What's the best way to perk up a tired movie franchise? Most of the time, there is no way. But movie producers still continue to try by taking the old characters overseas and hoping the new locale will reheat the leftovers. Case in point: Cars 2. The film comes out this Friday and promises to take the talking animated cars to England, Italy and Japan. While it's possible that the folks at Pixar might be able to buck the trend and make this a winner, we have a feeling that it might go down in forgotten movie history with other crappy sequels that traveled to foreign countries became, like American tourists, embarrassing and shitty.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Destination: Egypt While it didn't seem like anything could get much worse than Michael Bay's terrible first Transformers movie, the sequel somehow managed to surpass the first in sheer awfulness. Much of this had to do with the cast's teleportation (seriously) to Egypt to search for ancient symbols or whatever and demolish a bunch of stuff. Apparently, pyramids can't mask Bay's stink. The next installment in the franchise is set on the moon, which is where we're begging Bay to bury this toxic franchise.
The Hangover Part II Destination: Thailand In The Hangover , much of the nutty, dude-love humor came from the sheer element of surprise: We didn't know what was coming next, why Mike Tyson was there or where that tiger came from. But unfortunately, the second hangover has the boys basically just repeating the exact same antics of trying to remember what happened during a crazy drunken night. Except in Thailand. Tyson even returns to cameo at the end of the film, tying another knot in ends that were never really loose to begin with.
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Sex and the City 2 Destination: Abu Dhabi Screw the naysayers. At its inception, Sex and the City was fun, intelligent, and often refreshingly weird. Somehow, that all disappeared by the show's final season, and things got downright terrible when it became a film franchise. The first film was bad, but the second just unconscionable as the writers took the four New York ladies out of the Big Apple and into...Abu Dhabi? Apparently, the Middle East didn't want them there, either. The film was originally supposed to be set in Dubai, but when Dubai refused them the right to film, the movie was moved to Abu Dhabi. But due to political complications, Abu Dhabi didn't want them there, either. The scenes ended up actually being shot in Morocco.
Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights Destination: Cuba This sequel's story of how it came into being is not just lame, it's tragic. As detailed in an episode of This American Life, the script that became this film wasn't even originally intended to be a sequel to the movie that made "nobody puts Baby in a corner" an iconic line -- it was supposed to be an intelligent political romance written by NPR personality Peter Sagal, whose screenplay was based on a true story about love between an American woman and a Cuban revolutionary. To his chagrin, the movie version uses no lines from his original screenplay and became basically just a dumb version of the original Patrick Swayze flick, but set in Cuba, and even Diego Luna's boyish good looks can't salvage this sinking ship.