The Huntsman: Winter’s War had its UK release this week and fortunately it was much better than Snow White and the Huntsman (if you want to know exactly how much better, then you can read our review here).
Sequels are almost universally terrible which is why it’s exciting when a film like The Huntsman: Winter’s War comes out and is better than its original. Obviously there are some truly awful sequels (Spiderman 3, The Hangover 2, Grease 2) but let’s look back at the times that sequels got it right.
1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Marvel has the Midas touch – they just seem to keep coming out with better content. Not all of their superhero sequels have been amazing but nobody can doubt the brilliance of the First Avenger’s second solo film. This film was more intelligent than all of its MCU predecessors. The Russo brothers directed it and will also be directing the third Captain America film which comes out later this month: Captain America: Civil War. Let’s hope that they keep it up.
2) Back to the Future Part II
The Back to the Future franchise is a part of cinematic history. Looking at the films individually you could argue that the first is the best but only because the others make no sense without it. Most old films that predict the future are laughable when looking back at them from that very future that they tried to portray but Back to the Future Part II does a pretty good job. Moreover, it maintains the spirit of the first film whilst bringing something new to the table.
3) Toy Story 3
If you say that you didn’t cry watching this film then you’re either a liar or you’re totally heartless. This film came out 15 years after the original but it was still so highly-anticipated which is a testament to people’s faith in Disney. That faith was rewarded as this film became the highest-grossing animated film of all time – to be unseated by Frozen four years later. Pixar didn’t fall into the usual sequel trap of trying to create the same film but “bigger”, instead they recognised that their original audience had grown up and they played on that theme.
4) Despicable Me 2
Sticking with animated films, Despicable Me was an unexpected hit but that then raised the expectations for Despicable Me 2. I distinctly remember falling in love with the minions during this film, then they marketed the hell out of them and forced me to hate the little yellow demons with every fibre of my being but the original sentiment existed. No matter how long ago.
5) Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
I could have chosen any of the Harry Potter films because every single one of them is better than the first one. I love Harry Potter and even though I recognise there are flaws in some of the films, I refuse to acknowledge them. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix just happens to be my favourite.
So, what other sequels were better than the original? Do you agree with the ones that I chose? Let me know in the comments.