June 3, 2013 by Craig Sutherland
Sequels… Are the film companies squeezing more milk out of a films teat or is there more of this story to tell? Here’s a list of what I think are the best sequels ever made and these are by no means absolute fact.
Can I just say that I am a HUGE comic-book film fan and that’s probably swayed my choices a little bit. So here goes, My top 10 Sequels of All Time…
10) Silence Of The Lambs
What? Silence Of The Lambs is a sequel? Yes, the follow-up to Micheal Mann’s 1986 film Manhunter is different in tone (Cue Mann using A LOT of blues in his coluor palette) and has a different ‘Hannibal Lecktor’ (Played by Brian Cox in Manhunter), Jonathan Demme’s tale is far less showy and a lot more gripping.
9) Toy Story 2
Kids film sequels are normally straight to DVD fodder with very few coming close to cinema release let alone becoming as loved as the original film, but that’s what happened with Toy Story 2. New characters, better animation and plenty laughs to keep the adults happy.
This film plays like a comedy version of the first film. With better make-up, more gore and most importantly, more cheese, Evil Dead 2 is the most ridiculous/hilarious sequel you are likely to see. God Bless that chin.
7) Rocky II
Hi, I’m Craig and I’m a massive Rocky fan… Rocky is a classic film about the underdog getting his chance, Rocky II is about weighing opportunities, responsibilities and relationships. It also has an incredible training montage and an epic fight! For some this is one of the weaker films in the Rocky franchise, for me it’s the best. Everyone loves a comeback.
6) Terminator 2: Judgement Day
In 1991 I remember seeing trailers and poster for T2, I’d never seen Terminator at that point. You see Terminator was a Sci-Fi Horror film, it was a slasher film with a gun-wielding robot. T2 was a game changer, it upped every stake possible. With a better story, better set-pieces, incredible CGI and characters we actually gave a shit about, James Cameron reinvented the sequel as we know it.
Okay, lets kick this off with a **Spoiler**, Vito Corleone dies in ‘The Godfather‘, so the only way forward is to stick with Micheal Corleone right? Wrong. Just cast Robert De Niro as a young Vito and tell his back-story. De Niro & Pacino together in a film, at that time that was permission to print dollars and the film went on to win six Oscars.
4) Spider-Man 2
Sam Raimi’s second film in my top 10 (Evil Dead is the other) doesn’t disappoint, Grossing $373,585,825 and having one of the biggest opening weekends of all time it became the blockbuster to beat. Where did it all go right? Spider-Man 2 had an awesome soundtrack, a great villain and the best fight scene in the whole franchise!
With Alien Ridley Scott had made the perfect Sci-Fi Horror, so where could James Cameron go with a sequel? Hows about just make the most balls out action film possible? He smashed it out of the park! Is it better than the original? You can argue about this until a Chest-burster rips through your marvel comics T-Shirt but it’s definitely a great sequel!
2) The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger’s Joker… Can we just leave it there? No? Okay, Batman Begins grossed $205,343,774, a hefty sum i think you’ll agree, but compared to The Dark Knight’s $1,004,558,444 it’s easy to see that it was a massively successful film. Why is this? Was it Ledger’s performance, Ledger’s death, was it just a well scripted film with great twists and awesome set-pieces that basically ticked every box imaginable? It was probably all of these things. Nolan’s The Dark Knight is a hearty slab of action/drama and pure comic-book escapism with astounding performances. But it’s not my number one….
1) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
I’m a Star Wars kid, i’m not one of those Star Wars people that poses in Instagram pictures with a Boba Fett helmet on and I don’t have a Star Wars tattoo (Yet!) but i grew up with Star Wars. As a kid i probably got more out of ‘Return of the Jedi’ than I ever did ‘Empire’, that was probably because Ewoks are cute and I love the film ‘Ewoks: The Battle for Endor‘ which I saw before any of the Star Wars films. Anyway, as I grew up I found myself watching ‘Empire’ a lot more and enjoying it a lot more than the rest of the franchise and the reason is this…
‘Empire’ is a sad film, **Spoilers** Luke gets his hand chopped off and finds out that his Dad is Darth Vader, and Han gets encased in Carbonite. There’s a lot of bad news in there. It’s a total bummer, it’s like real life. There isn’t a happy ending, you know there will be another Star Wars film and you know there’s a lot to put right.
‘Empire’ is not the kids film that ‘A New Hope’ sets up or ‘Return Of The Jedi’ continues, the films tone and script are more muted and seem to fit the tale of a galactic rebellion perfectly.Well, there you have it, I’m sure this list, like all lists I’ve made will have it’s critics but it’s all just opinion. If you have a massively different list please pop a comment in the box and we could spark a debate or you might want to give my list a little appreciation.(Which would be a welcome change!)
- Joss Whedon’s Star Wars regrets (contactmusic.com)
- ‘Return of the Jedi’: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy Finale (news.moviefone.com)
- Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Behind The Scenes Photos (resourcemagonline.com)
- EDITORIAL: Making A Successful STAR WARS Movie (comicbookmovie.com)
- ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ and ‘Avatar 2′ Will Both Start Shooting Early 2014 (slashfilm.com)
- The Dark Knight is my generation’s The Empire Strikes Back… Yeah, I said it. (werenotsorry.wordpress.com)
- Star Wars Episode VII What to Expect (thomasfilmblog.wordpress.com)