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Added by MaxL on 8 Sep 2010 09:23

My Top 10 Superior Sequels

Sort by: Showing 10 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 1371 Average listal rating (945 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
It was a toss-up between this and X-Men 2 because, in both cases, the original feels about as long and substantive as a TV episode. But I'd say Mad Max has the edge, not just for its flawlessly realised depiction of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but because it doesn't necessarily require seeing the first movie: it begins with a recap telling you all you need to know about the back-story of the main character and the world at large. Plus it features some of the best action scenes from the 80s, and it is the movie that made Mel Gibson a star in the United States.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 899 Average listal rating (628 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
This is an unusual case, because The Wrath of Khan is not a sequel to the first Star Trek movie, but rather the episode Space Seed from the original TV series. It involves Khan out for revenge on Captain Kirk for his long-ago actions in that episode. It's one of the best tales of revenge ever told, rich in extremely quotable lines and themes of old age and obsession. It's basically Moby Dick in space. I don't think anyone denies that this movie is far superior to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but I think it also surpasses the episode it's based on.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 211 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Paddington 2 (2017)
While the first Paddington movie does capture a lot of what always made the character so appealing, I think it does have one major weak link: the villain. The sequel not only solves that problem, giving us a terrifically fun villain in Hugh Grant and his pivotal treasure hunt, but it continues to prove why we love the eponymous bear so much. As the characters themselves put it, he always looks for the good in people. He's so innocent and eternally optimistic that he's even able to charm an entire prison! :-) This is more like the Paddington movie that I'd been waiting for.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 7262 Average listal rating (5178 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 is one of the best superhero movies I've ever seen. Firstly, it irons over many of the flaws from the first movie: the effects are much better, and there's nowhere near as much melodramatic dialogue. And it simply delivers everything you could ask for. The villain, Doctor Octopus, is amazing, especially in how sympathetic he is. The action scenes are outstanding, particularly the runaway train. And the story may not be too profound, but it still delivers the goods dramatically. Everything about this film is just right on. It's just too bad the third film went on to get it so wrong!
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 803 Average listal rating (601 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 8.5
Until I saw this movie, the first Avengers had steadfastly remained my favourite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, depending on which way you want to look at it, it trumps both Avengers 1 and every other MCU movie! :-) This one had to wrap up twenty-two movies spanning eleven years, and it went out with a huge bang. Not only is it an epic conclusion, but it also finds a way to pay tribute to the entire franchise before it. It's packed with humour, emotion and even some surprising twists, and I couldn't think of a better swan song for Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 3461 Average listal rating (2452 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.4
Aliens (1986)
I almost didn't include this, because it's probably not actually better than Alien. I'd say both films are equally good. But they're very different films, and I find Aliens to be much more inventive and exciting. Whereas Alien is a wonderfully atmospheric horror movie, Aliens is a fantastically intense action movie. The action scenes are frequent but never brainless; they're there to help move the story forward. Although you could argue that the stakes are higher in Alien because the characters aren't armed, Aliens adds a ticking clock that leads to white-knuckle tension in the climax, and by the end you're exhilarated.
MaxL's rating:
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the pinnacle of popcorn entertainment: it's simple but it's great fun. However, Last Crusade easily beats it out for me. It has a much more complicated and interesting story, in which Indy has to rescue his father and then help him to find the Holy Grail. I especially love the father/son relationship: Indy and his father make a hysterical comedic double-act. To top it all off, the action scenes are still some of the best ever shot, especially the tank chase, and the climax involving the brain-teasing death traps is nail-biting stuff. It's an all-around fantastic adventure.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 5379 Average listal rating (3806 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
This is one of those rare sequels that truly tops the original on every front. The first Terminator, also directed by James Cameron, was a much bleaker, lower-key movie about a normal woman targeted for termination by a time-travelling robot. The sequel repeats this premise, but with a few twists. It's a bigger, more intricate and much more exciting movie. The plot is among the most profound in the action genre, actually posing questions about what it means to be human. What is morally permissible to avoid genocide? And it ends on the wonderful idea that the future's unwritten: you can always change it.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 7838 Average listal rating (5654 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 9
Batman Begins is a great movie. Christopher Nolan proved that he was the first Batman director to truly understand the character. But with his follow-up, The Dark Knight, he upped the ante to indescribable heights by creating a movie where the goal of the villain is not to destroy the hero, but to corrupt him. The Joker challenges Batman's way of thinking to prove that all of humanity is only a couple of nudges away from murderous insanity. It's one of the best-reviewed superhero movies of all time, confronting issues like morality, anarchy and personal responsibilities all in one intense, exciting package.
MaxL's rating:
The original Star Wars (no, I'm not going to call it Episode IV โ€“ A New Hope!) is basically a classic adventure story brought into space. Much like Last Crusade did with Raiders, Empire Strikes Back surpasses it by coming up with a much more intriguing story. It's divided into two parallel plotlines: Luke gets much deeper into his Jedi training, while his friends are chased by the Empire. The scope of the movie is just huge, and every single character and location leaves an impression. But what especially sticks in my head is how there's so much blue in the colour scheme, which makes the visual style as a whole most appealing to the eye. It's the best-acted and most emotionally strong of the Star Wars series, and one of the most epic movies ever made.
MaxL's rating:

When are we going to learn, folks, that sequels just can't live up to the hype? Many of them are just half-assed cash-ins made to bank on the original's name, not offering anything new besides maybe copying the original formula and amplifying it. So whenever you hear that a sequel is being made to a movie you really love, the initial euphoria is usually guaranteed to end in either disappointment or anger.
Of course, there are exceptions. Every once in a while, a sequel comes along that's a worthy follow-up. It's not quite as good as the original, but it still continues the story well enough to feel relevant and it's enjoyable in its own right. For example, Back to the Future Part II, The Godfather: Part II, Toy Story 2 โ€“ the list goes on.
But very rarely do we see a sequel that is actually better than the original.
This is my list of ten sequels that I think surpass their predecessors, be they cleverer or just all-around more interesting.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Evil Dead II (1987)
The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Shrek 2 (2004)
X-Men 2 (2003) (which I mention in the list itself)

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