I count myself among the number of people who hates the unoriginality of mass-produced Hollywood films. Any more, movies are made only if they’re guaranteed to make a massive profit; thus we have a plethora of explosive Michael Bay stuff, predictable chick-flick romances, unfunny/easy to make comedies, and way too many unnecessary SEQUELS. Why not continue a story that the consumers already love? Why not beat the horse until it’s dead?
But sometimes … just sometimes … a pretty good sequel comes out. These sequels give homage and build upon beloved stories rather than just push the original one into the ground.
Now, I’m not counting sequels that are built upon a giant, fan-loved book series. It’s usually guaranteed that a book sequel is going to be pretty good (if the first one was any decent). So, sorry, not counting Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or any of that stuff.
Without any more ado, here are five of my favorite movie sequels.
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Back to the Future II
I really enjoyed Back to the Future II; it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, but I’ll never forget that it was able to catch the spirit of the first Back to the Future. Yes, Marty and Doc Brown still jump back in time and forward in time again, but this film is a lot more complicated than the first. Marty and his girlfriend get to see their kids and their future (in its multiple forms) and end up traveling back in time to the 50s again only to screw up the present. I kept all the humor and the suspense of the first one, while managing to stay its own film. And the DeLorean can fly in this one, so that’s always a plus.
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For some reason Shrek always comes into my life over and over again. This movie, Shrek II, was an absolute riot; it was able to stay as funny (if not funnier) than the first Shrek. It gained new, wonderful characters – Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother, the King and Queen of Far Far Away, and of course, Puss in Boots. It’s crass, it’s silly, it’s builds upon Shrek and Fiona’s romance (human Shrek is a lot more attractive, really) … it really all comes together nicely, especially with the climatic scene alluding to Godzilla while the Fairy Godmother sings “I Need a Hero.”
While Shrek II was probably the perfect sequel, we’re not going to mention any of the other Shreks. I’d rather forget about those, actually. (Side note; did you know they’re making another one?! Why?!)
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Granted I’ve only seen this series once, but the Godfather II is probably my favorite of the trilogy. While the beloved Corleone mobsters wreak havoc in the first Godfather, the sequel shows the beginnings of Vito Corleone’s life in America (which are some of my favorite parts of the film), and also Michael Corleone expand the family business. In this movie, a lot happens in the few hours of screen time, and it’s a whirlwind. Critically acclaimed and the winner of six Academy Awards, this is one sequel you don’t want to miss.
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The Dark Knight
I think I’m probably a part of the minority who think that Batman Begins is better than The Dark Knight, but this Batman sequel has to be one of the best superhero movies ever created. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker aside, this film has a lot of content; I always forget how much is packed into this thing. There’s more than one bad guy, a lot of brooding Bruce Wayne, and several twists and turns. It’s dark, it’s action-packed, and the ending leaves you thinking long after the credits roll. Christopher Nolan sure knows how to make a movie, sequel or not.
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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
While nothing can stand up to Raiders of the Lost Ark, this third Indiana Jones movie gives it a pretty good run for its money. It’s kind of strange to think about now, but I think this was the first one of the three that I saw – I had to have been in like third grade or something (my parents must have thought that melting faces and the ripping out of hearts would be too much for me). But this third installment of Indy’s is unforgettable; as he and his father search for the Holy Grail, you can’t help but be swept into the story. Watching all the characters ride into the sunset of the desert is one of the most satisfying endings I’ve ever seen.
What movie sequels do YOU think didn’t suck? Let us know @theMoshery!
Corinne Pachl is a recent graduate from Truman State University whose heart will always lie in the depths of Kansas City, MO. Since studying abroad in Europe, she just wants to travel and eat food from all over the world. Until her next adventure, she aspires to find happiness and understanding in the soundtrack of everyday life.