Franchises are big money these days, with multiple sequels, spin-offs and loose linked cinematic universes being the mainstay of cinema, seen as relatively risk averse by studio executives, compared to the unknown new and fresh IP’s we rarely see. Here we discuss five sequels that were better than the previous films in their respective franchises…
One of the more recent and obvious entries on the list of five sequels that were better than the previous, the less said about the first two Wolverine solo films the better, with neither setting the world alight with any creative value whatsoever. In Hugh Jackman’s last outing as the titular character, we finally got what audiences had been clamoring for since the first X-Men film back in 2000 – an R-Rated, gore-filled masterpiece showcasing the best parts of Logan’s character.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Whether it’s the fantastic performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker, the story’s relatively fast and tight pace, the action sequences, or the overall package, The Dark Knight is better in every way compared to its predecessor Batman Begins, which in itself is a damn good Batman film. The Dark Knight Rises definitely doesn’t continue the trend, and it begs the question if Ledger hadn’t sadly passed, how different and potentially how much better could the third entry have been?
James Cameron was drafted in to find an angle for a sequel to the fantastic first film in what is now one of the biggest franchises in cinema. Changing from a strict horror thriller to action horror, he doubled down on everything the original was known for, from the number of aliens on screen, to Ripley saving the day multiple times. Alien is good, but Aliens is better.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Another James Cameron entry, this time following on from his own first film in the series. Unlike the first film, he decided to bring back Arnie as the good guy this time and ramped up the action and consequences tenfold. Endlessly quotable and with a surprisingly somber ending, this is the last time the Terminator series was genuinely good throughout.
The Godfather Part II (1974)
The most famous entry in the list of five sequels that were better than the previous in the franchise, it continues the story of the Corleone family, this time following Michael as he tries to expand the family’s control and power. Unfortunately for this series, the third installment is well regarded as one of the worst sequels in cinematic history, so whilst this is better than the first, the third is far worse than the first two by some margin.
What film or films would have made your own list of five sequels that were better than the previous?