Why Are So Many Good Comedies Ruined by Sequels?

By: Maddie Turner

It takes a lot for me to admit that I really enjoyed a comedy movie.  Many have good premises but often fall short of being truly funny.  I recently watched the film, Dirty Grandpa, to see if it lived up to all of the hype but was pretty let down.  It seemed like it would be good, especially with a cast including Zac Efron, Robert de Niro, and Aubrey Plaza, and an absurd premise–de Nero’s wife passes away and he decides to rage in Miami.  In the end, parts of it were awkward and some of the jokes fell flat.


Furthermore what I really want to focus on is that when a first movie in a series is successful, more often than not, the sequel is not as good.  Take Horrible Bosses for example; Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and more are all in their prime for this film.  The jokes are original and I was constantly entertained.  I was extremely excited for the second to be released but was disappointed to see that the cast was put to waste, as Rotten Tomatoes shows here.  They resued the story line pretty much and repeated the jokes that worked the first time, but the second time they were not executed nearly as well.  I was sad to see such a great film go to waste.

Image result for horrible bosses

From the article at movie web

Maybe the film struggled because of the loss of the first director, Seth Gordon, or maybe it is simply due to the difficulty of making a second film as good as or even better than the first.

Similarly, while many argue that Wayne’s World is a bad film (I personally love the childish, dumb but original humor of it), the sequel was terrible.  I just wish that one time, instead of using the same jokes and story line, that a comedy could continue on rather than losing its charm.

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5 Responses to Why Are So Many Good Comedies Ruined by Sequels?

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I understand completely. I really enjoy comedies, but there are many that try too hard or they strike it big with the first film and then fall flat on the second because they are trying to recycle the first movie in a terribly executed way. In my opinion, Horrible Bosses is a good movie because I could relate to it. Most people could say, “I had that type of boss” even though it was obviously embellished. Hollywood has the tendency to constantly exploit their successes if something seems to land. There’s nothing wrong with sequels, but just make it original.

    -Shelby Halliman

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree so many great films are tarnished by unnecessary sequels. Almost all of the sequels are worse than the original, and they often don’t bring back all of the cast or the director. While many fans would love to see more from their favorite characters and will pay to see the sequel, they are often quite disappointed.

    -Walker Rise

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I know so many people who hated the sequel to Horrible Bosses…but, I have to say I loved it more than the first one! (HAHA!) I actually love sequels, even the bad ones. For me, if they really are awful, they don’t necessarily tarnish the first one for me, but rather make me appreciate it more!


  4. mediaphiles says:

    Maddie! Thank you very much for your comments! I have a love for Charlie Day and thus love any work of his, but I do see where you are coming from in terms of films and their sequels not possessing the originality that the first did. The best example that I could find, was ‘This is 40″ which is a pseudo-sequel to “Knocked Up.” Interestingly enough, it seems as though sequels are better when they are done as prequels.

    -Luke Dellorso

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I appreciate your commentary on this issue. It’s very true that many good comedies are followed up by a terrible sequel. Studios like money and they couldn’t care less about artistic vision and creativity when it comes to comedy sequels, they just want to rush out a sequel that is basically a complete copy of the original. You see this with The Hangover, Horrible Bosses, Ted, and many others. I loved 22 Jump Street for the way they address the “terrible comedy sequel that copies the original” tradition in Hollywood, and I would argue it’s better than 21 Jump Street.


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