5. Hot Tub Time Machine 2
“Hot Tub Time Machine” appeared in 2010, and it was one of the more original and distinctive comedy films of the 2000s. It found a group of thirtysomething male friends going back to the 1980s. It had a great cast, bringing together both funny and talented actors for a time travel based comedy, which both managed to bring together physical slapstick comedy. Crispin Glover gives a great performance as an accident prone bellboy. And situation comedy. It was also a very rewatchable film.
The same sadly cannot be said for the film’s 2015 sequel. First, one of the key cast members, John Cusack, decided not to return. Next, the plot was frankly silly, contrived and uninteresting. Lastly, there is little or no humor to be found here either. Sure, the odd chuckle is present, but compared to the first film it lacks the feel of friendship, amusing nostalgia, and basic charm.
4. Carry On Emmanuel
It’s fair to say the “Carry On” series of films are somewhat of a British comedy institution, with their blend of music hall comic tradition and saucy seaside postcard humor. In all, there were 31 films made in the franchise, and between the 1960s and 1970s, the films were huge pull in both the UK and worldwide.
“Carry On Emmanuel” was the 30th film in the franchise; it appeared in 1978, and was sadly the death nail for the popular series. No further films being made in the franchise until the 1990s, when the fairly disastrous and ultimately failed attempt to relaunch the series happened with 1992’s “Carry Columbus”.
“Carry On Emmanuel” attempted to hook onto the growth in mainstream popularity in both adult cinema and softcore comedy, and sadly it fell flat on its face. Where before the “Carry On” films were rife with innuendo, and implied camp-ness, with “Carry On Emmanuel” the jokes became more openly crude and mostly unfunny.
Added to this, the now aging key cast really look like they are just going through the motions. And lastly, we had a truly silly plot, which barely held the whole thing together. There’s no doubt that at their height, the “Carry On” films were both funny and charming, but “Carry On Emmanuel” is just frankly embarrassing and sleazy.
3. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
This 1987 film was the fourth chapter in the Police Academy series of films, which ran for a total seven films, finishing off with 1994’s “Mission to Moscow”. And though the series got steady worse and worse after this film, “Citizens On Patrol” was really where the rot started to set in.
To start, the plot feels almost like a bad and aimless retread of the plot of the first film, with the bumbling Commandant Eric Lassard deciding to recruit citizens as police officers. Next, many of the key characters from the series are very much playing to type and repeating the same jokes, situations and traits from past films, with little or no humor left.
Lastly, there’s a lopsided and unbalanced feel to the comedy itself, as the writers attempted to blend together slapstick, sight gags and adult sexual humor. Thus, it was not really appealing to any one audience demographic, so as a result it would too smutty for kids, but too lowbrow for many adults.
This was the final film that featured the series star, and all round 1980’s funny and likable leading man Steve Guttenberg. And it’s painful obviously too see why he gave up here, as the whole thing is an unfunny and tired retread.
2. Beverly Hills Cop III
The first “Beverly Hills Cop” was the biggest grossing film of 1984, a perfect blend of action and comedy, and it also, of course, went on to make Eddie Murphy a worldwide household name. So as you’d expect there was a keenness to make sequels, and the first of these was 1987’s “Beverly Hills Cop II”, and as follow-ups go this second film was surprisingly successful, recapturing the feel of the first film rewarding blend of comedy and action.
The third (and so far final) film in the series appeared in 1994, and really it was the failure in both the action and comedy stakes, and it also started the major downturn in Murphy’s popularity, which has never really returned to the levels it was.
On the comedy side of things, we had a lot fewer of Murphy’s wisecracks and generally funny moments. And on the action side of things we had some rather bland villains, a series of frankly predictable and underwhelming shoot-outs, and a rather flat finale. All making for the most disappointing comedy squeals of the 1990s.
1. The Hangover Part III
There are a few reasons why this 2013 third and final part of the “Hangover” franchise makes the top of this list. First and most importantly (for a comedy), it’s almost completely devoid of any humor. Next, it has a few rather unpleasant moments where it tries to make jokes out of both mental illness and animal cruelty and falls flat, coming off as just plain offensive. And lastly, unlike the other two films, there is no stag night, and so there is no hangover!
Basically, this film was an excuse to milk the franchise’s fanbase in the worst possible way, and it’s also one of the most dire sequels in recent memory, in any genre.
Author Bio: Roger Batty is based in the southern part of the Uk, near the naval city of Portsmouth. Over the last ten plus years, he’s written for various on & off-line publications, writing about & critiquing all manner of cult & weird fare, be it film, music, or non-music.