Top Four… Terrible Fourquels

In honour of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides being released this week, Ross McG looks at four previous fourth instalments in film franchises that failed to live up to what came before them.

 4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Four words that sum up this fourquel: ‘Nuke. The. Flipping. Fridge.’

The cinematic equivalent of meeting up with the beautiful girl you had a crush on in school after 19 years and discovering her good looks have been replaced with crap CGI monkeys, crap CGI ants and crap CGI aliens, this is the Godfather III of terrible, terrible sequels. Poor Indiana Jones. Dug up after a couple of decades like an archaeological artefact, he should have been stuck in a museum instead of the big screen. All the goodwill gleaned from the first three terrific films in the 1980s is blown away as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas bombard us with an impenetrable plot and as many needless characters as crap CGI monkeys.

3. Terminator Salvation

Four words that sum up this fourquel: ‘F*** sake, you’re amateur.’ 

This film thought it was so cool it didn’t need a colon in its title. That alone should have hinted at the big, fat, sagging bag of boring puss that lay ahead. Terminator Salvation Army would have been more exciting. Terminator films are not hard to make. Just ask Jim Cameron. All you need is a robot who cannot be killed running around stalking somebody. This is not terribly hard to mess up. Step forward then, McG, to inexplicably make a film filled with explosions really, really boring. Batman himself, Christian Bale, is totally wasted. No wonder he flipped out on set – reading ‘Sit in dark room. Shout into radio. A lot.’ on the script sheet every day would have turned any of us batty. The only good bit is when Bale listens to Guns N’ Roses. For about five seconds. Yes, that’s how bad this film is. Trash your lights? This trashed an entire franchise.

2. Batman & Robin

Four words that sum up this fourquel: ‘Tonight’s forecast? A turd.’

Some may argue that it’s merely the sequel to the already-quite-bad Batman Forever, but come on, this was the fourth Batman film we all watched. And boy, how did we regret watching this one. That the best thing about Batman and Robin is Arnie’s icy quips says it all.

When George Clooney goes to heaven, chances are St Peter might pull him up on a few things. Clicking his bat boots together to unveil ice skates. Surfing back down to earth on a door. Whipping out his Bat credit card to pay for sex with Poison Ivy. Showing off his Bat nipples. Showing off his Bat butt. Starring in Michael Clayton. Man, that film was boring.

 1. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Four words that sum up this fourquel: ‘Meesa worst sequel eva!’

Ignore the Roman numeral in the title, this is the fourth film in the Star Wars saga. It is also far and away the worst, no mean feat, as anyone who’s sat through Attack Of The Clones lately will tell you. Darth Vader was right: sand does get everywhere. The Phantom Menace was arguably the most anticipated film in history, following as it did The First One, The One With Kermit The Frog and The One With The Cuddly Bears. But nothing blows a bit of excited expectation out of the water than a ludicrously dull opening section bogged down with talk of trade embargoes, a hammier-than-usual Ewan McGregor and a big, racial-stereotyping, computer-generated, white elephant in the room that is Jar-Jar Bleedin’ Binks.



16 Responses to “Top Four… Terrible Fourquels”

  1. Uh… Alien: Resurrection?

  2. good shout Seb. it was in my long list. tried to be strict and limit it to four. there is something fascinatingly terrible about the end of Alien Resurrection though. it takes a lot of flak but its so bad its hugely watchable. Ryder… never made a bad film.
    the first person to mention Jaws: The Revenge by the way wins a free dvd of the movie*

    *dvd of Jaws: The Revenge may not be sent

  3. mcguinnr Says:

    All of Alien Res. was fascinatingly terrible! Ron Pearlman’s the Man, though. Almost wish you hadn’t started this one, McG – this saddo could cry after being reminded of how Indy4 turned out. Too much Lucas not enough Spielberg – there is SO much gone wrong (but then I reckon that Raiders is near movie perfection). The South Park episode about it’s release says it all about this abomination. Watch that instead. It’s great.

  4. sorry Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or as we here at RvR like to call it, KOCS, pained you so much mcguinnr.
    it is one of the few instances when you actually wish you just decided not to go see a movie. being untainted and just having the first three rolling about inside your head is a much better way to continue living your life

  5. mcguinnr Says:

    Exactly – some memories can’t be forgotten, and I’ll never be able to watch Ray Winstone or John Hurt again without screaming inside. Ugh, feel grubby just thinkin about it…
    All the other bad 4quels that come to mind were in bad series anyway.

  6. whaaaaat?! Alien resurrection is awesome! That bit with all the ripley clone fails is great

  7. Jar Jar Binks. No one is ever going to forgive Lucas for that one are they?

    I’m in denial about POTC4 sucking. Because going to see it at some point is getting me through the evils of exam season.

    It’s going to suck isn’t it?

  8. Episode I. The first time I walked out of a theatre as a child disappointed with a movie.

  9. Great list, Ross! Agree with all of them, especially POTC. Having just endured the 3rd one this weekend it’s mind-boggling to me how that franchise becomes so successful. It’s utter crap I tell you, which is sad considering Geoffrey Rush is in it.

  10. Not Terminator Salvation! It isn’t anything special compared to the first two films but it isn’t bottom 4 worthy especially with Alien 4 lurking around.

  11. mcguinnr Says:

    Any shouts for Rocky4? First was great, next 2 weren’t bad but apart from Livin’ In America (ACROSS THE NATION! – UGH! AAOOHH!), the 4th was a stinker. There were a few jingoistic allegorical clunkers around that time about as subtle as Brigitte Nielsen’s surgical enhancements. Come to think of it, Stallone was responsible for more than his fair share (and probably the surgical enhancements too…)

    Superman IV’s the same, but without the catchy funk workout to promote it.

  12. as horribly disappointing as phantom menace was, i would have replaced it and terminator salvation with jaws IV and superman IV.

    how bad is jaws IV? it made jaws 3D looks surprisingly well acted and competently structured. that’s how bad.

    how bad is superman IV? i’d rather watch jaws IV.

  13. Babymcg Says:

    Yeah, POTC4 was lame…

  14. I think it would be harder for us to find a good fourth film. Live Free or Die Hard might be only one I could think of.

  15. Very good list and I agree with all of them!

  16. Ryan Blanche Says:

    Where’s Lethal Weapon 4?
    I enjoyed the previous 3, even the 3rd one. But I was mostly bored watching the 4th one.
    The opening with the flamethrower guy was cool, and the ending fight was awesome as well. But everything in between was meh.
    The story with the immigrants wasn’t executed well at all. I get what they were trying though.

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