5. Dumb and Dumber To
Dumb and Dumber To makes the cut over When Harry Met Lloyd because it’s more of a true sequel to the original film and the gap between the two movies was slightly longer. When Harry Met Lloyd is still absolutely abysmal, but Dumb and Dumber To fits closer to the criteria we’re looking for. So, with that little explanation out of the way, let’s talk about what makes Dumb and Dumber To such a bust.
This is the second long-awaited Jim Carrey sequel to make the list. Unlike Son of the Mask however, Dumb and Dumber To doesn’t have the excuse of featuring a different cast. Both Carrey and Daniels return this time around, along with the Farrely brothers, but it doesn’t seem like anyone involved put in any kind of effort.
One of the most unfortunate reasons that Dumb and Dumber To misses the mark is because its particular brand of ‘90s humor doesn’t translate well today. In fact, the jokes found in the original Dumb and Dumber film feel outdated. If Dumb and Dumber To would have attempted to take a few more risks, maybe it wouldn’t have been such a mess. It feels too safe for its own good, and that’s made even worse by the fact these kind of jokes don’t land like they did twelve years ago.
Instead of something a little different, we’re left with mediocre sight gags, gross-out humor, and frequent puns. Dumb and Dumber To feels like it’s stuck in the past, but without any of the effort put into the original.
4. The Rage: Carrie 2
You’ll notice a lot of movies on this list are included because they attempt to replicate the previous film without understanding what made their predecessor so successful. That’s the primary issue with The Rage: Carrie 2. Not only does it copy the outline of the original film’s plot, but it also lacks everything that made Carrie such a horror classic. Basically, it feels like an off brand version of the original film. The cast is worse, the direction is a mile behind, and some of the themes and motifs are fundamentally misunderstood.
The acting, especially from the supporting cast, is reminiscent of a slightly above average b-movie. As protagonist Rachel Lang, Emily Bergl is slightly more tolerable, but her performance is still a far cry from Sissy Spacek, who managed to earn an Oscar nomination for her role. The exaggerated special effects and overly serious tone also harm the material, and it seems like director Katt Shea may be to blame.
Then there’s the predictable final blood bath, which is perhaps where it’s most obvious that the film doesn’t really “get the point.” It plays out like a big, special effects fueled spectacle. In the De Palma original, the climax was an uncomfortable experience. We weren’t rooting for Carrie to get revenge because we’re aware of how mortified everyone is by the experience.
De Palma makes a point to make the bloodbath feel traumatic rather than “badass.” In the this sequel, the big finale is just loud, dumb, and exploitative. There’s little reason to feel any kind of sympathy for the people that have to face the “rage.”
If the numerous flashbacks to the original movie prove anything, it’s that The Rage: Carrie 2 can’t hold a candle to the horror classic. We’re constantly reminded of the last film while never reaching the same kind of quality.
3. The Sting II
Remember 1973’s The Sting, which went on to earn seven Academy Awards? Well, many readers might be unaware of the fact that it got a sequel ten years later starring Jackie Gleeson and Mac Davis replacing Paul Newman and Robert Redford respectively. Not only was there a cast change, but the names of the protagonists were altered slightly as well.
Henry Gondorff is now Fargo Gondorff and Johnny Hooker is now Jake Hooker. With all of that in mind, you’re probably wondering if The Sting II is a true sequel to the critically acclaimed crime film. Due to a number of retcons, The Sting II isn’t a direct continuation of the original film’s story. However, if it’s not a direct sequel, it was still marketed as some sort of sequel, so onto the list it goes.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the reason The Sting II is such a failure is precisely because of the numerous changes that were made. Basically, this is a sequel in name only. The new cast members are downright embarrassing. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are two legendary actors, so it’s no surprise that they couldn’t be topped, but couldn’t they do a little better than country singer Mac Davis and sitcom star Jackie Gleason? It’s not even that Gleason isn’t talented. It’s that he’s so obviously wrong for the role that it’s upsetting.
In addition to the cast and name changes, the two protagonists also have completely different personalities. This time around, Gondorff and Hooker are a lot harder to like. So why is this a sequel in the first place? Couldn’t they have renamed the characters and made a completely different film? The answer is yes, but then they couldn’t cash in on the success of the award-winning first film! The Sting II’s existence seems to be a direct result of Hollywood greed.
Aside from the fact that The Sting II is barely even a sequel to the Oscar winner, there’s the fact that this movie has little reason to exist in the first place.
The original film had a solid enough conclusion to where we didn’t exactly need a sequel. So even if The Sting II actually followed the same characters with the same actors, you’d still be left wondering why you should care in the first place. Then again, a sequel with many of the same elements would probably offer some kind of value. The same can’t be said about this unfortunate dumpster fire.
2. Basic Instinct 2
Sharon Stone’s physique is about the only redeemable thing in this messy rehash of the original, better film. Although Basic Instinct 2 borrows heavily from its predecessor, it never manages to hit any of the same high notes. It would be one thing if the movie just felt overly familiar, but that’s not the biggest issue. The problem with Basic Instinct 2 is that frankly, it’s just flat-out bad.
Sharon Stone looks wonderful, but her acting is robotic. Honestly though, it’s hard to blame her. The laughably bad script gives her, and all of the supporting cast members, very few chances to even attempt to show some kind of acting ability. The cast members are left clumsily trying to bring some sort of emotion to the frequently awkward dialog. In the end, it’s pretty much hopeless endeavor for everyone involved.
You’ll likely find yourself waiting for the same kind of high-octane suspense that was ever-present in the original Basic Instinct. There are frequent hints at suspense, but they never come to fruition. For a thriller, the movie is anything but thrilling. In fact, aside from some unintentional laughs, the movie is actually quite boring.
The original Basic Instinct was a bit empty-headed without a doubt, but it never failed to bring a sense of fun to the screen. The sequel can’t even accomplish that. Not only is even more brainless than the original, it’s also ridiculously dull in comparison.
1. Son of the Mask
It took eleven years to get a sequel to the movie that helped establish Jim Carrey as one of the most dominant comedic actors of the ‘90s. Unfortunately, this sequel took practically everything that made the original film work and threw it out the window.
Gone is the stellar cast, the impressive visuals, and the more adult-oriented humor that juxtaposed with the silly and childish tone. Instead, Son of the Mask is an overstimulating montage of bright colors and loud noises that features human punching bag Jamie Kennedy.
Watching Son of the Mask, you’ll quickly realize how much of the original film’s success was a result of Carrey’s energetic and cartoonish performance. Simply put, this new cast can’t keep up. In particular, Kennedy seems like he’s trying to do his best Carrey impression and it never works.
In the end, his take on the character feels forced and overdone. Carrey was certainly over-the-top in the original, but after seeing this groan-inducing sequel, you’ll realize that there was a surprising amount of nuance that came with his take on the masked character.
The lighter, kid-oriented tone makes the slapstick humor that much more unbearable. In the predecessor, the slapstick humor balanced out with the darker tone and resulted in some genuine laughs. With the more PG tone in place, the slapstick humor feels generic and cringe-worthy. The worst part is that physical comedy is about the only type of comedy this movie even attempts.
Those problems aren’t even close to being the only ones to be found in this flick. The visual effects are even worse than the 1994 original, the story is nonexistent, the editing is headache inducing, and perhaps worst of all, Alan Cumming’s charming presence is wasted. In conclusion, if you care about your sanity, you’ll stay as far away from this kick to the groin as possible.
Author Bio: Justin is a paraprofessional teaching assistant and full-time film enthusiast with a degree in English. When he’s not writing about films, he’s probably watching them in his spare time.