Friday Feature: Ten Sequels That Are Better Than The Original by @destroytheearth

Sequels have a terrible rep; sometimes the merest mention of another instalment is enough to fill us with fear. Ocean's 12, Highlander 2, Blair Witch 2, Basic Instinct 2, Speed 2, it goes on; but have no fear, the second part of a franchise is not always dire! These few shining examples buck the trend and show themselves to be better than the original! Hit the jump and prepare to suspend your disbelief:

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Few things in life can be more incontrovertible than the fact that George Lucas works better as an ideas man who hands the baton to someone else to run to the finish line. With Kasdan and Brackett on scripting duties and Irvin Kershner directing, the film's darker tone brought this out of fairytale territory and into the adult sphere. Still, the film is chock full of great gags - Nerf Herder, "Never tell me the odds", R2's adventures in swamps and so on. Still, there are even more classic moments of the gut-wrenching variety: "No, I am your father", "I know", the asteroid chase, Cloud City, Vader vs Luke, bounty hunters! Can there be any doubt that this is the best Star Wars ever?

Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan

Khan! sound bite

I do have a soft spot for the 2001-inspired jiggery-pokery of the first film; it's awful, but at least it has that epic feel. Still, no-one is immune to the charms of the sequel. This is what Star Trek should be. The films may never have quite achieved this peak again, but this is the benchmark for all future instalments.


Scott's original may be a stone-cold classic, but Aliens is the quintessential sequel. It takes the dangling threads of the original and creates a new,complete story that stands alone. It doesn't retread the ground of the original, but goes in a new, brilliant direction. Cameron makes the "bugs" live, breathe and reproduce. The characters, the dialogue, the action: Alien just pales in comparison.

Scary Movie 2

Okay, so being better than Scary Movie is not exactly an accolade, but I can admit to listing this film as a guilty pleasure. It has its moments; like the above Charlie's Angles scene and the amusing The Fast and The Furious spoof.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The first film managed to capture the more kiddish elements of the book, but the sequel crystallised that darker edge that is intrinsic in Rowling's work. Okay, Dobby was annoying, but this was the Hogwarts we wanted to see.

Meet The Fockers

The first film was just an above-average romantic comedy, but this was something else: Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro on screen all at the same time? Beautiful. Not to mention the film had a heart and something real to say about family that the first lacked.


Singer did a great job with turning the X-Men into something mainstream-friendly, something no-one else has been able to do since. However, with the back stories out of the way, he was able to let loose with the mutant mayhem and do something really impressive. If only he hadn't jumped ship to make a lacklustre Superman film, imagine what X3 would have been like...

Back To The Future: Part II

The makers of the first film didn't really know what they had; they just thought it was a quirky scifi comedy. Its success allowed them to really let loose, both with ideas and with the budget. Marty walking around the future Hill Valley is still one of the best single scenes in cinema ever.

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

Like B2TF, Bill and Ted was a quirky little film that had no clue just how far it could push its premise. With a toe in the water, the awesome twosome could leap confidently into a trip through heaven, hell and ZZ Top beards to end with one of film's most epic, and most insane, endings.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

The first offering was a cheap and nasty scifi b-movie with immense pretensions. The follow up added humour, action and actually followed through on the first film's promises; not to mention that is was perhaps the most advanced-for-its-time effects movies in history. What more could you ask?

I'm sure there are more, including - dare I say it - Godfather II, so go ahead and fire up the comments wall with your suggestions.


  1. TerriblyTwisted09/07/2010, 08:45

    I'd say Toy Story 2 rather then Scary Movie 2.

  2. Yay! Star wars and X2 were on here! my favorite list now! =]