I know that criticizing Speed 2, Cruise Control is like shooting fish in a barrel, but I remember as an impressionable youngster going to watch it at a theatre with a sense of excitement. Sure, it would be silly, but it would at least be fun, right? Right? Sadly, the movie was not fun at all. Not only did it begin an irrational and deep-seated resentment of Sandra Bullock that lingers with me to this day, it reinforced that I should be wary of anything calling itself a "sequel."
If you're not familiar with it, Speed 2 is the story of a flaky but fun lady (Bullock) and her sensible police offer boyfriend (Jason Patric) who go on a cruise and get more adventure than they bargained for. Little do they know that a disgruntled former cruise ship employee (Willem Defoe) is planning to redirect the ship and its cargo of vacationers into an oil tanker.
While I don't think Speed 2 is a good movie, I do think that it accurately represents a species of movie sequels that are not true sequels. For me, a sequel should be the next step in a story (e.g. the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings series) instead of the same story being retold with a few details changed. Speed 2 isn't the next step in a story, but a sillier version of Speed that takes place on a boat instead of a bus. Think of Hangover 2 - same story; different location.
Another problem with calling Speed 2 a sequel is that the whole tone of the movie is different. Speed was over the top, but it was also a bit dark. Speed 2 is a full-blown Saturday morning cartoon on a cruise ship. Imagine if in The Godfather II Michael Corleone was a bumbling mob boss with a heart of gold (in other words, The Godfather Part III).
I realize this is subjective, but here are a few other sequels that I've seen that aren't true sequels to me. This isn't to say they are necessarily bad but more that they just fail the sequel test.
* Slasher sequels with interchangeable villains/victims - the Saw series, Scream series, etc.
* The Police Academy series
* Teen Wolf Too
* Pet Sematary II
* Airplane II
* Live Free or Die Hard
What do you think? Are there any pseudo-sequels that you particularly enjoy?