like a Bollywood ripoff than an actual sequel.

Tommy Lee Jones vs. Harrison Ford is a fair fight. Both guys are kind of old-you get the impression that neither of them want to run too fast, fearing they might throw their backs out. Muscle-bound martial artist Wesley Snipes, on the other hand, looks like he could beat Tommy Lee Jones to death with his own cane. Why bother running?

This movie is actually a lot more watchable today than it was when it was released. Just watch the whole thing, pretending that Tommy Lee Jones actually works for the IRS, and they're trying to nab Wesley Snipes for tax fraud. It adds a whole new layer.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Sequel To: The Fast and The Furious

Tenuous Connection:

Plot Summary:
People race cars in Tokyo, and they're awesome at drifting, which is a style of racing for douchebags.

Why It Doesn't Work:
First of all, any movie that makes people miss Vin Diesel is guilty of an egregious sin. Mr. Diesel hasn't been in anything other than a "Big Guy Has To Take Care Of Children" comedy for years, but he passed on both sequels to the Fast and the Furious. Paul Walker showed himself to be more pathetic than Vin Fucking Diesel by starring in the second movie, and even HE bailed on this one.

The only thing Tokyo Drift shares with the other two movies is that it sucks. The entire movie is built on "drifting," which one character helpfully explains means that the cars are light and the tires are slick. He further elucidates: "If you ain't outta control, then you ain't in control." What in the holy living fuck does that mean?

Essentially, drifting is a controlled slide. The movie Cars came out exactly one week prior and used the same plot point, but at least they knew it wasn't something that could be the premise of the entire movie.

There are numerous scenes containing hot women wearing virtually no clothing, but the camera seems to always move past them and focus on cars. Really, it's basically pornography for car geeks.

Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe's War

Sequel To: Lawnmower Man

Tenuous Connection:
Peter, the little boy from the first movie.

Plot Summary:
Jobe, thoroughly replaced by another actor, has to help some guy finish some computer chip the size of a basketball, and Peter has to stop them.

Why It Doesn't Work:
One of the first things the movie does is explain that Jobe has had some facial reconstructive surgery, in an attempt to justify Jobe's change in appearance. The entire plot of this movie should center around Jobe suing his surgeons, since he looks absolutely nothing like the actor who played him in the last movie. They didn't even try to find someone similar-looking. They may as well have cast a dog in the role.

The vision of the future presented in the film pretty much steals from every other futuristic science fiction movie of the time. This would be more forgivable if not for the fact that the first Lawnmower Man took place at 'present time,' and the kid in this movie is about 5 years older than in the first movie. How'd we get to flying cars and sprawling dystopian cityscapes in five years? What the fuck happened to Earth? Is everyone OK?

In the end, Jobe goes back to being mentally retarded, so everyone forgives him for killing a bunch of people when he was smart. Afterwards, they must have been so nervous any time they saw Jobe reading. "You're not going and learning anything, are you? You became a homicidal maniac last time. Oh, it's an Aquaman comic book? Carry on."

Mannequin 2

Sequel To: Mannequin

Tenuous Connection:
Offensive Gay Stereotype Hollywood Montrose

Plot Summary:
A mannequin comes to life. Again.

Why It Doesn't Work:

This mannequin isn't the same girl from the first movie. She doesn't get turned back into a mannequin or anything. This is a completely separate set of people, who just happen to experience a mannequin coming to life. To make the coincidence even more unbelievable, both times this asshole named Hollywood Montrose is around to see it. Montrose would be responsible for setting the gay rights movement back 30 years if anyone had seen this movie. He's flamboyant, wears big pink glasses, and drives a car with pink dots on it. At one point he explains that he was in the Navy because he was "looking for a few good men." The guy makes Perez Hilton look like Hugh Hefner.

The movie itself is utterly ridiculous. Instead of being a mannequin that some guy creates like in the first movie, the girl in this movie is actually a 17th century princess that was frozen by an evil wizard and mistaken for a mannequin in modern times. As soon as her magical necklace gets removed, she unfreezes. In 300 years, nobody ever once removed her necklace before? Even though for the last 40 or so years, she's been mistaken for something that gets dressed and undressed for window displays all the time? What did people think she was BEFORE human beings invented mannequins? The very fact that this movie makes the first Mannequin's stupid premise seem almost logical by comparison is enough to warrant every copy of this film being destroyed.

The characters eventually find out that the evil wizard is back, reincarnated as a guy played by Bernie from Weekend and Bernie's, and there's a ridiculous battle. At one point, an action scene takes place inside a hot-air balloon, so we guess Speed 3 won't be able to use that after all. The movie is nearly identical to the first Mannequin, except dumber. It's really less of a sequel and more of a remake, as if the world was saying "Hey, we really like the first movie about a mannequin that comes alive, but it's too realistic. Can you make it again, but for idiots?"

Halloween III

Sequel To: Halloween

Tenuous Connection:
Contains a television showing an advertisement for the first Halloween movie.

Plot Summary:
Some guy makes Halloween masks that kill people.

Why It Doesn't Work:
The idea behind this movie was originally that each year, a new Halloween movie would be released, each with a different scary story unrelated to the other movies. This idea wouldn't have been so bad, except that it was the third Halloween movie, not the second, and by then we had come to expect the whole Michael Myers thing.

It also didn't help that they replaced Myers with... masks. Masks that... kill people somehow.

It's the sort of thing that a sitcom would use for a Halloween special. We can easily imagine the Tanner kids from Full House thinking that "Daunting Mask, Inc." or something was making deadly Halloween masks. They go to investigate the factory, only to discover that the company owner is guest-star Vincent Price, and the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Danny gives them a lecture on not jumping to conclusions and Jesse plays a god-awful song about making false accusations.

Rod Hilton is a writer and, in his spare time, he enjoys tearing Hollywood a new asshole over at The Editing Room.
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