The Good and the Bad of Long-Delayed Movie Sequels

Sometimes, a movie sequel comes out almost so quickly you feel like you barely have time for the first one. On other occasions, though, there is a long wait between sequels. Take, for example, the upcoming movie Bill & Ted Face the Music. It’s schedule to come out in 2020. That’s a long break for fans of those two time-traveling doofuses, as their last film, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, came out way in 1991. Hopefully the third film in what will now be a trilogy is worth the wait. Some of these sequels in the list below were successful despite the lengthy breaks. Others…not so much.

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  1. Men in Black 3

The first Men in Black was a great, fresh sci-fi comedy about aliens and the secret group that governs them. The second film in the series came out a few years later, and was kind of a snooze. That left us with a decade before the third movie came out in 2012. It was a nice return to form for the series, with Josh Brolin playing a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones’ character.

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  1. The Godfather Part III

The first two parts of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather saga are considered all-time classic. They both won Oscars for Best Picture in the ‘70s. Then, there was a long break before the third film came out way in 1990. While nobody remembers it as fondly as the first two, thanks largely to Sofia Coppola’s acting, it was nominated for Best Picture as well.

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  1. Toy Story 3

Technically, there was also a nine-year gap between the third Toy Story film and the fourth one that just came out. However, there was an even bigger hiatus between the second and third movies. That gap was 11 years, which, if nothing else, gave animation a lot of time to improve.

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  1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Sure, Mel Gibson was replaced as Max in this movie, and Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa is more the main character than he is. It’s still considered part of the Mad Max series though, even if it came a whopping 25 years after Beyond Thunderdome. This is a notable one as well, because basically everybody thinks Fury Road is the best film of the bunch.

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  1. The Odd Couple II

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau made a few films together in their prime, including the 1968 comedy classic The Odd Couple. While there was a TV series based on the characters of Felix and Oscar as well, it took a while for Lemmon and Matthau to pick back up the roles. Like, a LONG while. The sequel came out in 1998.

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  1. Psycho 2

Psycho didn’t need a sequel. It’s a self-contained story. It ends with Norman Bates having completely gone insane, locked away in an asylum. There, frankly, shouldn’t have been a sequel. There definitely shouldn’t have been one 23 years after the first.

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  1. Independence Day: Resurgence

It’s another sequel to a Will Smith film, although this time Smith himself isn’t in the sequel. At least Jeff Goldblum came back for the movie, which came out 20 years after the smash hit Independence Day.

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  1. Blues Brothers 2000

Ugh. Of all the delayed sequels, this may be the one that disappointed people the most. Part of the problem is that John Belushi died between The Blue Brothers and it’s turn-of-the-millennium sequel. Why make a Blues Brothers movie missing, you know, one of the Blues Brothers?

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  1. Live Free or Die Hard

The first Die Hard is a stone-cold classic (and in the eyes of many the best Christmas movie). The third movie, Die Hard with a Vengeance, was fairly well-received. But then they took a 12-year break before the fourth movie, Live Free or Die Hard. This one turned out to be a real snooze.

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  1. The Incredibles 2

We’re going back to the Pixar realm for this one. There was an even bigger gap between the first Incredibles and the second one than any break between Toy Story movies. That’s because for a lot of years the studio was anti-sequel. That has clearly changed, so we got The Incredibles 2 14 years later. Generally speaking, people enjoyed it at least.

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  1. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The first two Terminator movies are quite different, but successful in their own ways. The first is a straight-up horror movie, while Judgment Day is an epic action flick. Rise of the Machines is in a similar vein, but not nearly as good as its predecessor.

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  1. Zoolander 2

OK, we may have a challenger for The Blues Brothers 2000. Zoolander was a really fun, silly comedy that was hurt in the box office on account of the fact it came out in the wake of 9/11. Over the years, it developed a cult following, which got it a sequel in 2016. Alas, Zoolander 2, simply put, sucked. Bad. They should just left it at one.

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  1. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street won Michael Douglas an Oscar, and gave him an iconic character in Gordon Gekko. It’s a little odd that they made the “greed is good” guy the focal point of a sequel. It’s even more strange that it came out in 2010, well after the original hit theaters in 1987. Evidently Oliver Stone had more to say about high finance.

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  1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The first three Indiana Jones films are all enjoyed to some degree. The first one is awesome. The third one is really good. The second one was a little odd. Then, after many years, we got a fourth film, and it finally was the first true miss of the bunch. Also, both Crystal Skull and Money Never Sleeps tried to use Shia LaBeouf to inject young blood. That was a strange time in film history.

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  1. Blade Runner 2049

Talk about lengthy gaps between films. Blade Runner, the iconic sci-fi film, came out in 1982. That’s when Harrison Form seemed to still enjoy making films. We didn’t have to literally wait until 2049 for the sequel, although the hiatus felt almost as long. Blade Runner 2049 came out in 2017. While some loved it, the sequel seemed to fall short of the beloved original.

Chris Morgan
Author: Chris Morgan

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