I love awkward sequels. I’m not sure what it is… maybe the 90s kid inside me who never grew up, who wants to like things that other people don’t like, who wants to “get” things that are passed over or ignored by others. I like entries in film franchises that are generally accepted as being subpar or serious missteps.
I like Alien 3. I like Day of the Dead. I like Highlander 2, though that isn’t perhaps a good example, as I don’t actually think that Highlander 2 is any good. I just like it.
Perhaps it’s lowered expectations. Alien 3, for example, is clearly an abject mess. If you put it beside Alien and Aliens, it clearly suffers extremely badly. Which, to be fair, is probably what you should do. Considering it’s a sequel to those films. However, I don’t judge it by those standards and I enjoy the film.
It can be taken too far, and often is. The Alien vs. Predator films are complete garbage and borderline unwatchable. Under any circumstances. Highlander 3 is utterly hilarious. I try not to think of anything that follows. There are of course comebacks as well… Land of the Dead was a pretty poor film but I absolutely loved Diary of the Dead. Then again, George Romero is on to something special. He gets to flog the (un)dead horse all he wants. It was his gig to begin with.
That’s the exception. I like those weird installments in franchises just before the tipping point where everything goes wrong. The awkward sequels.