Direct-To-TV sequels are generally seen as a downgrade. Many fans see it as a drop in quality and/or production value. But that is not the case with these Direct-To-TV movies. They actually did a good job.
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves
You would be lying if you said that you haven’t seen the absolute gem of a movie that is Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. The disappointing Honey, I Blew Up The Kid left a bad aftertaste in our mouths. But with this movie, the franchise managed to turn things around. Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves takes us back to the basic premise of miniaturised people in an oversized world. And this time, it’s the adults that go through that ordeal. This Direct-To-TV movie also has the honor of being the last live action appearance for Rick Moranis. His awkward and quirky portrayal of Szalinski the genius but clumsy inventor still makes us smile.
Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning
We can all agree that Universal Soldier was the movie that made Jean-Claude Van Damme a global action superstar. The Universal Soldier franchise has hit every corner of the film industry. It has two feature length theatrical releases as well as two Direct-To-TV and Made For TV movies. In the franchises Direct-To-TV revival, the director decided to take things up where the original movie left. Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme returned to play their respective roles. Universal Soldier: day Of Reckoning has since become a benchmark for how Direct-To-TV action movie sequels should be made.
Undisputed II: Last Man Standing
The original Undisputed movie had Wesley Snipes in the lead role. While it still has fans in 2022, the most memorable entry in the franchise will definitely be Undisputed II. This Direct-To-TV sequel managed to rope in the extremely underrated action star – Michael Jai White. The guy was just born in the wrong era because he is the epitome of action stars. He is fit, extremely disciplined, and has the acting chops to back it up. Michael jai White is a force to be reckoned with and he proved that much before he starred in 2009’s Blood & Bone.
Aladdin & The King Of Thieves
The reason the second Aladdin movie – Return Of Jafar, failed was because it missed one key ingredient – Robin Williams. No one does a better job as the genie’s voice than Robin Williams. The actor is known for his voiceover range and has immortalized the role. So when in the second film, The Simpsons’ Dan Castellaneta subbed in for Williams, it did not bode well with the fans. Moreover the second movie was only 69 minutes long. King of Thieves had a runtime of 81 minutes and also featured new and intriguing characters and tropes – the fabled 40 thieves and their leader, who also happens to be Aladdin’s father.
The Matrix sequels are generally looked down upon and will always remember in the shadow of the greatness that was the original movie. Even matrix 4 failed to live up to the hype. The Animatrix on the other hand remains the only extension beyond the original movie that managed to surprise fans with an incredible set of stories. A series of short stories, the Animatrix tells many tales, some happen far into the future while some happen in the past, where humanity was just starting to co-exist with artificial intelligence. This Direct-To-TV sequel hired top tier anime talent from mainland Japan and was the result of years of hard work. The Animatrix is worth every second.
Tremors II: Aftershock
The Tremors franchise may have turned into an abomination of shorts now. But the sequels did not start out that way. Tremors II for example had everything good going on despite the project lacking Kevin Bacon’s enchanting screen presence. But even without Bacon, Fred ward and Michael Gross greatest this Direct-To-TV sequel pretty good (no pun intended). The movie was so engrossing and engaging we would not even have noticed if this low budget sequel had a theatrical release. It was THAT good.