Movie sequels generally feel the need to be bigger and better than their predecessors, in every way imaginable. If a film is getting a sequel in the first place, it usually means that the original was a box-office success, which affords its followup more financial resources to splash the cash and make everything look as polished as possible.
Even without more money, it's not unreasonable to expect a sequel to at least look as good as the original. That first film has already done a lot of heavy lifting in terms of designing the characters and their world, which, in theory, should give the sequel a bit more polishing time in post-production.
And yet, for some odd reason, a lot of sequels end up looking shabbier than the original, and the visual effects department is often the worst offender.
Whether the filmmakers bit off more than they could chew, relied on computer-generated effects a bit too much, or simply ran out of time to make the whole movie look good, sequels really shouldn't look worse than the movies that came before them, but unfortunately... this lot did.
8. Along Came A Spider
In 1997, Morgan Freeman headlined Kiss The Girls, a thriller based on the Alex Cross series of novels. A moderate success, the film made around $60 million worldwide on a small $27 million budget, and while it wasn't a hit with critics, it did well enough overall to warrant a sequel, which arrived four years later.
Both of these movies are detective thrillers, and are quite small-scale as a result. There are small shootouts instead of huge action sequences, lots of walking and talking, and very few special effects-heavy shots. The effects that do appear in Kiss The Girls are solid, but Along Came A Spider opens with a CGI car accident that's so laughably bad, it'll make you wonder where its $60 million budget - more than double the first film's - went.
The vehicle doesn't just crash in a straightforward manner: it swerves and flips like something out of a cartoon, spinning about a million times before finally tumbling over the side of a bridge. It really does look like a shot pulled from a Burnout game, with all the graphical fidelity of an Xbox or PS2 cutscene.
Again, Along Came A Spider cost twice what Kiss The Girls did, and the effects in the latter are fine. How the hell four years and more money resulted in something that looks this cheap is anyone's guess. And for director Lee Tamahori, this isn't the only time he's completely dropped the ball in the special effects department...