It is not always an easy task to shoot a follow-up movie that is thrilling and worth watching but when a movie sequel turns to be a better hit than the original work, it earns its producers much respect and also take their careers to the next level. Truth is, not every big-screen project deserves a continuation but we also know about great sequels that are far better than their predecessors. These sequels are usually created with freshly inspired directions and are hotly sought-after by hardcore fans. In Hollywood, sequels are fast becoming the go-to when an original project is a smashing success and we’ve compiled for you the best movie sequels that make more sense than the original.
Coming up with a fantastic sequel basically requires the filmmaker to perform better than the film he is copying from or rescue a languishing franchise. Below is a compilation of sequels that are considered better than the original movie.
10 Best Movie Sequels That Make More Sense Than The Original
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban was adapted from a novel of the same title written by J. K. Rowling in 1999. It is the 3rd installment in the Harry Potter franchise, as it is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and is followed by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Directed by renowned Hollywood personality Alfonso Cuarón and produced by Chris Columbus, David Heyman, and Mark Radcliffe, it is regarded as one of the best movie sequels of this generation basically because of the film’s satisfactory performance, including its direction and tone.
Besides taking more liberties with J. K.’s story, Alfonso also unraveled more actions in the film as clearly illustrated in the 1999 novel, spinning a darker tale for people of mature ages. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Both in its special effect and storytelling, Terminator 1 which was produced in 1984 was a masterpiece. But Terminator 2 is widely adjudged as superior to the original work. From its reception to its performance at the box office to other critical elements such as visual effects, the action scenes, and cast, the film is a true representation of science fiction action film and equally holds the record as one of the best sequel movies of all time.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, and Robert Patrick as the main cast, T2: Judgement Day is the 2nd installment in the Terminator film series. It was written by James Cameron and William Wisher and produced and directed by James Cameron.
Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five, the 5th installment in The Fast and the Furious film series, surpassed its immediate predecessor Fast & Furious (2009) to win the highest-grossing film title in the franchise following its release in 2011. From making Fast Five a commercial success that earned over $625 million at the box office, Justin Lin (the director of the film) was also able to come up with a broader “family” by assembling together all the characters from the previous works and creating the “best moments” between Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), a fugitive, professional street racer, and criminal.
Fast Five was written by Chris Morgan and produced by the trio of Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel, and Michael Fottrell.
X2: X-Men United (2003)
Grounded themes, colourful characters, enough action sequences, and a tight plot are some of the elements that make X2: X-Men United stand out from its predecessor. While the X-Men was shot in anamorphic format, X2 was shot in Super 35 motion film format. The film is the 2nd installment in the X-Men franchise and the sequel to X-Men which was released in 2000.
Starring Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Patrick Stewart, James Marsden, Hugh Jackman, Brian Cox, Ian McKellen, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, and Famke Janssen, the plot of X2: X-Men United was inspired by God Loves, Man Kills, a graphic novel by Chris Claremont. The success of the film is reported to have given birth to a subsequent sequel titled, X-Men: The Last Stand in the year 2006.
The Dark Knight (2008)
2005’s Batman Begins, no doubt, is such an amazing and thrilling masterpiece but it’s been generally agreed that its sequel The Dark Knight is absolutely a better project. All the credit goes to Heath Ledger’s outstanding and brilliant performance and the iconic moment in the film which is the tumbler chase. Produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, and Christopher Nolan, the film is based on the DC Comics character Batman and stars Hollywood A-listers Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sir Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, and Aaron Eckhart.
Apart from positive reviews for its improvement on its predecessor, direction, screenplay, visual effects, Ledger’s performance, score, and action, The Dark Night also won some awards in the industry.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road is not just one of the best movie sequels that make more sense than the original, it holds the record as the highest-grossing film in the Mad Max film series, having earned more than $400 million worldwide. It is the fourth installment and an improvement on its predecessor Mad Max (1979) on the following aspects: cinematography, score, direction, screenplay, score, ensemble cast, and action sequences. Interestingly, Fury Road is both a critical and box office hit. It has also won several praises, accolades, and awards in the industry, including 6 Academy Awards from 10 nominations.
Starring A-listers Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, and Abbey Lee, the film chronicles the relationship between Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), as they jointly flee in an armored tanker truck while running from cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), resulting to a lengthy road battle.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Movie director Sam Raimi immediately proceeded to the development Spider-Man 2 shortly after rounding up Spider-Man. While the original film follows Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s (Tobey Maguire) emotional spin from vindictive high school boy to a mature adult, in Spider-Man 2, Parker was able to successfully boost the emotional stakes and also strike the needed balance between laudable special effects and teenage angst.
Spider-Man 2 is believed to be a better film than the original film – many thanks to its richer emotional core, story, performances, darker tone, set pieces, and even better jokes. The film received impressive approval ratings on film review sites and was a hit commercially, grossing $783.8 million from a budget of $200 million. It has also won several awards, including 2 Academy Awards and Saturn Awards. Spider-Man 2 was named one of 2004’s ten best films by the American Film Institute.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
This 2002 epic adventure film is an amazing, dark and excellent sequel that makes its main characters – Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Liv Tyler ( Arwen Undomiel) go through the wringer.
Coming through with special character Treebeard and animated personality Gollum, The Two Towers was able to widen the scope of the writer’s world. With a richer, more developed story, director Peter Jackson pulled through using his expertise in direction while painting the right pictures of each and every character represented in the film. For Gollum, who was already portrayed as a pathetic monster, Peter ended up giving him a circle to shine in which led to him becoming the trilogy’s beating heart. Besides winning several accolades and performing wonderfully at the box office (grossed $926 million from $94 million), the film is critically acclaimed as well.
Logan was created as the tenth film in the X-Men franchise and the sequel of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). The film is considered one of the best sequel movies that make more sense than its original because of the improvements it recorded in its emotional depth, screenplay, acting, direction, and its ability to make a brilliant shift from traditional superhero films.
Directed by James Mangold, Logan was inspired by the “visual reference points” of cinema from projects such as Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Shane (1953), The Gauntlet (1977), The Cowboys (1972), The Wrestler (2008), Unforgiven (1992), and Paper Moon (1973). Starring Hollywood stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Merchant, and Dafne Keen, the film is a total success – commercially, critically, and in terms of the number of awards it earned for the actresses and actors that took part in it. While its predecessor, is no doubt, a massive success, Logan, which is the final installment in the Wolverine trilogy is a better film.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a follow-up of the 1979 movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. For many reasons, it is rated a better film than its predecessor. Unlike its antecedent, Khan focused more on building its characters and was more action-oriented than the first Star Trek movie. The film is also praised for the extensive use of computer graphics and electronic images to fasten production of shots.
Featuring themes such as growing old, resurrection, and death, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is based on Gene Roddenberry Star Trek. Starring William Shatner as James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh and George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, the film is both a commercial and critical success.