Latest ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Trailer Proves That Tom Cruise Is the Only Actor Who Can Pull Off Long-Overdue Sequels (And 10 Sequels That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype)
After much fanfare and speculation, we’re finally getting a Top Gun sequel nearly 34 years after the release of the original. With the second trailer for the follow-up going full ’80s, Top Gun: Maverick looks to prove that only Tom Cruise has the ability to pull off long-overdue sequels successfully. Sure, this first trailer is playing on people’s affection for a beloved property, but the fact that it’s done in a classy way makes this sequel all the more exciting. Even if the movie ends up turning out bad, it looks like we’ll – at very minimum – be privy to another iconic shirtless beach volleyball scene. While we wait to find out if Top Gun: Maverick lives up to the promise of the first trailer, here are 10 movies that failed to live up to the hype.
Cover Photo: Paramount Pictures
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‘Independence Day: Resurgence’
There’s no doubt Independence Day is a stone-cold sci-fi action classic, which makes the long-awaited sequel all the more disappointing. Released 20 years after the original, Independence Day: Resurgence is the type of movie that should be ridiculously fun. Instead, it’s just plain stupid.
Tron: Legacy, the sequel to 1982’s Tron, took 28 years to make it onto the big screen. Ironically, the film served as the directorial debut of Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski. While Tron 3 may never materialize onto the grid, at least we got Daft Punk’s mesmerizing score as a nice consolation prize.
‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’
As the sequel to an archetypical representation of '80s excess 23 years prior, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps had great potential to do the same for the 2008 economic collapse (which was created by actual Wall Street executives). Unfortunately, the glorious return of Gordon Gekko was hamstrung by a lackluster script that completely wastes the film’s supremely talented cast.
While some fans found 2008’s Rambo to one of the better entries in the franchise, Stallone’s big return to the role of John Rambo is a far cry from even the first three films. The Rambo movies are known for their increasingly excessive violence, but the violence is so extreme in the movie that it requires an entire Wiki page just to keep track of the body count. It’s just too far over the top for it to even be taken remotely seriously, which is probably the point of the franchise by now.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’
Although Dumb and Dumber To is a masterpiece in comparison to Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd, this highly anticipated sequel managed to live up to its title. In other words, it’s like watching your favorite washed-up boy band on an embarrassing reunion tour that never quite recaptures the magic.
‘Live Free or Die Hard’
After making arguably one of the best threequels of any franchise in Die Hard: With a Vengeance, it took more than 12 years to get a sequel. Unfortunately, the film took a semi-realistic hard-R property and made it absolutely laughable. Essentially, it began John McClane’s transition from one of cinema’s greatest flawed action heroes into a bald, two-bit imitation of James Bond.
Jurassic World is an outright bad movie, so it’s still baffling that the film managed to make $1.67 billion during its theatrical run. Everything about this movie is a pale imitation of what came before. Hell, it even gives one an appreciation for Jurassic Park III, which is a supremely flawed movie in itself. When the plot of your film is unfavorably compared to that of Deep Blue Sea (which is a far better movie), then you have a real problem.
Even though fans of Ben Stiller’s cult classic 2001 screwball comedy, Zoolander, clamored about a sequel for over a decade, their wish was finally fulfilled 15 years later. Amusingly, many of these same fans failed to show up when the film bombed at the box office. However, it’s hard to blame them when the plot and many of the same jokes in Zoolander 2 are ripped straight from the original.
‘Escape From L.A.’
Released 15 years after the classic that is Escape from New York, getting another round in with the greatest antihero of the '80s in Snake Plissken seems like a sure deal. Regrettably, Escape From L.A. failed to be a worthy follow-up to the original. While no John Carpenter movies are truly terrible, Escape From L.A. just happens to be one of his least rewatchable directorial efforts.
‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’
Out of all the long-awaited sequels to be released years after the previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is perhaps the most notorious. Aside from single-handedly creating a trope with the “nuke the fridge” moment, it’s also sloppy storytelling at it’s finest. While the first half of the film is not that bad, it immediately derails at the exact moment that Shia LaBeouf starts swinging in the vines of a jungle like Tarzan.