“Olympus Has Fallen” wasn’t exactly crying out for a sequel.
Released in 2013, the violent, humorless mess saw Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) running around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. doing a bad John McClane impression — complete with lame one-liners like “I’m gonna stick my knife through your brain” — while trying to rescue President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) from terrorists.
Not only was it unsatisfying, it wasn’t even that year’s best movie in which a lone hero had to save the president when the White House was seized by armed thugs. After all, at least “White House Down” had the good sense to know it was ridiculous and let its president (Jamie Foxx) fire a rocket launcher at the bad guys from the back of his luxury car.
It didn’t even top $100 million at the domestic box office.
Yet, Banning is back, forced once again to protect Asher from terrorists, in “London Has Fallen.” As McClane himself asked during the similarly implausible “Die Hard 2,” “How can the same (thing) happen to the same guy twice?”
Still, it isn’t the worst idea for a sequel. Especially in a world that’s seen direct-to-video knockoffs, big-screen Jim Carrey-free cash grabs like “Son of the Mask” and “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd,” and a piece of childhood-ruining nonsense known as “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 of the most inexplicable, spectacularly misguided or just plain random sequels ever to come out of Hollywood:
“Evan Almighty” (2007): Speaking of Jim Carrey-free sequels, this one took Steve Carell’s newsman Evan Baxter from “Bruce Almighty,” made him a congressman, then rather than letting him be God for a week as Carrey was in the original, turned Evan into Noah. It was a disaster of nearly biblical proportions.
“Teen Wolf Too” (1987): When Michael J. Fox couldn’t be lured back for the sequel to the surprise hit about a basketball-playing werewolf, his fellow NBC star Jason Bateman was brought in to play his cousin, a boxing werewolf.
“Grease 2” (1982): Sure, it was unnecessary. But the story of Sandy’s clean-cut cousin (Maxwell Caulfield) who falls for the new leader of the Pink Ladies (Michelle Pfeiffer) is chock-full of cheesy deliciousness. You almost have to respect the skeevy lunacy of “Let’s Do It for Our Country,” a song designed to trick a girl into believing the world is coming to an end so she’ll have sex in a bomb shelter.
“Staying Alive” (1983): Tony Manero (John Travolta) left the mean streets of Brooklyn for the tights and modern dance of Broadway in this “Saturday Night Fever” sequel directed by Sylvester Stallone and featuring songs written by his brother, Frank. The result was awful enough to make audiences pine for the days of disco.
“Weekend at Bernie’s II” (1993): After having successfully used the corpse of their embezzling boss to fool partygoers at his Hamptons beach house into thinking he was still alive, Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) stuff that rotting cadaver into a suitcase and set off for the Virgin Islands to clean out his safety deposit box. Produced by Victor Drai — yes, that Victor Drai — the sequel stunk more than Bernie would have.
“Mannequin Two: On the Move” (1991): A different mannequin comes to life and falls in love with a different employee of the Prince & Company department store, under the watchful eye of the stereotypically flamboyant window dresser named Hollywood (Meshach Taylor). Showing the good sense he wouldn’t with “Weekend at Bernie’s II,” “Mannequin” star Andrew McCarthy didn’t appear in this one. Although Bernie himself, Terry Kiser, did.
“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (2012): Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) — Brendan Fraser’s nephew from 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” — drags his stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) in search of the mysterious island from Jules Verne’s “The Mysterious Island.” Much like 2011’s “Fast Five” and 2013’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” it employs Hollywood Principle No. 319: If you don’t know what to do with your sequel, just add The Rock.
“Speed 2: Cruise Control” (1997): Reluctant bus driver Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) has split with her old SWAT officer lover (Keanu Reeves) and goes on a cruise with her new SWAT officer lover (Jason Patric). After foiling a robbery and avoiding certain doom for all the passengers on board, they get engaged. That Annie moves fast — unlike everything else in a movie with “Speed” in the title.
“The Neverending Story II” (1991): This one just spits in the eye of physics. How could you have a sequel to a story that never ends?
“The Last Exorcism Part II” (2013): Again, the title doesn’t even make sense. Still, it’s probably better than “The Really, Really Last Exorcism, This Time We Promise.”
Contact Christopher Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @life_onthecouch