22 Jump Street — a sequel that makes fun of sequels — has just proved that retreads can rule even when everybody already knows the punchline.
The movie pulled in $60 million on opening weekend, putting it on track to become one of the most successful live-action comedies ever. It will likely take its place among the biggest comedy sequels, too. But sadly, as forbes.com has pointed out, this puts 22 Jump Street in such putrid but money-making company as The Hangover 2, Home Alone 2 and Sex and The City 2.
Can you feel your toes curling?
Sequels are a mysterious entity. Some sequels actually are better than the original movie. That's tough to pull off, considering that the element of surprise is gone with a sequel, that familiarity breeds contempt and that people's expectations are sometimes jacked way too high when the follow-up to something they loved comes along.
Still, it happens, albeit rarely.
On the other hand, hopeless sequels are a dime-a-dozen. There are more worthless bits of cinematic garbage floating around in the sequel world than in any other part of the movie galaxy.
With movies such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Purge: Anarchy and The Expendables 3 on their way to a theatre near you this summer, it seems like the right time to list 10 of the very best and 10 of the very worst sequels ever made:
WORST SEQUELS EVER
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (2011)
Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum — the fountain of youth!
Some would say the Pirates franchise starting sucking badly back with part three and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), an almost three-hour-long slogfest of effects and lousy dialogue. But never mind. We had no right to expect anything from movies based on a theme park ride in the first place.
HANGOVER 2 (2011)
Everything funny and silly about the first movie became mean-spirited and creepy in this xenophobic sequel set in Thailand.
SPEED 2 (1997)
Hey! Let's get Sandra Bullock again and swap the runaway bus for a runaway cruise ship and see if people fall for it!
BASIC INSTINCT 2 (2006)
Sharon Stone crosses her legs all over again, but with hilariously bad dialogue. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, the plot is so convoluted and unlikely that everyone feels screwed by the end of this thing.
SON OF THE MASK (2005)
A man wears the mask of Loki while having sex with his wife, and their resulting child is a handful with magic powers.
Are you laughing?
I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (1998)
That guy with a hook comes back to kill. Everyone at the posh resort has to run and scream. Is it an all-inclusive? This is never made clear.
What was Julianne Moore thinking when she decided to give the role of Clarice Starling a whirl — after Jodie Foster so totally owned it?
John Travolta takes that disco energy Saturday Night Fever and tries to make it work on Broadway. Sylvester Stallone directs.
They shoulda stayed in bed.
CADDYSHACK II (1988)
Stop us if you've heard this one before: the writing sucked.
And P.S. — Jackie Mason and Rodney Dangerfield are not interchangeable.
INDIANA JONES &THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (2008)
Let's just agree that things went from mediocre to lousy as soon as Cate Blanchett started in with Russian accent and carelessly lost all articles, definite and indefinite, tovarich.
BEST SEQUELS EVER
GODFATHER 2 (1974)
The saga continues, with tales of the young Vito (Robert De Niro) and the progressive decline in Michael's (Al Pacino) moral fibre. Three hours and 20 minutes of family and bloodshed. Yes!
Ellen Ripley has to go back and face it all again. Criminy.
THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
This is the superhero film that elevated the whole comic book thing to the next level. Christopher Nolan (and his brother Jonathan) got the script right and Heath Ledger’s Joker was the perfect foil for Christian Bale's broody Batman.
BEFORE SUNSET (2004)
Who didn't want to find out what became of the characters played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy nine years after their first meeting in Before Sunrise?
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965)
Remember the gunslinger in the poncho?
These are the films that made Clint Eastwood's career.
INDIANA JONES & THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)
Just as many thrills as the first movie as Indiana Jones rescues the children. Ewwww! Vampire bats!
FINAL DESTINATION 2 (2003)
Even though this franchise eventually spun out of control, this movie, with that hideous smash-up on the freeway, was a keeper.
TOY STORY 2 (1999)
You have to do whatever it takes to protect your friends.
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
This is actually a sequel to Manhunter (aka Red Dragon), though not everyone realizes that. It's one of the great cat-and-mouse murder tales extant. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins are brilliant here.
KILL BILL VOLUME 2 (2004)
Who doesn't like to see vengeance accomplished?
And a happy ending for Uma Thurman ...