Best Movie Sequels

Film

There’s long be a school of thought that sequels just don’t work.  Most people reference The Matrix movies as the perfect example of this.  The first film was brilliant and game changing.  The second and third movies just couldn’t live up to that.  However, some sequels do live up to the first film, and in some cases even surpass the first.  Here is a list of the ten best movie sequels of all time.

The Road Warrior

The Road Warrior

The movie that really launched Mel Gibson’s career.  The first Mad Max film wasn’t a failure, but it also didn’t have nearly the commercial success that The Road Warrior did, and this sequel even lead to a third movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek The Wrath of Khan

First of all, this film has William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban…how could it not be awesome?  The death of Spock, and tying the films to the original television series, helped to make this one if not the best Star Trek films ever created.  Oh…and it also featured this scene:

Superman II

Superman II

There’s a lot of controversy around Superman II, and there’s debate over which is the better version: the original or the Richard Donner cut.  That being said, there’s no denying that this film, which was filmed at the same time as the first movie, was a success, especially since we got to see Terence Stamp play General Zod.

X2: X-Men United

X2

I know I’ve said it before, but X2 is a great sequel because it doesn’t bother trying to set up the characters any more.  We met them all in the first film, we know what their powers are, and now we can get down to some quality storytelling.  Better special effects and actors that were obviously more comfortable in their rolls came through in what is easily the highlight of the X-Men Trilogy.

Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2



It would have been really hard to top Toy Story, and I’m not going to sit here and claim that one is better than the other, but there’s no denying that the sequel was excellent.  Better animation certainly helped, but the addition of new characters, a great story, and Pixar’s continued commitment to excellence is why we eventually got Toy Story 3, another great film.

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man-2

Much like X2, Spider-Man 2 was smart in that it assumed you had watched the first film and didn’t spend the first 20 minutes re-hashing everything you should have seen before.  Better stunts, a great villain in Doctor Octopus, and the continued story between Peter, Mary Jane, and Harry made this the best of the series.

Aliens

Aliens

While the first film, Alien, was more a mystery/suspense movie, Aliens was a revenge/action flick that helped add what has become a robust Alien mythology.  Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, and Newt all work to defeat the Aliens before escaping because let’s be honest – you can’t ever really beat the Aliens.

Terminator 2

Terminator 2

The T-1000 alone makes this movie.  Special effects unlike anything we had ever seen, and a faithful continuation of the original Terminator movie made this one of the best movies of all time.  And “Hasta La Vista, baby”?  It was practically impossible not to hear somebody say that in 1991.

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back

Do I really need to spell this one out?  It’s easily considered the best Star Wars film ever.  The introduction of Yoda, the revelation that Vader is Luke’s father, Cloud City, and Boba Fett?  C’mon!

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather II

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”  That alone should get most movies to the number one spot, but you throw in a film with Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and Robert De Niro detailing the rise of the Corleone family and you’ve got an instant classic, which just happens to be a sequel to another instant classic.

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