16 Sequels that Were Better than the First Movie

How Many Sequels Were Better than the First Movie?

In today's world of studio movie making, let's face it, it's all about franchising. It's all about the sequels. In fact, this weekend we have two sequels hitting theaters in 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2. The first is a comedy sequel and it's receiving great reviews, despite the fact comedies rarely have good sequels. The second has the potential to be one of the biggest movies of the summer and perhaps the biggest animated movie of 2014. Why? Sequels sell and if they're good they sell even more.

That said, last week I started considering the sequels that were actually better than the original film in any given franchise. This isn't a question of what are the best sequels? (I've already made that list.) Instead, what sequels managed to exceed the quality and entertainment of the film(s) that came before them.

In this sense I have a hard time including films from the James Bond franchise, which don't really seem to feel like sequels as much as they are installments, but feel free to disagree and include them in your lists in the comments. I also think a film like Kill Bill: Volume 2 or the films in the Lord of the Rings, Three Colours and The Hobbit trilogies aren't sequels, at least not in the traditional sense. It's sort of like saying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a sequel to Part 1 or the same for Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. Then again, this is just a matter of opinion, feel free to disagree.

My personal little "rules" considered, here are 15 I consider better than the originals in their franchise. The list is in alphabetical order...

THE MOVIE(S): Before Sunset (2004) & Before Midnight (2013)
THE ORIGINAL: Before Sunrise (1995)

Anyone that reads this site knows how much I love Richard Linklater's Before trilogy of films, which makes it a great starting point so I can emphasize this doesn't mean you dislike the first movie in any of the franchises we're discussing here, but simply the sequels out did the first film. In the case of this franchise, both Before Sunset and Before Midnight improved on the original, though if you were to twist my arm, forcing me to pick the one of the three that was undoubtedly my favorite I would have to go with Sunset. That movie came along at a time that just fit right in with my life at that moment. The first two films in this franchise are fantasies of a sort whereas Midnight is more the reality of the situation Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) found themselves in and I love escaping into that fantasy every time I watch these movies.

THE MOVIE: Blade II (2002)
THE ORIGINAL: Blade (1998)

The first Blade is a fun film, but I think Guillermo del Toro knocked it out of the park with the sequel. It still had a little bit of an issue with CGI, just as the first film did, but the practical effects of the Reapers was great in my opinion. Not to mention the story itself found such a comfortable sweet spot in the narrative from the first film and found a way to continue without treading the same territory. For my money this is far and away del Toro's best studio feature, much better than either of the Hellboy movies and certainly better than Pacific Rim.

THE MOVIE: The Bourne Supremacy (2004) & The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
THE ORIGINAL: The Bourne Identity (2002)

I keep on thinking there will come a day when I no longer considering The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum better than Doug Liman's The Bourne Identity, but I don't think that day will come until I step reveling in the fact Marie (Franka Pontente) was killed at the beginning of Supremacy. That single moment, along with Karl Urban as the silent assassin and Paul Greengrass' kinetic, first-person approach to the action that would inspire filmmakers still to this day, including reshaping the James Bond franchise makes the first two Bourne sequels something to behold.

THE MOVIE: The Dark Knight (2005)
THE ORIGINAL: Batman Begins (2008)

If I have anything to be thankful to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for it's the fact they have been successful enough to tone down the "It's not better than The Dark Knight" audience. Yes, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is quite possibly the best superhero movie ever, but as we've seen with Marvel's films and the recent X-Men: Days of Future Past there are other ways to approach a superhero story, something many superhero movies forgot in the wake of The Dark Knight.

I love The Dark Knight, primarily for Heath Ledger's The Joker. This is also the film that took the IMAX cameras and showed filmmakers it wasn't a medium meant only for documentary filmmakers, though I think Brad Bird's use of the format with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is still the only instance where it has been used to similarly great effect.

THE MOVIE: The Godfather, Part II (1974)
THE ORIGINAL: The Godfather (1972)

I think The Godfather, Part II is better than The Godfather, largely because I see it as having all the elements that make The Godfather great plus a whole new layer of excellence. The way Francis Ford Coppola so effortlessly told both the story of a young Vito Corleone as well as the continued rise of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is filmmaking at its finest.

THE MOVIE: Infernal Affairs 2 (2003)
THE ORIGINAL: Infernal Affairs (2002)

There's a reason screenwriter William Monahan largely mined Infernal Affairs 2 when he adapted Alan Mak and Felix Chong's franchise into The Departed... it's quite simply a much better film. In fact, this is the Godfather 2 of the Infernal Affairs franchise, though this is entirely a prequel story, but a great one in a way that doesn't simply tell a story the audience already knows as much as it creates a narrative that's both intriguing and fresh for audiences that enjoyed the original film.

THE MOVIE: Magnum Force (1973)
THE ORIGINAL: Dirty Harry (1971)

Without a doubt, Magnum Force is my favorite film in the Dirty Harry franchise. However, like most of the films on this list, Magnum Force follows a great first film. The difference here is Dirty Harry creates a great character while Magnum Force creates a great villain and, in many sequences, it's a faceless villain as motorcycle police cops become the target of Harry's rage. You could argue Harry's nature and ideals changes from one film in this franchise to the next and that's part of my problem with latter films in the franchise, but as far as this film is concerned it doesn't have many missteps.

  • Ryan

    I agree, T2 is not nearly as exciting and great as the first. The second went on for way too long and lost a lot of the suspense that the first had. And bless you for not listing Aliens because Alien is superior. Anyway, I agree with maybe 85% of this list, maybe 90.

  • Heather

    I personally love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight equally, but I understand why most rate TDK over BB. However, I personally think The Godfather Part I is better than Part II, but I think that's really only me :P

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

      It's not only you :)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ted/ Ted

      I'll second the Godfather being better than part 2 for support, you're not alone!

      I'll also throw in two completely different titles for my list of "better sequels". Hot Shots Part Deux really upped the silliness over the first one. And "For a Few Dollars More" is my favorite of the trilogy. It had great character development, a focused story, and the best music of the trilogy. I know the last part is somewhat heretical, but check out the theme (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtblCZQXRsA&feature=kp), it's crazy good.

  • http://mattrisnes.blogspot.com/ Matt Risnes

    Great article/list Brad! I agree with most, although I will always prefer Star Trek to any if its sequels as it's a brainy actual science fiction film, less interested in entertaining and trading on jokey references to the quirks of the cast. It's special effects trump Star Wars and the glacial pace favorably compares to 2001, which I also love unreservedly. Sure, they spend 20 minutes shuttling around the Enterprise at the beginning, but it really sets the stage to be awed as opposed to simply amused.

    Since I'm a big horror guy, here's a couple horror sequels that deserve cred:

    Tobe Hooper's TCM2 might not outdo his original in terms of artistic purity of vision or intensity, but it is infinitely more clever and enjoyable to watch with layer upon layer of cutting, sardonic commentary of Reagan's 1980's America.

    I love Frankenstein, but Bride of Frankenstein is superior in every way. From the Franz Waxman score replacing the stagy silence of the original to Karloff's expanded take on the monster's humanity to Ernest Thesiger's volcanicaly devilish performance as Dr. Pretorious, this film is overflowing with ideas, creativity and talent in front of and behind the camera.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      "[A]s it's a brainy actual science fiction film" -- I agree with you and it's why it's the one Star Trek film that will continue to improve the older *I* get. When I was younger I don't think I was entirely able to wrap my head around it.

      As for Bride of Frankenstein, you're absolutely right, an oversight on my part, though I'm not sure I'd say I would put it above the original I will definitely add it to the list at the end of the article.

      Oh, and I actually meant to add Wrong Turn 2, which is a vast improvement on the original if we're talking horror.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Owen/ Owen

        I'm so glad to hear people saying positive things about ST: TMP. I have always felt that it's been unfairly maligned over the years, and recently I've started to think that it truly captures the spirit of the original series better than any of the other films in the franchise. A controversial statement, I know, but after recently re-watching the entire original series, it seems to me that TMP is the only film that goes after a sense of exploration and adventure instead of focusing on the action. Yes, most of the other films have better pacing, characterizations, and levels of excitement, but none of them are as "brainy" as TMP. I really respect that even in the wake of Star Wars, Gene Roddenberry used the thought-provoking nature of 2001 as a model for how to bring his franchise to the big screen

    • ClassicWingers

      Regarding your thoughts on ST:TMP.


  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Winchester/ Winchester

    There's a few films there I haven't seen either so I can't comment (the 'Before' films, 'Blade' and 'Blade 2', I've seen 'Dirty Harry' but not to my recollection 'Magnum Force', 'Infernal Affairs' and 'Oldboy'/'Sympathy for Mr Vengeance') on those ones but I have some thoughts on the rest.

    While I admit to not wasting my time or energy on the 'Alien'/'Aliens' question because they're different yet equal in my eyes, I think 'Terminator' has more relentless and pure energy than 'T2' but 'T2' (while also essentially a remake of 'Terminator') adds a whole lot more character depth and emotion to proceedings. It's a bit of crapshoot for me most days, I really like them both. Again there's an element of that in the 'Star Wars'/'Empire' question as well although 'Empire' gets into the characters and the mythos more because not entirely unlike the later X-Films, 'Star Wars' has gotten the set up out of the way and the sequel can just get started.

    I'd agree on the two 'X-Men' films though I still prefer 'X2' as a progression of 'X1' but it's impossible for me nowadays to view 'X1' as anything other than a 90 minute prologue for 'X2' anyway.

    'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' isn't a train wreck but it's all visual effects (fantastic visual effects and set design to be true but still.............nothing actually happens for almost the whole movie it just carries the Roddenberry pretence of being more than it is - which is his attempt to imitate '2001' for some reason and failing) masking a thin to non-existent story. 'Khan' gets down to the characters instead and concentrates on that instead of visuals, which is something the sequels struggled with thereafter even if 'Spock' and 'The Voyage Home' are also favourites. The less said about 'The Final Frontier' the better. 'First Contact' is probably the best of the TNG era films but they all struggled with the problem of being done by TV people basically.

    'The Dark Knight' has always gotten weaker for me anytime I rewatch it so I don't really know how I feel on that one, and for me 'Deathly Hallows' is barely watchable, but I seem to be the minority there.

    I actually sometimes enjoy 'Scream 2' more than 'Scream' sometimes. But aside from that I think in most cases I would agree.

  • robinthemind

    I'd personally add Beverly Hills Cop II to this. I genuinely still like that film a lot.

    Might still be my favourite cop film to this day. I recently rewatched all three and the first two still hold up imo, but I loved Scott made it just that little bit edgier.

    Contrary, 3 was just horrendous to rewatch, liked it as a kid but my god. Also, no Taggert, unacceptable.

  • http://imqwerty.wordpress.com/ Jordan B.

    Love the "these are just facts people.*", followed by the disclaimer "*These are not facts." Overall, solid list, Brad, though I actually find far more entertainment in Transformers than either of its sequels -- I know, I know, I'm wrong.

    I agree with you on the Before films (Midnight may now be my favorite, with Sunset a close second), the Bourne franchise, Star Wars, and Nolan's The Dark Knight. I still have plenty others of these to see -- some original films and some sequels -- but of the ones you didn't mention (or that didn't make your list), I'd place the following on my own:

    The World's End
    Probably a questionable inclusion given that we're talking about a thematic or stylistic trilogy as opposed to a traditional narrative- or character-centric franchise, but Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy is unbelievably entertaining, and despite the slightly lesser reputation the film carries compared to its predecessors (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), The World's End is actually my favorite of the bunch.

    Mission: Impossible 3 & Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
    The first Mission: Impossible film was quite good, the second not so much, but M:I 3 and Ghost Protocol brings the series to new heights (literally) and the series is better off for it.

    Toy Story 3
    The best film in the franchise and my second favorite Pixar film, behind only Up. Toy Story 2 could be mentioned as well but I really love Toy Story, so I think I hold the original in slightly higher regard than its first sequel.

    Both Alien and Aliens are great, two films that are similar but at the same time quite different. My opinion on this one could change tomorrow, but Aliens is the film I prefer if only by a small fraction of a point.

    Three Colours: Red and Three Colours: White
    I know you chose not to include these, but I will, and I find both of Kieslowski's successors to Blue to be better -- White may even be my favorite.

    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
    I'm a fan of National Lampoon's Vacation; it's an easily digestible, well-structured raunchy comedy that brings me back to my pre-teen years, the movies I used to watch (censored) on TV with my brother and later on. However, and maybe it's just because I watch the film at least once a year during the Christmas season, there is a spot in my heart for Christmas Vacation that will likely never be vacated.

    Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    Another film you chose not to include, understandably, but that I will add for numbers sake. All three of Peter Jackson's LOTR films are really good, but Two Towers is my favorite; I love how well pieced together the action scenes are, and though it doesn't do a ton thematically that makes it stand out from the films that became before/after it,

    Shrek 2
    By only a little bit, Shrek 2 edges out its predecessor, a film I had to have watched at least a dozen times the week after I got it on VHS for my birthday. Despite my 10-year-old self's unabashed love for the original, I prefer the variety of characters introduced in the sequel and also just overall like the story a bit better.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Winchester/ Winchester

      Yeah, 'M:I: III' is usually a favourite of mine above the first one, but also for me the only one in the series I don't really like too much is the second one. But I'll admit that's entirely down to me not liking John Woo's direction. The story is no better or worse than the third or fourth films.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Agreed on Christmas Vacation, but very much disagree on Shrek 2. :)

  • DD

    Wow, you enjoyed Wrong Turn 2? Color me surprised. ADORE that movie haha

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Adu/ Adu

    Great article Brad...I pretty much agree with many of your picks.
    Godfather II, as much as a I like it, I still think the first one is better. The whole switching between two timelines took away the fluidity of the movie for me. It's still better than most sequels however.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    Some thoughts:

    Longer franchises like Star Trek and Harry Potter are tougher since their inclusion pretty much necessarily devolves into rankings. So I'll just say I consider Star Trek (2009) and Deathly Hallows the pinnacles of those franchises.

    Before Trilogy: These are such different films, but overall I'd say I preferred Midnight the most, then Sunrise, then Sunset. These are films I really need to own and rewatch, but I guess I'm naively holding out with the hope that Criterion will get their hands on them (unlikely given two different studios and WB's reticence to let Criterion have their titles).

    Bourne Trilogy: These are all so good, and again they're very different films in terms of tone. This series fluctuates so much for me that I can't really say which one I prefer over the others.

    The Dark Knight: It definitely has some plot holes, which have become more apparent as I've rewatched it (they're nowhere near the scale of Rises though). But I'm able to gloss over those just because of how great the film is in terms of tone, style, theme...and it has a pretty decent villain too. This was such a seminal film for me back when it came out too (the summer between my two senior years of college); it's the film I've seen more times in theatres than any other and it just penetrated the zeitgeist in a way no other film I've cared about ever has in my lifetime. Not my favorite film or anything, but easily the best of the three.

    As I wrote above, I prefer The Godfather to the sequel.

    Agree with Brad on X-Men; I think Days of Future Past is easily the best of the three and the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight.

    Alien: I definitely prefer the original.

    Terminator: It's been a long time since I've seen these. I remember preferring Judgment Day but I probably would have a greater appreciation for the slower pace of the first one now than, say, ten years ago.

    Toy Story 3: Definitely the best of the three, though the first two are also classics. Looking back this also turned out to be the last bastion of Pixar's "Golden Age" before they fell off a cliff and started schilling out useless sequels for Mickey (I'm trying to hold out hope for Inside Out though). Among all Pixar movies I consider only Wall-E to be superior. (Side note: 2010 was an absolutely incredible year for film, so much so that a movie like Toy Story 3 ranked 6th on my top ten and it's easily an A+).

    Transformers: These films are all garbage, but the second one is easily the worst of the three. Paradoxically it's also the most entertaining of the three, but only because I was entertained by how utterly terrible and offensive it was.

    The only one I can think that I'd add is The Return of the King, which I think is just a hair or two better than Fellowship. I guess maybe M:I-4 too, though I've only seen the first one once, a long time ago. 4 is definitely better than 2 and 3 though.

  • andyluvsfilms

    Even though I like both films, I do prefer Paradise:Faith over Paradise:Love. The religious storyline is far juicier and the characters have much more to say.

  • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace

    'Superman II' might fit Brad's 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' rule. 'Superman II' was partially shot concurrently with the first. They were conceived and produced simultaneously before either was released, but I love the second extremely better. 'Toy Story 3' deserves to be on the list because it's one of the few sequels to be nominated for Best Picture and be universally agreed to be good. 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' and 'The Godfather, Part 2' stand as the only sequels to actually win the Oscar for Best Picture, but most of us think that Academy's recognition doesn't matter.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Silga/ Silga

    I consider The Dark Knight, Godfather Part II or Bourne Supremacy to be almost as good, but certainly not better than the original films. I rated The Dark Knight and Batman Begins 9/10, but I just find Batman Begins to have a more interesting storyline. I think The Dark Knight is the least of the Nolan Batman films. If it wasn't for one of a kind performance by Heath Ledger, I'd rate it 8/10. After a re-watch, its story just doesn't hold up as good as its predecessor or successor. As for a Godfather, I rated first two parts 10/10, but I tend to think the original had more of a Puzo's style and atmosphere in it. (Yes, I know that Puzo himself wrote screenplays for all three films). Since its release Bourne Supremacy used to be my favorite film of the franchise, but after the most recent re-watch I'm not sure how to separate these films. All three are great and spectacular action films.

    Some sequels that I think were better than the first films:

    1. Before Sunset. Here I agree with Brad. Even if I rated all three films 9/10, my sympathy goes for Sunset. When I watched it for the first time, I just didn't want it to end.
    2. The Dark Knight Rises. I know that I'm not going to be popular with this choice, but I consider The Dark Knight Rises to be the best Batman and best superhero film. Flawless blockbuster and a grandiose spectacle.
    3. Iron Man 2. It's better than the 1st or 3rd because it doesn't take itself to seriously. I'm no fan of Marvel films and in that instance I find some bits of Iron Man 2 as a self-parody of Marvelism.
    4. Desperado. But only because the budget improved by 1000 times and it let Rodriguez make a bigger film. El mariachi is still the best low-budget film I've ever seen.
    5. Fast & Furious 5. Much better than any other film in the series.
    6. Men in Black 3. Now this one is like hundred miles better than the other two. Barry Sonnenfeld outdid himself with the third part. Jemaine Clement played one of the coolest film villains ever - Boris the Animal.
    7. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. This is Guy Ritchie back in form. I didn't enjoy the first film as much as I hoped for and wasn't even looking for a sequel, but I was pleasantly surprised when caught it on blu-ray about a year after its release. Smart and very entertaining film with great supporting performances.
    8. RED 2 is one of the best mindless entertainment films. It is superior to the original mostly because of the storyline. Not much change in other departments though.
    9. Star Trek Into Darkness. First, I don't consider it to be a good film. Tech-wise it is very well made, but most importantly it is a major improvement over the first one which was ridiculously bad. As a huge fan of Star Wars, I want to forget that J.J. Abrams did Star Trek films and just think about his other two great films Super 8 and MI:4.

    Some Films I Considered:

    U.S. Marshals (sequel to The Fugitive), Grumpier Old Men, Get Him to the Greek, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

  • ClassicWingers

    Great article and great choices. (I think you have a typo in your Bourne section, you repeated Bourne Identity twice).

    Have you ever seen the Richard Donner cut of Superman II? This version, in my opinion, fixes a lot of problems in the Lester version and elevates the movie tremendously. I probably have seen Superman II dozens of times when I was a kid. I loved Donner's films.

    I'm sorry that the recent Webb Spider-Man films may have affected your feelings for Raimi's films. I recently saw Spider-Man 1 a few months ago and think it held up well. I absolutely love Spider-Man 1 and 2. The sequel certainly goes to a new level all around.

    I love Star Trek 2, but I'm a big fan of Star Trek: The Motion Picture as well (especially the Director's Cut). In fact, I have trouble deciding which one I like better. I saw TMP in the theatre when it came out. I think you need to appreciate what a jump it was from the TV series to really appreciate it. The Enterprise in dry dock in all it's glory is a spectacle that no one had ever seen. The story of V'ger was quite interesting and something that has never been tackled since ST2 went the action movie route. People that only saw TMP on video, or saw it after the TNG films will probably never have the same experience as seeing the films chronologically. That said, I can understand why people may not like it and think its slow and plodding. I love it though and hope to see the Director's Cut restored in HD.

    I've never been a big fan of the Bourne films. It seems like the same story each time. But the shakey-cam action scenes in Greengrass's sequels really diminishes my enjoyment of the films. I hate shakey-cam in all its forms.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Winchester/ Winchester

      I think I read somehwere once that for some reason the Director's Cut of TMP would need to have the additional effects work and sequences redone for HD as they were not done in 2001/2 with HD in mind. My understanding is that's why the Blu Ray at present is the theatrical cut.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/maja/ maja

    Great article - I agree with most of these although I would also add T2. I'm not actually sure it's a better movie than Terminator but it has more nostalgic value for me.

  • ClassicWingers

    What about Lethal Weapon 2?

    For some reason i was thinking about that movie earlier. I haven't seen it in years, but I seem to recall it was a better and more satisfying film than LW1.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      The Lethal Weapon films are tough, if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be Lethal Weapon 4 based on entertainment factor but those films became more comedies than the action-based movies the first two were, but I really like all of them... damn near equally.

  • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

    Good article, Brad!

    Also, was very happy seeing that you liked The Terminator and Alien over their sequels. Both are ultra atmospheric films that can't really be topped.

    Though I do disagree with your Dawn of the Dead vs. Night of the Living Dead statement, it is what it is, both are pretty freaking great.

  • http://www.custodianfilmcritic.com Tim Martens

    I like The Raid 2 over The Raid. Not to knock The Raid, I just think The Raid 2 took it to a whole different level of film making.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JohnW.Creasy/ John W. Creasy

    How about the opposite side of the spectrum? Biggest drop-off between original and sequel. We already know Number One: Caddyshack to Caddyshack 2. Or, shit, wait, Blues Brothers to Blues Brothers 2?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      If we're going in that direction, strong consideration would have to be given to Last Crusade to Crystal Skull. I'm sure Jedi to Phantom Menace would also be a popular choice, but I don't think the quality of Jedi is quite high enough to consider it the biggest drop off.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

        I think Chinatown to Two Jakes would also warrant strong consideration.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          I've only seen Two Jakes once and hardly remember it, but it was one I remember more for being boring more than bad.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I think we could go all day down that rabbit hole. I think we'd also have to consider expectation vs. result since sequels build the anticipation level to such massive levels.

  • Symeon Walker

    I thought that the second Hunger Games movie exceeded the first one in almost every way.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/chewbaca38/ Baca

    Check out the Declan O' Brien Wrong Turn's. He did 4 and 5. Great stuff if you want pure brutality in a fun way.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I saw Wrong Turn 4 (reviewed it here) but I don't think I ever saw 5.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Owen/ Owen

    Why do you prefer A Fistful of Dollars over For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? They're all great westerns but whenever I watch fistful I can't help but feel like Leone was still trying to figure out his style.

  • Josh McLaughlin

    You've got some good picks, Brad! Well done!

  • http://www.theuncool.com Greg Mariotti

    Great list. I would add Evil Dead 2 to the mix....

  • lattethunder

    I'm baffled by the amount of love Superman II still gets, especially now that so many people bash Man of Steel for its alleged crimes against the character. Man of Steel features a Supes who causes a bunch of damage, endangers the lives of innocent humans, and kills the villain in order to prevent the loss of innocent life. Superman II features a Supes who causes a bunch of damage, turns his back on humanity because he'd rather get laid, kills the villain after stripping him of his powers (I'm guessing, as it's never made clear what happens when Zod and his cohorts fall into the foggy stuff), and takes petty revenge on a jerk. The Donner Cut (which ignores the ending of the first movie, forgetting that the time travel means the missiles were never launched) corrects one of those missteps, but it creates an even bigger one by making the petty revenge on the jerk come AFTER Superman has gone back in time and negated the original act committed by said jerk. Turning Superman into a revenge-seeking douche is a complete rejection of everything the character stands for and represents, far worse than having him fry a madman who is actively trying to commit genocide. Donner's original remains the best representation of the character committed to film, but the sequel is tantamount to pissing on his grave.

  • injustice_s

    Finally! Someone who shares my love of A Fistful of Dollars over The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (though all of the movies in the trilogy are very good).

  • m1

    The sequels superior to the original seem pretty clear at this point so I would actually like to turn things around and list some sequels that were worse than the original.

    1. RED 2-This was a horribly lazy, boring film that was a disappointment after the 2010 original, which I found fun and exciting despite the cliches. The actual story of the film takes 45 painful minutes to actually get started, and the entire cast is phoning it in. Easily one of the worst movies of last summer.

    2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows-I would never highly praise the first movie but it at least had some entertaining action scenes and a solid performance from Jude Law (I thought Downey Jr. was miscast). This second film is a mess of overdone style, frantic plotting, and endless chase scenes. The movie just screams at you for two hours before it finally ends.

    3. Iron Man 2-I don't think I hold the first film in such high esteem as do others, but it and the third film are far better crafted than this one, which merely served as fan service by introducing characters that were not well established at all and reducing previously established supporting characters into tiresome cliches. I still think this is by far the worst MCU film.

    4. Cars 2-Cars is one of the lesser Pixar films but it at least features some engaging characters, funny moments, and scenes that have earned emotion. The sequel, while beautifully animated and fast paced, is an overstuffed, unfocused mess that contains little of the heart of previous Pixar efforts. Brave and Monsters University were vast improvements over it but Pixar's first masterpiece since Toy Story 3 still awaits them.

    5. The Hangover: Part II and The Hangover: Part III-The second film in this franchise is a cynical rehash with barely anything new to offer besides the Thailand setting. But it has much, MUCH more merit than the utterly repulsive third film, which could may well be the worst sequel I've ever seen. The cast is completely unengaging here as all the actors sleepwalk through the boring plot, which eventually becomes saddled with a sense of cloying, unearned sentimentality that had me cringing for the rest of the movie. It's a shame that this happened to a franchise whose first film was actually clever, funny, and interesting. Oh, well.

    6. Ice Age: Continental Drift-I actually think all of the sequels in this franchise could go here but this is the only one of the four films that actively bored me. Only marginally funny with an uninspired storyline lifted from much better movies, this film has me convinced that movie studios are trying to find ways to ruin my childhood.

    7. Spy Kids 4-I try to forget this movie even exists but for some reason I'm not able to. Moving on.

    8. Ocean's Twelve-An incredibly boring film that probably exists solely so that its cast could go on a paid vacation. Thankfully, the third film in this trilogy is a vast improvement and could be the most fun of the series, even though it might not be artistically better than the first.

    9. Anchorman 2-Not that I love the first one but it was pretty funny and entertaining. The sequel, while also funny, is incredibly scattershot and directionless. I know plot isn't always the main priority in a comedy but this was just incredibly messy. It's too long, too.

    10. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2-I liked the first one a lot and while this one was actually quite entertaining, seeing the characters being chased by "food animals" for 90 minutes gets old really fast. Phil Lord and Chris Miller really were the crucial ingredients of the first film, and have proven with 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie that they have an amazing knack for comic timing.

  • Jean Morel

    Before Sunset/Midnight > Sunrise? Debatable

    Blade 2 > Blade? No

    Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum > Identity? No

    The Dark Knight > Batman Begins? ok

    The Godfather 2 > The Godfather? Debatable

    Infernal Affairs 2 > Infernal Affairs? No

    Magnum Force > Dirty Harry? Debatable

    Star Trek 2 & 4 > Star Trek 1? Sure

    Star Trek '09 > Star Trek 1? No

    Empire Strikes Back > A New Hope? Debatable

    X2 > X-Men? Yeah, sure

  • mposters

    no duh these are not facts they are a bad opinion in most cases

  • NRD1138

    I think Bourne Supremacy is an epileptic's worst nightmare. While an interesting story I find the 'frenetic' pace of the second movie tedious at best. It was better for the 3rd movie, but I think directors over-use shaking cameras and fast cuts and this movie is a prime example of it.

  • SnapIntoASlimJim

    Absolutely spot on about Infernal Affairs 2! I am very happy to see someone else give Infernal Affairs 2 the recognition that it so richly deserves!

    Not only is it superior to the first Infernal Affairs in about every way, not only is it one of the best mob/crime films in years but sadly it is highly and tragically overlooked. This is all due to the fact that Hollywood remade the first one so people only look towards that one instead of moving ahead to the second film. Hopefully with this exposure more people will seek it out and experience this great film for themselves. The performances are all stellar, the script is multi layered and so compelling and the direction matures greatly compared to the first film which I believe is due to co-director Alan Mak probably gaining more control in the direction of the movie over the other co-director Andrew Lau who really isn't that great.

    Everyone out there, make sure you get the UK Tartan DVD release as it is still, as of this writing, the editions with the best English subtitle translation for all 3 Infernal Affairs movies. Avoid the Miramax edition at all cost which was for the North American releases and some European countries. The Miramax version, thanks to the human piece of filth known as Harvey Wenstein, has highly inaccurate English subtitles that were purposely made up rather than actually being a translation of the dialog.

    With that all being said, to the author: I wish you would've used another cover for it. Please consider replacing that cover of Infernal Affairs 2 with another? That one is so god awful.

  • offworld_colony

    Oldboy isn't a sequel to Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.

  • PeopleofSmiley

    Transformers? ALL of them sucked!