As excited as we get when we hear about sequels of our favourite movies, we also become sceptical simultaneously. Well, mostly because they often turn out to be shitty. But that is always not the case.
Sometimes, they just outshine their predecessors.
1. Spider-Man 2
Make no mistake, Spider-Man was a good film. It was a game changer for the superhero genre.
But Spider-Man 2 gave us everything we as fans deserved, a good storyline we could be emotionally invested in, a hero conflicted about his powers and a complicated villain. Spider-Man was good but Spider-Man 2 was simply a great film.
2. The Dark Knight
There is nothing I can say about this film that hasn't already been said. From direction to plot lines to morally corrupted heroes and an anarchic villain, this film had it all.
It kept you hooked to your screen as the Joker carried out his plans to prove Batman wrong and Batman comprised everything to make sure that the Joker never truly won.
3. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
Much darker in tone that A New Hope, it brought the Star Wars series to new emotional heights and is yet to be bettered by any movie the franchise released after this. And then there was that plot twist we are still talking about almost 5 decades later.
4. 22 Jump Street
But shit like that only tends to work once, right? Except that it did again. 22 Jump Street was bigger and much, much more ridiculous. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill's chemistry was bloody brilliant and they pulled some of the silliest gags ever seen with such ease!
5. Before Sunset
Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise was a welcome revelation in the early 90s. The simple tale of a young couple meeting on the streets of Vienna and falling in love as they walk across the city.
Before Sunset isn't much different. It's set in Paris 9 years later but with more mature and complicated characters with nuanced and a 'more real' sequel. To help their cause further, actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy also wrote much of their own dialogues.
6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The first film of the franchise was a high school drama compared to this one. This sequel had taken everything from the first movie that made it such a hit and twisted it and made it better.
The biggest plot twist was that Arnold's titular character had become a hero, a surrogate father figure, without whose sacrifice John Connor would have never made it.
7. X2: X- Men United
The X-Men had already established that Bryan Singer wasn't fussing about when it came to taking on socio-political issues. X2 was no different.
Mankind had brought the fight to their home and this meant that the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants fought together as a team. It introduced to us a plethora of characters, all with unique abilities and minds of their own. And it was pure genius.
8. Captain America: Winter Soldier
This is still one of the best superhero movies to have ever been made. Mostly because it's barely a superhero movie. It's an action-packed thriller movie, where the hero's powers are seldom used.
It's rough, gritty, more humane and focusses a lot of the characters and their emotional history rather than investing in an over-achieving arc. And the action sequences are quite possibly the best in any superhero movie ever made.
9. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Having purged itself of the burden of carrying an origin story, Hellboy II: The Golden Army lets itself breathe in the universe it had created.
The conflicts between man and 'monster' still rage on as a forgotten prince of the underworld wants to take over mankind. But the story is such that you feel for the bad guy. You even fall for the nobility of the character, who is trying to reclaim that was rightfully his.
10. Toy Story 2
What simply makes it a better watch is that the gang is finally back together again and CGI is advanced by a good 4 years. It is a brighter, smarter, more confident movie that got almost-unanimous critical praise
And while the movie does introduce new characters, it makes the story revolve around the characters we know and love. The characters have matured a bit, given that years have passed, which is a shoutout to the audience it catered to.
11. The Raid 2
While the first film needed the lead to kill is way out of a building, this one makes Rama infiltrate gangs before eventually taking them out, giving the movie a little more scope at developing a compelling emotional story.
12. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Being a hardcore fan of the series, I find myself at a difficult conundrum judging this trilogy. But The Two Towers earns is place in this list by the single virtue of having a more engaging narrative backed up with good storytelling and compelling action sequences.
I mean, you all remember the battle of the two towers, right? The actual battle? It was intense with so much as stake. And even though the film was 3 hours long, you did not want it to end.
13. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban
Technically, this is the third film on the franchise. But hear me out. As brilliant as the first to films were, they were heavily dependant on the books.
But The Prisoner of Azkaban has its own soul and even though it sticks to the story, the narrative changes with accordance to the audience it catered to.
14. Thor: Ragnarok
This is clearly the best movie of the Thor trilogy. Taika Watiti took a bunch of Shakespearian characters from actual mythology and made it into a hippy action comedy. And it bloody worked.
And for fans of the Marvel character, who have always complained about Thor's lack of powers, he gave them a God of Thunder, they will never forget.
Easily the best Wolverine movie of all time, Logan follows our clawed menace into a dystopian future where he is old and dying and is a living myth.
The movie hits you on so many angles that you have no way of an escape. You end up crying and laughing and cheering for the Wolverine as he struggles with old age and an undying desire to rip heads off.
16. Mad Max: Fury Road
The first two films were good. But Fury Road was a masterstroke. The franchise had to reinvent itself in order to cater to an audience that was quite used to dystopian action dramas.
But the movie was surprisingly brutal and comic, which is impressive given that it was based on a very real problem of the shortage of water on a global basis.
17. Batman Returns
The film was all about its villains. The Dark Knight's villains have always been more complicated an interesting as the legend himself and Batman Returns gave us the very best of Penguin and Catwoman, who fit in perfectly in the version of Gotham that Tim Burton had created.
So you see, sequels aren't necessarily bad. And in cases such as above, they are infinitely better.