Top 10 Movie Sequels That Were Better Than The Original
Trivia Top 10 Movie Sequels That Were Better Than The Original

RELATED VIDEOS

Share

Top 10 Movie Sequels That Were Better Than The Original

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Fred Humphries

It's never easy to recapture what made a movie good – let alone improve upon it – but these follow-ups did exactly that. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 movie sequels that were better than the original. For this list, we cast our eye over film sequels that are excellent in their own right, but that are also widely considered to have been an improvement on their predecessors.

Special thanks to our users Jarred brunston and benderman0123 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by Fred Humphries

Top 10 Movie Sequels That Were Better Than The Original


It’s never easy to recapture what made a movie good – let alone improve upon it – but these follow-ups did exactly that. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie sequels that were better than the original.

For this list, we cast our eye over film sequels that are excellent in their own right, but that are also widely considered to have been an improvement on their predecessors. The greater the gap in quality between the original and the sequel, the higher it will rank on this list.

#10: “Spider-Man 2” (2004)

This acclaimed superhero film isn’t burdened by the need to tell an origin story, allowing it the opportunity to delve further into thecharacters we met in the first film. What’s more, we’re introduced to Doctor Octopus, a wonderfully insane evil genius who is brought to life by a fantastic Alfred Molina performance and Oscar-winning special effects. With a more sinister and captivating villain, bettercinematography, and more compelling action sequences overall, it’s clear that this sequel greatly improves upon the original. Emo Peter Parker may be incredibly meme-worthy, but it’s no match for the second film’s exceptional action.

#9: “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

Even though “A New Hope” received higher praise upon initial release, the second film in the original space opera trilogy has come to be accepted as the best one of the series over time. Its aesthetics, complex characters, and iconic dialogue set the standard for an entire generation of filmmakers, and the story is more intriguing than almost any other movie at the time. It’s one of the highest-grossing films ever, and is a memorable picture for many reasons, including the unforgettable twist in its final act. We’re pretty sure you know what we’re talking about, and that’s because this film is simply inescapable.

#8: “Aliens” (1986)

The unlucky Ripley has to fight the Xenomorphs once more in this action heavy follow-up to Ridley Scott’s acclaimed sci-fi horror flick. There are more aliens, more guns, more classic one-liners, and somehow, even more intensity than the first film. It must have been incredibly difficult to improve upon a movie that’s considered a cinematic masterpiece; yet James Cameron manages to takethe greatest elements from the first film, enhances them and turns the result into one of the best action movie of the 1980s.

#7: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

“Batman Begins” establishes the dark tone that defined Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, but its sequel perfects the recipe. Add in a legendary performance by Heath Ledger, and you have the makings of one of the best comic book films of all-time. “TDK” even transcends the superhero genre and is considered a magnificent crime thriller in its own right. The action sequences are mostly created with practical effects, making for a sense of realism that no other movie of its kind has yet been able to emulate.

#6: “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982)

One of the greatest challenges any “Star Trek” filmmaker will face is pleasing the devoted followers of the franchise. While the first film adaptation received mixed reviews, it was enough of a hit to warrant a sequel, restoring the faith of the fans with a successful filmthat pretty much saved the whole series. The story in “Wrath of Khan” is incredibly strong, epic even, as it brilliantly brings back theiconic characters and a memorable foe from the original TV series. There was a lot of pressure to right the wrongs of the previous attempt, but it does that and much more.

#5: “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn” (1987)

The first two entries in the “Evil Dead” franchise are both cult hits, but the second was lucky enough to get a much larger budget. This allowed for even more campiness, better gore, and enhanced special effects. The sequel further transcends the original by adding in a ton of horror comedy that cemented Bruce Campbell’s legendary B-Movie status. Of course, its budget was still small in comparison to other mainstream films, so it manages to retain the sense of a gritty and twisted reality that only low budget movies can achieve.

#4: “X2: X-Men United” (2003)

An already large cast of superheroes gets even bigger, and this sequel has the plot to go with it. “X2” deals with issues that resonate in real life, and that - combined with the refined action and improved performances - makes for a surprisingly grounded comic bookmovie. It never gets bogged down by the serious points it addresses, however, as the fight scenes are exceptionally choreographed. And we simply can’t talk about the excellence of this sequel without mentioning the White House Night Crawler scene – which is easily one of the best sequences in the entire “X-Men” franchise.

#3: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)

So many Marvel films sacrifice intimate action for sweeping scenes of mass destruction, but that is not the case in Cap’s second solo film. This movie’s been compared to a Bourne-style thriller where the hero gradually unravels a mystery, filled with a building intensity all along the way. Unlike the first film, there’s a greater emphasis on tight hand-to-hand combat that feels like a much better fit for theleader of the Avengers. There’s also far more personal conflict than in other Marvel movies as The Captain faces off against his best friend, Bucky Barnes.

#2: “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” (1981)

The “Mad Max” series has a pretty simple list of features that make it so good: crazy action, gorgeous cinematography, and a hero anyone can get behind. The sequel to the first movie has all of those elements in abundance, and takes the story beyond the simple detailing of the apocalypse. It is an exciting ride with action that keeps up its intensity for so long it leaves moviegoers satisfyingly exhausted. Plus, it has one of the most exhilarating climaxes ever put on screen.

Before we reveal our top pick let’s take a look at some honorable mentions.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013)

“Before Sunset” (2004)

#1: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

Once again, James Cameron manages to take an already phenomenal picture and improve upon it in every way. The first “Terminator” is essentially a stalking horror flick, but the second becomes more or less a definitive action film. The T-1000 is one ofthe most menacing villains ever and the CGI that created that character revolutionized the special effects industry. The film took home four Academy Awards, which was fitting recognition for a movie that managed to expand upon its predecessor’s story, while also being a triumph in filmmaking. Plus, what other franchise could turn the original villain into the hero, and do it so convincingly? We rest our case.

Do you agree with our list? What sequel do you think topped the original? For more satisfying top 10s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments
Send
Empire Strikes is only number nine? It should be quite a bit higher than that if not number one.
Except for Godfather Part II and Back to the future part II being on the list. Otherwise, your first list was overall better.
I meant Empire Strikes Back by the way. BTW, this list is just a redux of a video you made back in 2013. You did a better job with the list the first time around imo.
What about Desparado? A much better movie over its predecessor El Mariachi.