Sequels are often panned for being lazy and derivative excuses to pinch more pennies out of an already exhausted idea. No matter how atrocious the predecessor is, if the cash is rolling in, a sequel even more disastrous is probably in the pipeline. However on a rare occasion a sequel will outstrip its predecessor; faith is restored. A brief respite when cineastes everywhere rejoice and acclaim the brilliance of narrative continuation. So here are 10 movies that were better than their predecessors
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
This gripping follow-up laid claim that a sequel should be darker than the predecessor. The Empire Strikes Back is constructed of scenes awash with Lucas’s unworldly imagination consisting of immense screen battles none more memorable than the Hoth Battle as well as new characters including Yoda, Land and Boba Fett. Of course there’s also shock revelations (“I am your father”). A touchstone for a generation.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Remarkably, originally intended as a straight to DVD movie. But Toy Story 2 hit all the right buttons and asserts itself as the greatest animated sequel to have graced the big screen; a truly uplifting family movie that grips the audience from start to finish. As all good sequels should, fresh new characters are introduced as well taking old ones into new territory. In some ways, it’s a tragic tale of a child growing out of toys, old-fashioned cowboy Woody is told to forget about being loved by kids forever and embrace his role in a retro toy collection.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan’s re-imagining of the Batman lore is simply tenacious and arguably the greatest comic-book movie ever made. This enthralling sequel is all the more haunting as we witness Heath Ledger, in his penultimate movie; give the performance of a lifetime, exquisitely portraying the psychotic Joker. Nolan’s rumination on the aftershocks of Batman’s origin belongs on the list of the greatest films of all time.
Godfather II (1974)
Opinions are divided whether this sprawling epic outstrips its predecessor, what is undoubted is that both definitely outdo the overrated Godfather 3. Coppola’s disinclined return sees him delivering a damning picture which captures the intensity of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone in the a way that The Godfather simply couldn’t. Michael emerges from teh shadows to assert a stranglehold over his empire. The effectiveness of the two intertwining tales is sheer brilliance, following the rise of Pacino’s mobster as he gains the world but loses his soul whilst simultaneously exploring the founding of the Corleone crime empire by Vito Corleone, played by De Niro.
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Sam Raimi’s low budget cult film is essentially a B-movie come good. Evil Dead 2 made zilch when it opened in 1987, but has built up a diehard fan base due to its downright ridiculous and incomprehensible narrative. So why is it placed? For one it’s hilarious gory. Also, star Bruce Campbell’s chainsaw/shotgun combo is outlandishly genius. But mainly, to witness a young Raimi demonstrate his undoubted potential with manic montages and mastermind camera work.
Aidan Donovan is a copywriter for an electrical company that deal in a selection of electrical appliances from cheap washer dryers to washing machines.
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