Top 10 Movie Sequels That Were Barely Linked To The Originals
VOICE OVER: Matthew Wende
WRITTEN BY: Telly Vlachakis
Written by Telly Vlachakis
Movie sequels typically follow a natural progression of the story of the original film, but these movies dumped this idea and in some cases didn't even bring back original characters characters. WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Movies that Had Basically Nothing to do with the Original! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Halloween 3, Blair Witch 2, or Caddyshack 2? Watch to find out!
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Big thanks to Andrew A. Dennison for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movie+Sequels+That+Were+Barely+Linked+To+The+Originals
Feel confused by the lack of connection between films? You’re not the only one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Sequels That Were Barely Linked to the Originals.
For this list we will look at the movies that left viewers puzzled as to why they were considered sequels, either due to change in style, actors, plot or by seemingly ignoring the original altogether. Movies, such as “Troll 2”, which were never planned as direct sequels and had their title changed after the film was finished, will not be included here.
#10: “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” (2006)
The third entry in this high-octane franchise is about as far removed from the original as Japan is from the United States. Sure, “Tokyo Drift” features the fast cars and nitro-charged action the series is known for, but that’s about it. Gone is the undercover agent angle of the previous entries, along with pretty much all the members of the original cast, barring a very brief Vin Diesel cameo at the end. While the Furious franchise did retroactively elevate the importance of “Tokyo Drift” in later sequels, at the time of it’s original release, it left fans of the series a little confused.
#9: “xXx: State of the Union” (2005)
An action franchise doesn’t need to die when the star drops out - you just need a compelling fresh face and some solid talent behind the camera to keep the spirit of the series alive. James Bond has proven this beyond the shadow of a doubt, but then again, Xander Cage is no James Bond. And as proven by this sequel... Ice Cube is no Vin Diesel. The campy fun and extreme sports angle of the original is all but lost in “State of the Union”, with the seemingly dead Xander Cage being replaced by an imprisoned ex-Navy SEAL officer. A box office bomb, “State of The Union” made Diesel’s return a welcome one when the third instalment finally arrived.
#8: “Grease 2” (1982)
Two years after the momentous romance of Danny and Sandy, the students of Rydell High can’t stop falling in love, joining gangs, and breaking into song. Sadly... nobody cared anymore. Without the chemistry of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, this felt like little more than a random musical all too willing to capitalize on the success of “Grease”. A handful of catchy tunes and the return of Frenchy simply wasn’t enough to raise this wannabe sequel to anywhere near the cult status of the original. It bombed, opening in fifth place at the box office and barely recouping its budget.
#7: “Teen Wolf Too” (1987)
Another case of capitalizing on a successful film by changing focus to a new main character, “Teen Wolf Too” is sadly missing all the charm and wit of the original supernatural teen comedy. This is mainly due to the absence of Mr. Charisma, Michael J. Fox. Though Jason Bateman has since come into his own as a comedic actor on Arrested Development and in numerous successful films, in 1987, he just couldn’t carry this flick. He does a decent job as Michael J. Fox’s cousin, Todd, who also learns he is a werewolf, but without Scott, well… a second transformation wasn’t welcome.
#6: “Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective” (2009)
Ouf… we’re betting some of you had never even heard of this one. Trust us… you were better off. Studios can recast and retool sequels all they want, but it’s borderline insulting to Jim Carrey fans to try to revisit and mutilate one of his most iconic roles. Granted this is more of a children’s spin-off, but the studio seemingly ignored the fact that children in 2009 did not grow up with Ace Ventura, and the original films were not very kid-friendly to begin with. Following the adventure of Ace Ventura’s son as he tries to save his mother, “Pet Detective Jr.” is an over-the-top 90 minute Jim Carrey impression by a pre-teen.
#5: “Home Alone 3” (1997)
What do you do when your star does not want to return for another sequel? Just recreate the first film’s formula, erase any connection to the original films and call it a sequel rather than what it really is… a reboot. Although John Hughes returned to write the third film in this franchise, the McCallister family is nowhere to be found. Instead we follow a different young boy left home alone and having to fend off criminals and protect his household. The similarities are brutally obvious, and if it wasn’t for the name changes, and the motives of the criminals, you’d call this a remake. So in this case, it’s both closely AND barely related to the original.
#4: “Son of the Mask” (2005)
Speaking of iconic Jim Carrey roles… this famously hated sequel decided to move even further away from the dark humour of the original Dark Horse “The Mask” comic books. It mistakenly went for a crude kid-friendly romp that had absolutely no connection to the original 90s classic - apart from the mask’s mythology. With what could have been an amazing and endlessly inventive franchise, even without Jim Carrey, New Line Cinema dropped the ball and squandered its potential, irreparably damaging Jamie Kennedy’s career in the process.
#3: “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” (2000)
The financial success of “The Blair Witch Project” pretty much guaranteed that audiences would be seeing a sequel in the near future, and sure enough, Artisan Entertainment rushed a sequel the very next year. Many wondered how this found-footage film could be turned into a sequel, and fans were rightfully worried. Rather than continue the story from the original Blair Witch story, “Book of Shadows” follows fans of the original movie who decide to visit the Burkittsville woods, only to unsurprisingly find out that the movie was more fact than fiction. The found footage style was also largely abandoned, because hey, why not ditch what made the first film special?
#2: “Caddyshack II” (1988)
This sequel to the successful and hilarious “Caddyshack” was destined to be a disaster. Though a legitimate sequel was initially planned, everyone from lead Rodney Dangerfield to writer-director Harold Ramis started backing out mid-production. The film was re-written, retailored, and cut-together to follow new characters at the Bushwood country club - with only Chevy Chase reprising his role. Unsurprisingly, he later admitted that he regretted doing so. Unfortunately the golfing sequel bombed despite a strong new cast and the cult status of the original, earning it a number of Razzie nominations.
Before we reveal our top pick, here are a couple honourable mentions:
“Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace” (1996)
“Evan Almighty” (2007)
#1: “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982)
The granddaddy of all confusing franchise entries, the very underrated “Season of the Witch” is often overlooked and hated on principle. Famously being the only “Halloween” film to not include masked killer Michael Myers, this third entry was meant to break the mold, as Michael Myers was never meant to be a recurring character. After the immense successes of “Halloween” and “Halloween II”, the plan was to create a stand-alone anthology “Halloween” horror film to be released every October. Part III was clearly not the hit the studio expected, Myers’ popularity had been underestimated, and, in future instalments, he was once again put front and center.