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DAR Films: 8 Sequels Better Than The Original


By @TrueGodImmortal


When we look back at the film world and their ability to draw audiences in, one thing they manage to do is keep the fans wanting more. Sometimes, that materializes in the form of a sequel, or multiple follow-up films. There are a few occasions where the follow-up film turns out to be better than the original and today, that's what we are here to discuss. I wanted to look at 8 instances where the second film outperforms and is just downright better than the first. Let's take a look at 8 sequels that were better than the original.

*The Godfather II (1974)


-I decided to start this off with this legendary sequel. I hadn't really watched any of The Godfather movies coming up and there is a deeper reason to that than I really would want to go into. I'll just say this much: I watched films with similar style plot points (but less mob related and more street related), but were more geared to me and the people that looked like me. As I got older, I remember hearing about these movies so much and not too long ago, someone suggested I watch it. I watched the first two movies in pieces, and I enjoyed them, but for me, the second stuck out more. The story and the pacing just worked better, and I could see why so many said the sequel was better. It's close, but The Godfather 2 was slightly better than the iconic first, making this perhaps the best one-two film punch ever.

*Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)


-While it is hard to really consider these films to be true sequels, the fact remains that Captain America saw the biggest significant jump in quality from the first to second film in his series. While The First Avenger was solid, it dragged on a little bit and just didn't grab the attention of many like perhaps it should have. That would change with The Winter Soldier. With Hydra, the return of Bucky Barnes, the believed death of Nick Fury, and so much more, this film has everything you could want. It shows a conflicted Captain America, a corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D., and some of the best action sequences ever. Plus, anytime you get to watch Robert Redford play a villain who meets a tragic end, you can never go wrong. To be honest, The Winter Soldier might still be my personal favorite MCU film (well, Black Panther and GOTG are knocking on the door).

*Batman Returns (1992)


-When we look at the Batman series over the years, there are two instances where the sequel was better than the original. While I personally loved the first Batman from 1989 with Jack Nicholson as the Joker, there is something darker and graver about this sequel than any other movie in the Batman lineage. It isn't quite as lighthearted as some of the other films in the series have been (there was a playful nature about the films that followed), and the villains are absolutely amazing. Whether Catwoman, Penguin, or even the dastardly intentioned Max Shreck, each story that featured a villain is beautiful in a way. Batman Returns is weird, dark, ambitious, and downright insane and aside from The Dark Knight, it's the greatest Batman work ever.

*Toy Story 2 (1999)


-I love the first Toy Story. It's my personal favorite of the series. However, I can admit that the second one is just executed much better. The second installment in the series builds upon the stories with the characters, gives new life to the world, and actually manages to provide some emotional moments for the moviegoers. I revisited Toy Story 2 recently and it is better than I remembered it being, which is honestly a testament to just how good it is. While one could argue the first is a true classic and it is, the second one does exactly what a sequel should, and that's improve upon everything that made the original so special.

*Spiderman 2 (2004) 


-It is often debated about the Spider-Man films and how good they were during this era, but the truth of the matter is, the better of the first trilogy is the second film. The first one was solid and actually pretty enjoyable, but the origin story is always paced differently than the second movie. This is the case with Spiderman 2. It doesn't cram too many stories into one movie and it gives us one of the more complex Spiderman villains in Doc Ock. The film also gives Peter Parker his best story, and expands on what we loved about the first film. Unfortunately, all the wisdom that made the second film so good went out of the door with the third film so this trilogy isn't remembered as fondly as it should be. Still, the second is the best film in the series.

*Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)


-I am not a true Star Wars fan like that. In fact, I missed all the movies as a kid and I haven't seen any of the new ones minus The Force Awakens. While Star Wars has never been my thing, prior to The Force Awakens, some friends thought it would be a good idea to attempt to binge watch the previous movies before that one released. As a result, the movies I missed as a kid, I would watch then. I'll be honest: I wasn't that fond of the New Hope and while Return Of The Jedi was solid in its own right, there is no better film in the Star Wars series than The Empire Strikes Back IMO. It took a darker turn than the first one, and that was a much needed direction change that elevated this film.

*Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


-At one point, Arnold was on top of the world. As an action star, he was one of the most recognizable figures and biggest box office draws. When the sequel to his hit movie The Terminator dropped, audiences flocked to see it and with good reason. I saw this movie as a kid and I loved it, mostly just for the action, but honestly, what made it so great was how the story came full circle in a way. The Terminator was the bad guy in the first film and in this one, he is now a hero. His role in this film is a different one than the first and the way his path plays out is excellent. Add to that the crazy action and special effects that were great for the time and T2 surpasses the first in every way honestly.

*The Dark Knight (2008)


-Batman Begins was a very good movie. It was fun. It was a very solid story. However, much like the first Batman series, the second film exceeds the first. Christopher Nolan is a wonderful director and simply put, The Dark Knight benefits from one thing here that puts it above everything else in the Batman film world: Heath Ledger as the Joker. I hadn't seen a performance quite as special as his Joker and the thing that elevated this performance was that it felt about as honest and raw as any villain performance. You begin to feel and understand why The Joker does what he does, and as sadistic as his thoughts may be, there was a method to his strange madness. This film resonated at the time because the thought of terror on the world was prevalent and sadly, it still applies today. The Dark Knight is the greatest Batman film, and is clearly the superior film of the Nolan trilogy.

-True

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