Monday, August 01, 2016

Sequels Better than the Original

I've been meaning to make this list for a while and it came up again last night. Sequels are usually not better than the original, but sometimes they are. Here's a list ordered by year of the sequel. I'm open to suggestions and criticisms. I'll follow this up with other variations (remakes better than original and series where the best one is one of the later films).

  • 1934 Tarzan and His Mate
  • 1935 Bride of Frankenstein
  • 1963 From Russia With Love
  • 1964 A Shot in the Dark
  • 1974 The Godfather Part II
  • 1978 Dawn of the Dead
  • 1980 The Empire Strikes Back
  • 1981 Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  • 1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • 1987 Evil Dead II
  • 1991 Silence of the Lambs
  • 1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • 1993 The Wrong Trousers
  • 1995 Desperado
  • 1999 Toy Story 2
  • 2003 Oldboy
  • 2003 X-Men 2
  • 2004 Spider-Man 2
  • 2008 The Dark Knight
  • 2013 Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier

These are arguably better (well I've seen arguments at least)

  • 1979 Aliens
  • 1980 Superman II
  • 1985 Rambo: First Blood Part II


Dan C. said...

Police Academy 2 deserves to be on this list.

And Bourne Supremacy may be arguable, but I think it deserves mention.

All the (Jim Henson) Muppet movies are flawed masterpieces, but I'd make the case for the Great Muppet Caper being the best of them.

Blue in the Face is the one I should see. (I haven't seen Smoke either, though, so...)

The most important missing title though is (wah-ooh-wah-ohh-wah-ooo Waaaah!) The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Howard said...

So for some I thought I knew the obvious better film (not just my opinion but by concensus), e.g., Empire. When it was too close to call I looked at IMDb ratings and needed a few tenths of a point to qualify as a real difference.

IMDb ratings for Police Academy 1 is 6.7 and for 2 is 5.6. So your belief is not widely shared.

For Bourne the three are rated 7.9, 7.8 and 8.1. I'm not sure how to call it. It's arguable at best.

Movie 7.7
Caper 7.2
Manhattan 6.9
Treasure 6.9
Space 6.2
Muppets 7.1
Wanted 6.4

Smoke 7.4, Blue in the Face 6.7

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was third in the series, but I'll be adding it in later versions.

Ryan said...

Nice list. You got me googling and I found this interesting list -

I don't have anything to add to this list but when you get to remakes, this Ozu fan hopes you include "Good Morning" (way better than "I Was Born, But...")

Howard said...

That list is interesting but sad in two ways. First it's in nominal dollars so it's kind of meaningless. Second, it proves the point that sequels do usually suck, as only a handful of those listed are better than the originals.

Karl said...

It surprised me that Desperado was on the list. The ratings on imdb may reflect the change from low budget to block buster but not necessarily overall quality. Rotten Tomatoes shows it in a different light.

Aliens is also an interesting sequel in that the genre changed between the two, which makes them hard to compare. (I'm not sure if any of the others fall into that category?)

Howard said...

Completely agree on Alien/Aliens and I personally think Alien is a better film, but you're right they are hard to compare, hence the "arguably".

I don't know of another example of a genre change (at least as strongly) as that. Maybe First Blood which I think of more as a thriller compared to Rambo which is a straight up action film (if not superhero one).

I hadn't thought of Desperado on my own but saw it in a list of sequels and remembered El Mariachi (which I liked) and immediately thought, yeah Desperado is better (though perhaps mostly because of Salma Hayek). You're right about RT and I'm suprised by Desperado's low score (I love it). Though Desperado does have a stronger audience score both on RT and IMDb. What does anyone else think?