Star Wars: The Force Awakens reinvigorated the Star Wars franchise in a huge way and ushered millions of moviegoers into theaters. However, many can argue that George Lucas’ saga had the perfect ending already with Return of the Jedi. When a movie has a perfect ending, it doesn’t always need a sequel.
For the longest time, Hollywood has developed sequels to popular films. However, in many cases, the sequel was completely unwarranted since it can lead to character arcs being destroyed and legacies being tainted. That’s certainly been the topic of debate on Reddit as many movie fans have begun discussing which films didn’t exactly need a sequel.
For Reddit user VorlonKing, they believe that “Jaws” shouldn’t have got a sequel since the ones that followed were an “embarrassing loads of s**te.” Not only did Jaws receive 1 sequel, but it got 3 – none of which had any involvement from Steven Spielberg. This was certainly felt by the audiences too as their lack of style really showed that the series was nothing without Spielberg.
Even Michael Caine, who starred in the fourth film Jaws: The Revenge, didn’t seem like he was a big fan of them, recounting, “Somebody said, ‘Have you ever seen Jaws 4?’ I said, ‘No. But I’ve seen the house it bought for my mum. It’s fantastic!” (via The Independent).
One of the most exciting and thrilling action films of the ’90s, Speed really cemented Keanu Reeves as an action star. However, for many fans (such as Redditor Looieanthony), they believe that’s where the line should have been drawn, for they didn’t believe another “Speed” was warranted.
Following the success of the first film, 20th Century Fox was keen on making a sequel. Sandra Bullock signed on to return but Keanu Reeves did not, feeling the script wasn’t very good (via People). He was honestly right as Speed 2: Cruise Control may be one of the worst action films of the ’90s and completely undermines the events of the first film. Losing Reeves as the star was hard on the audience too, as they struggled to connect with Jason Patric’s new character.
The original American Psycho is a haunting, darkly hilarious psychological thriller that is brilliantly written, directed and acted. There is, however, a sequel and it is not good whatsoever. User MoonBasic notes “Yeah, I bet you didn’t even know there was one! There is, starring Mila Kunis. Complete departure from the original, different style, and terrible movie.” The concept of a sequel to American Psycho is just baffling and really shows how much the studio misunderstands the first film.
Originally intended to be an original feature, a scene featuring Patrick Bateman was shot after principal photography, cementing them in the same world. Mila Kunis also denounced the sequel, saying “When I did the second one, I didn’t know it would be American Psycho II. It was supposed to be a different project, and it was re-edited, but, ooh … I don’t know. Bad” (via MTV News).
Redditor Consistent-Bee-8275 lists “Taken” as the one movie that didn’t need a sequel. While the first film is by no means a masterpiece, it gave Liam Neeson a whole new outlook as an action star. The series somehow expanded into a trilogy as well as a prequel series, all of which were completely unnecessary. As the series progressed, it just tried to go bigger and bigger when it should have just been a single stand-alone story.
Another user, eventhorizon2093 jokingly pitches an idea for fourth film, mentioning “Taken 4- Liam Neeson gets kidnapped and his wife and daughter rescue him. Come on, just do it at this point.” Due to the cultural significance of the first film, Taken will be long remembered for the numerous amount of times it was parodied and, of course, the iconic “I have a very particular set of skills” monologue.
Although the first film is still very much just a massive commercial filled with product placements, it had heart and a very fun script. Unfortunately, the sequel lacked that completely and, as Redditor WR810 notes, “That ‘movie’ was really just a commercial for all the IPs Warner Brothers owns.”
Instead of creating a satisfying story, Space Jam: A New Legacy instead just felt like an extended commercial for HBO Max. That being said, the “Michael Jordan” cameo in the film is genuinely genius.
Dumb and Dumber
For their pick, CakeAccomplice12 mentions “Dumb and Dumber.” Not only did the film receive a sequel in 2014, but there was also a prequel titled When Harry Met Lloyd, which also wasn’t very well-received (with the movie only grossing around $39 million, according to Box Office Mojo). Trying to relive the success of something that came before doesn’t always work and Dumb and Dumber To is a prime example of that.
Another user striderwhite adds “Oh yeah, the sequel was too dumb.” The first film was a ’90s comedy classic that was better left alone while the film’s sequel and spinoff really doubled down on the stupidity and slapstick, going completely overboard with it. For a sequel 20 years in the making, it was a very disappointing turn, especially with the talent involved.
The Boondock Saints
The low-budget The Boondock Saints was a really fun and fresh vigilante action film, featuring an exuberant performance from Willem Dafoe. Helmed by Troy Duffy in his directorial debut, the film didn’t make an impact in theaters but was wildly successful on home video which lead to it becoming a cult classic.
Years later, a sequel was made but it lacked the quality that made the original so great. Redditor Jsimpson059 comments “The first Boondock Saints was great because it knew what it was, and was a fun b movie, the 2nd movie was just trying cash in on the popularity of the first movie.”
The Mummy Returns
Redditor Due-Sherbert-7330 asks “Did we really need the third mummy movie?” Following the first two films, there honestly wasn’t anything left to tell as the titular Mummy, Imhotep, had died, returned, died, then returned and died again. Following the second film, there would not be a sequel for 7 years.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was finally released in 2008, but with a new a creative team and without lead, Rachel Weisz. While the film was a massive box-office success, earning over $400 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo), it did not land well with critics and fans. A fourth film was in the works until it was rebooted with the new film in 2017 starring Tom Cruise.
After the first Jurassic Park, the magic of seeing dinosaurs on-screen never quite hit the same. By the release of the most recent Jurassic film, Dominion, fans and critics have grown tired of the overdone franchise. The premise only really lends itself to a single film. As the series continued, it became so unrecognizable from the first film.
User Skymoogle remarks “Jurassic Park. Every sequel has some cool moments, but I don’t think we needed five more movies and a series.” The user is certainly right as each movie tried to top the previous one with its dinosaurs, while completely forgetting about the interesting and complex human relationships that make the first film so great.
Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 deserves all the recognition it gets. An epic and emotional finale, the fourth film was completely unjustified, other than just another way to make money for Disney. Redditor GiftGrouchy reflects “While 4 was not bad, 3 was the perfect ending to the trilogy.”
Toy Story 4 is a pretty fun, harmless film but it completely removes the emotional weight of the previous film. Toy Story 3 was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in 2011 for a reason.