Fire Hydrant 2: Rehydrated was the biggest box office bomb ever in cinematic history. Billed as the “movie event of the year” in the summer of 2007 and backed by a tenacious advertising and merchandising campaign, it would ultimately receive vehement disapproval from critics and audiences alike.
Plot (or meager semblance of one therein)
Summarily revived from death in the first three minutes of the movie by an “expert inventor” with no clear motives using a self-developed "Resuscitamator", the protagonist Fire Hydrant awakens to remember his hopelessly boring past life, and immediately seeks a new life of rollicking adventure, debauchery, and general bad-assery. Cutting abruptly to a twenty minute scene of “sand dune skiing” with a bevy of scantily clad women, Hydrant reveals his new “xtreme” way of living. The loosely woven plot then moves clumsily through what can only be considered a mishmash of sixteen different movies, with the ultimate mission of Hydrant being to rescue his love interest, Sheila Hydrant, from the clutches of mega-fiend Osama bin Satan, the alleged son of Osama bin Laden and “She-Satan”. With little relevance or apparent connection to the scenes preceding, the protagonist goes on to win a free-style rap contest against Jay-Z, defeat Tony Hawk in a skateboard competition, have gratuitous tentacle sex in a Japanese anime-style scene, and trounce dim-witted, turban-headed terrorists in the streets of Los Angeles using only pipe bombs and a set of nunchucks.
With scene after scene of flashy celebrity cameos and nominal attempt at exposition, the movie plods toward its climax in which it is revealed that Osama bin Satan is Fire Hydrant’s father. In the final showdown which finds Hydrant hanging by one hand to the rim of an active volcano opening with Osama bin Satan ready to stomp on him for the final blow, Sheila bursts onto the scene with a simplified DNA test result stating tersely in large font: “Osama bin Satan is not your father”. Roused to action by this revelation, Hydrant catches a second wind, climbs up and tosses Osama bin Satan into the volcano, where he supposedly dies. After the credits roll it has been rumored that a final scene shows the still vigorous hand of Osama bin Satan rising forcefully from the molten lava, suggesting another sequel, but these reports are uncertain as no one has actually been known to remain in the movie theater long enough to see this part.
- Fire Hydrant (CGI)
- Sheila Hydrant (CGI)
- John Travolta – Osama bin Satan
- Nicolas Cage – nameless inventor
- Jay-Z – himself
- Tony Hawk – himself
- Gary Coleman – Fire Hydrant's Accountant
- Hugh Jackman – Gabriel Van Helsing
- Hello Kitty – herself
- John Cleese – Jeeves the Talking Limousine
- Eddie Murphy – Fanny L’Arjasse (female role, in costume)
- Jar Jar Binks – himself
- Halle Berry – Catwoman
- Catwoman – Halle Berry
Reasons for failure
Disappointment from fans of the first movie
Originally, “Fire Hydrant” was a 1979 released existential drama with a significant cult following. As promotion for the sequel came into full swing, internet communities of “Hydries” expressed their strong disapproval of its production, partially due to the fact that the protagonist died at the end of the predecessor. Teasers released exclusively on YouTube were immediately followed by extensive rants on online forums. A particular element of the sequel resented by the fans was the uncharacteristically cartoon-ish movement of the once stoic Fire Hydrant, as animated by Pixar. Pixar released the following statement days after the movie’s disastrous debut in theaters: “Trust us; we did not want to be involved in this. It’s just that they put so much money down we couldn’t refuse. As a result, our company’s name has been tarnished forever, and we are considering changing it to something else in hopes of washing our hands of this god-forsaken disaster of a film.”
The lines of Fire Hydrant himself are no more than a loosely strung together series of pop culture references, internet memes and sophomoric obscenities. This is compounded by the smugly spoken catchphrase of “Where’s the fire, baby?” which is repeated more than 46 times throughout the movie with disregard to relevance within the scene. It is surmised that this was done to promote sales of the grossly overproduced t-shirts, caps and other sweat-shop produced merchandise that sported the “WTF, baby?” logo and a caricature of Fire Hydrant’s likeness. Also see #4.
Box office gross and critical response
FH2:Rehydrated was produced with a $210 million budget and garnered a paltry worldwide gross of $5.5 million ($3,732,399 domestically), putting a temporary but significant financial strain on distributor, 20th Century Fox. Critics variously described the film as “a 3-hour long cavalcade of crappiness”, “undeniably the worst movie sequel ever, and that’s saying a lot”, and “mind-numbing, intelligence insulting, life-span diminishing asininity”. Mike Nelson's response to the film was: “Some movies are so bad that they’re good; this one is just bad. Oh my god, is it bad. I would literally rather have my tongue cut off with rusty pruning shears than watch this movie again.” Violent riots started by angered audiences demanding their money back erupted without warning in movie theaters worldwide. Cases of death and serious injury continued for the two weeks it was in theatres, after which it was abruptly removed without plan for DVD release.
In one isolated incident, a Los Angeles audience spontaneously broke out into throwing feces at the screen at the movie’s conclusion. One 19-year old woman interviewed after the incident commented: “I have never even made a bowel movement in a public restroom before, but all of my inhibitions couldn’t hold up against the overwhelming urge to squeeze out poo and throw at it that goddamned screen.”
The screenwriter for FH2:Rehydrated and its predecessor, S.S. Cummings, has released this official statement from his place of hiding in a region unknown: “All I hoped was that Fire Hydrant would reach a larger audience... okay, I admit it; I fucking sold out.”