BY JOHN L. MOSEMAN
Sequels can either be really good or really bad but let’s face it they end up being some of the best movies so here is my top 25 sequels of all time.
We should also discuss that I don’t consider films such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy or The Godfather series as sequels. Rather they are parts one story. A sequel is a new story in itself.
25. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
24. The Karate Kid Part II: (1986)
23. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
WHY THIS ONE? Very rarely does an action series deliver great sequels or even close to as good as the orginal (see Die Hard). However Lethal Weapon 2 was far and away better than the first LW and that is so rare. The series continued to get better and better and a lot of that had to do with the chemistry of the cast.
22. Beverley Hills Cop 2 (1987)
WHY THIS ONE? Eddie Murphy’s comedy meets Tony Scott’s action pack direction. A killer soundtrack as well.
21. Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)
WHY THIS ONE? It’s Marvel firing on all cylinders, and it’s two new (to the studio) writer/directors doing something new with a superhero film: namely grounding it as a paranoid political thriller in the vein of ‘70s classics like Three Days Of The Condor. It’s no coincidence that Robert Redford is in the cast. That’s not to say the super-sparks don’t fly, however, and the Russo brothers manage to juggle a large, colourful cast, to the detriment of nobody.
20. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Why’s it so good? After 3 films (going into this one ) as Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr. has proned his character. The film is one of the top 5 marvel films and top 5 comic book films. Between the performances of the whole cast including Ben Kingsley who is funny as heck in this film. The grounded reality of Stark is found in this film is a treat. Marvel shows how it is so good at builiding films and between this and CA:WS you get a good ground work for what was in Civil War. This movie is the first in the last great phase of Marvel films that include CA:WS. & CA:CW.
19. Skyfall (2012)
18. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
17. Rocky IV (1985
WHY THIS ON? You mean besides being the most commerically successfull of all in the Rocky franchise
16. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
WHY THIS ONE? Alfonso Cuaron (the Academy Award winning director of Gravity) took over from original director Christopher Columbus. While the first two were great for capturing the magic this film shined above the rest. This is do to not only the great book but the style of Cuaron. He made Potter feel like a real adventure story for the first time, and one taking place in somewhere bordering on the real world.
15. Goldfinger (1964)
Why’s it so good? Without a doubt Goldfinger is the sequel of sequels because without it’s immense popularity the franchise does not become what it is. Some have argued that this film is the ‘gold’ standard for Bond films and they would make a good case.
15. Return of The Jedi (1983)
14 . Evil Dead 2 (1987)
WHY THIS ONE? Evil Dead 2 stands as one of a few films that actually is better than the original. It completely redefined the whole series around the character of Ash which was the best dang thing to ever happen not only because it lead to my favorite of the series Army of Darkness but without a doubt Sam Raimi does not become the household name he becomes. One of the most essential films for any real film fan to see.
13. Before Sunset (2004)
12. Back To The Future Part II (1989)
11. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989)
!!!!!!FINALLY THE TOP TEN!!!!!!!!
10. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
WHY THIS ONE? Very rarely does a film in itself actually save a franchise but this one did. After the poor showing from Star Trek The Motion Picture the franchise as a whole was on it’s deathbed. Paramount was close to just closing the door on any more Star Trek but this film was so good and did so well that not only did it help usher in new films it got the ball rolling on a new show. That show was The Next Generation. All Trekkies owe everything to this film being as good as it was.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
WHY THIS ONE? I admit I was nervous about revisiting one of my beloved franchises with a new Max. The Oscar winning film which was nominated for the Best Film was for sure a great surprise.
8. The Color of Money (1986)
WHY THIS ONE? Martin Scorsese’s sequel to Robert Rossen’s The Hustler takes place 25 years after the original, and sees Paul Newman return as Fast Eddie Felson to mentor young wannabe Vincent (Tom Cruise). And if the three names in the previous sentence aren’t enough to convince you it’s good, you might want to re-read it. The Hustler is an American Classic but this is a great stand alone film and a great sequel.
7. Clear and Present Danger (1994)
WHY THIS ONE? Not only did Harrison Ford improve on his performance from the already great Patriot Games. He takes charge of the Jack Ryan character in the best of all the Ryan films. If Harrison Ford is not enough then check out the trailer.
6. Toy Story 2 (1999)
5. T2: Judgement Day
I really don’t need to explain how awesome this movie was, do I?
4. The Dark Knight (2008)
What makes this movie great is not only does it have stellar performances from the cast. It was also shot in IMAX. The first 20 minutes of the film is one of the perfect scenes in all of film. This movie is what made Christopher Nolan a household name.
3. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Studios began producing sequels at the very outset of the medium’s history, and the earliest on my list is the follow-up to 1931’s Frankenstein.
It’s not uncommon in a second installment for a hero to get the girl, and in this instance, she was made for it. Bride of Frankenstein has been lauded for bringing a combination of gruesomeness, satire and surrealism to masterpiece levels. This is the film that English director James Whale is most famous for, and introduced a hairstyle to moviegoers that will live on for centuries.
2. Aliens (1986)
Very few films define my childhood but Aliens would be at the top. This movie introduce me to the excitement that can come from a real fast pace action film. Aliens was the first action film for me and it set a standard very few films have come close to.
BEFORE SEEING NUMBER ONE LET US TALK HONORABLE MENTIONS
Mad Max The Road Warrior, X2: XMEN 2, The Army of Darkness, Superman II, & The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
AND NOW FOR NUMBER ONE!!!
ARE YOU READY?
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Seriously how it could be anything else. This film not only made Star Wars more of a juggernaut than it already was it turned the world’s eyes with the greatest twist in cinema. This film is the standard when it comes to sequels because it ended up being better than the first. Empire did what many could not.