Launching a film franchise has to be one of the most daunting tasks one can undergo in the movie industry. After Marvel finally had the success they craved in the motion picture world, everyone wanted to start their own cinematic universe. In most cases these movies come out with a strong foundation being laid with the first movie in a franchise, however that is not always the case. From time to time we see a sequel out preform its predecessor in many ways. When you hear someone say, “the original is always the best”, send them our way. We have put together a list of 5 times this has been the case for movies we love.
The Dark Knight
Batman is one of those stories that will outlive all of us. We have seen almost as many Bruce Wayne’s as we have seen American Presidents, good and bad. Most fans of the series will always say their favorite Batman was the one of their childhood, however one movie defies that logic. The movie I’m referring to of course, is The Dark Knight. Everyone was taken by surprise with the second film in the Nolan trilogy being so amazing. The big shocker of this film was the unforgettable performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker. A villain can either make or break a Hollywood movie depending on the direction the actor takes. Luckily in this film Ledger takes the Joker in an all new direction that explodes on the screen from the moment the film starts.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
One of the most quoted franchises in the world, Terminator has been a staple in action and science fiction movies since the release of the first film in 1984. Just because a sequel is better than the original does not always mean that the original is not a good movie, because Terminator was a great movie (all be it had some holes in the plot) and really changed the way some people view film. The main twist to this sequel is that we learned to hate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the first film and then director James Cameron does his movie magic in the sequel and suddenly Arnold is the good guy. Not many franchises can pull this off and with such success mind you. Still regarded as one of the greatest action movies every mad, Terminator 2: Judgement day is full of heartfelt moments between mother and son, and son and terminator.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The love of Star Wars transcends generations and will forever live in the hearts of adults and children alike. The most loved of this franchise is The Empire Strikes Back and for many reasons. One of the main reasons of course, and spoilers here, is the major twist when we find out who Darth Vader truly is! It is a moment in film history that people still talk about decades later. Of course, there are other reasons why Empire is the go-to film in the Star Wars universe. Topping these reasons is the fantastic creatures we get to meet through-out the film and the relationships that continue to build along the way. The film starts off with Luke fighting a snow creature known as a Wampa then we get to see Han and Leia kiss and on and on it goes! This is not only a fantastic Star Wars movie, but some consider it to be the best space movie ever made.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
Mad Max is a great Australian film released in the year 1979 that was written and directed by George Miller as a protest against reckless driving. Miller worked in a hospital in the emergency room and while working, got the idea for the film after seeing all of the motorcycle and automobile accident victims. Many of the injuries he witnessed while working made their way into the film. It is a wonderful film with many great scenes, however it is over shadowed by the glory that is Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Making a sequel has got to be a daunting task and when a film marker changes the background to a story, it has to be even more of a challenge. Miller did just that with the sequel to Mad Max by making the entire movie a post-apocalyptic action movie. The gritty change to the scenery is one of the main reasons why this movie took the reins of the franchise and is still regarded as one of the best post-apocalypse movies ever made.
Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan
There is no way we can put together a list with a Star Wars film on it and not mention Star Trek. Wrath of Khan came out in 1982 and instantly become one of the best entries into the Trek universe. The first film did not live up to critic’s standards so the originator, Gene Roddenberry was forced to leave the creative process up to another. Nicholas Meyer stepped up to the plate and the rest is history. Most of the cast from the previous movie (Star Trek the Motion Picture) reprised their roles and we were introduced to the character Khan played by Ricardo Montalban. The film opened up to positive reviews from critics and film goers alike and still to this day is regarded as one of the best sequels ever made.
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It goes without saying that this is not a list of ALL the sequels that beat out the original. A few honorable mentions would be Toy Story 3, X2: X-men united, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, Spiderman 2, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and of course we must mention Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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