Sequels

TMP

When i was a kid, I loved Back to the Future and Home Alone and, when I first heard about sequels, I couldn’t believe my luck that there would be more of exactly the same. Home Alone 2, Back to the Future II, and Back to the Future III were predictable in the best way possible with virutally every scene from the first being pretty much recreated in some way in the sequels. As much as I loved the familiairity of sequels in those days, i’ve come to expect a little more. Here are three that aim a little higher than giving us more of the same. Please visit Wandering Through the Shelves to see what sequels some of our favourite bloggers love.

terminator 2

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)– Director james Cameron seemed to realize that Arnold Schwartzenegger, who had starred in several hits in the seven years between Terminator movies, was a tough guy to root against. As imposing a villian he was in Terminator, Arnold is just more fun as a hero in Terminator 2. With those sunglasses, that bike, that jacket and those one-liners, he brings a lot of charisma to the role of a robot. Other improvements include a tougher Sarah Connor (who Linda Hamilton is more than up to the challenge of playing), imaginative effects, and an altogether more epic approach to the story.

before sunset

Before Sunset (2004)– 1995’s Before Sunrise seems like an unlikely beginning to a franchise. It was low-budget and SOtalky. I actually hated it when I first saw it. I found it to be boring and a little pretentious and it started in me a hate-on for Ethan Hawke that has lasted to this day. Nine years later, when Celine and Jesse reunite in Paris, they have matured just as the actors have and are much easier to root for. Their conversations, which seemed so trite to me in the first, are loaded with subtext in the second. They’ve spent nine year wondering what they would say to each other if they saw each other again and the weight of this moment is felt through every minute of this beautiful film.

The Raid 2 (2014)The Raid: Redemption, although awesome, was little more than a brilliantly executed bloodbath. Director Gareth Evans raises the stakes for The Raid 2 with even more carnage and well-choreographed fights but we get so much more. While the first was set almost entirely in a crackhouse with dialogue only when absolutely necessary, the second weaves a much more complex crime story with our hero going undercover in an organized crime syndicate in the middle of a turf war. Some of the best action filmmaking I’ve ever seen.

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30 thoughts on “Sequels

  1. Wendell

    Absolutely love T2 and The Raid 2. Both are absolutely awesome! Haven’t seen any of the Before flicks so I can’t comment on that one. Great picks!

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  2. Brittani

    I haven’t seen your last two, but you can’t go wrong with T2. I need to watch the Before Trilogy. That’s funny you mention being excited about the Home Alone sequel as a kid. So was I. I loved that thing. Now I feel bad for my parents for having to watch that with me so many times.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      I had seen Home Alone 2 with a friend before I saw it with my parents so when I finally did see it with them in the theatre I remember being shocked hey didn’t think it was as amazing as I did. I mean, it’s the same thing all over again. What’s not to love?

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  3. Courtney Small

    I have had a copy of The Raid 2 of sitting on my shelf for a couple of months and I have yet to watch it. This post reminded me that I really need to carve out time for that film. Also, loved the fact that an indie gem like Before Sunset gets mentioned alongside such action heavy material.

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  4. Christopher

    T2 will always stand out in my mind as setting the gold standard for sequels–maybe even the platinum standard. It managed to be hugely entertaining but also philosophically provocative. The future that John Connor’s father knew happened, was real, but now may not happen. The existential questions this raised were challenging and fun to contemplate, and utterly ruined by the whole thing becoming a franchise.

    Now I need to look up The Raid and its sequel. A huge fight scene in the back of a moving car? Sounds like genius to me.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      I know, that would have been the perfect place to end it. That’s why I’ll always love The Dark Knight franchise for knowing when to quit.
      And the fight in the back seat isn’t even the best part! Gotta check out The Raid.

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  5. joelnox

    T2 is a great pick and a worthy followup to The Terminator. I’ve never seen Before Sunset since I didn’t like the first, and I share your hate-on of Hawke, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard the second was an improvement so perhaps I’ve give it a look. I’ve never seen the first Raid so obviously I haven’t seen the sequel either.

    The title I expected to see everywhere today and I haven’t seen at all is my bonus pick. One of the best sequels every I think and such a popular film I’m puzzled that it has been mentioned. Here’s my picks for the week:

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)-When a probe causes havoc throughout the galaxy the crew of the Starship Enterprise return via time travel to the San Francisco of the mid-eighties in search of a pair of humpback whales to repopulate the species and save the universe! Relying on a blend of humor and nostalgia this is one of the best sequels in the series.

    Father’s Little Dividend (1951)-In this sequel to Father of the Bride shortly after the wedding of the first film young bride Elizabeth Taylor announces that she is expecting a baby. Everyone one is delighted except granddad-to-be Spencer Tracy who goes into a tailspin. The gist of the film deals with how he works his way through the panic of impending grandfatherhood.

    Son of the Sheik (1926)-In his last film before his sudden death at 31 Rudolph Valentino plays a dual role of the sheik from the original film that made him a star and his son who falls in love with Egyptian dancing girl Yasmin, Hungarian silent star Vilma Bánky who looks about as Egyptian as your Aunt Tillie from Pomona, who he is led to believe has betrayed him. Much riding through the desert and sword fights follow, an interesting artifact of a bygone era and a chance to see the man who was at the time the biggest star in the world but not much of a film.

    Honorable Mention-Aliens (1986)-In this brilliant kinetic sequel to Alien the recently awakened Ripley, after being in hyper sleep for 57 years, returns to LV-426 with a team of marines when contact with the human colony that has been established is lost. What follows is an action packed fun ride fantastically directed by James Cameron during which Sigourney Weaver could not be tougher and the cast that surrounds her offers terrific support.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      I was about to bring up Aliens when I was talking about Terminator (works for a lot of the same reasons) and I too was surprised not to be reading more about it today.
      The Before series really grows richer and richer as it goes.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      Thanks! The timing’s funny because I just read your own review of The Raid 2 like a week or two ago. I’m always excited when someone mentions the series. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. reocochran

    I liked the home alone movies Watchung with my own kids. I liked the Back to the Future and Indiana jones films. My son and ex-husband loved the Star Wars and other space film sequels. I look forward to the next Pirates film. I watched all the Spider Man ones and enjoyed the two Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr in them 🙂

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