Another week, another list. This time its sequels. Love them or hate them, there's been some classics. As with all lists, this is very subjective. I'm not suggesting that these are the BEST sequels ever made but they are my FAVOURITE sequels ever made. These are probably all pretty popular choices (well the top 10 anyway... maybe not the near misses) but I think the films that are missing are what may be the biggest surprise. In chronological order:
Aliens (James Cameron, 1986): Cameron ramps up the action, tones down the horror and gives us one of the best fights in movie history. The marines are badass but Ripley outlives the lot of them and gets to deliver the greatest demand ever written.
Evil Dead 2 (Sam Raimi, 1987): Raimi remakes the original overdosing on slapstick, gore, insane camerawork and making the best horror comedy of all time. Bruce Campbell's performance is easily the most physical and funny ever seen in a horror film.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Steven Spielberg, 1989): The best of the bunch; charming, exciting and with Connery at his best. Great stunts and a stroke of writing genius teaming 'Junior' with his old man.
Back to the Future 2 and 3 (Robert Zemeckis, 1989 and 1990): Part 2 is head twisting fun with an imaginative future, a dark turn in an alternate 1985 and a finale that returns to the superior original. Part 3, though the worst of the trilogy, still deserves a mention for an amazing train pushing Delorean climax that is edge-of-the-seat stuff.
Die Hard 2 and 3 (Renny Harlin, 1990 and John McTiernan, 1995): How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice? Not sure but I'm glad it did as the airport set 'Die Harder' has some truly brilliant scenes. Ejecting out of grenade-filled exploding plane. Fighting on wing of taking off plane. Bruce killing the frikkin T-1000. It's all here. 'With a Vengance' is cleverer and pairs Willis with none other than Samuel L. Mother F**king Jackson for excellent buddy movie banter.
Terminator 2 (James Cameron, 1991): In my humble opinion, the BEST SEQUEL OF ALL TIME. Improves on the already great, original classic. The special effects are eye-popping and the story is filled with set piece after set piece of mind-blowing action. The performances are all round perfect. And Cameron delivers another of the greatest action heroines ever in the buffed up, semi-psycho Sarah Connor. The T-1000 in truck vs 10 yr old John Connor on little motorbike is the best action scene ever!
Lord of the Rings 2 and 3 (Peter Jackson, 2002 and 2003): The 'Fellowship' was stunning but this is where the story really steps up a gear. Gollum shows up, Gandalf returns, the armies of Mordor advance and the fellowship is spilt. The final part of the trilogy brings it all together for epic battle after epic battle and a hugely emotional journey for Sam, Frodo and Gollum.
The Matrix Reloaded (The Wachowski Brothers, 2003): Overdoses on special effects in parts but the action is still incredible from the 'burly brawl' (Neo vs endless Agent Smiths) to the freeway mayhem and with the incomprehensible ramblings of the Architect, leaves the audience clueless about where the trilogy closer is heading. Unfortunately 'Revolutions' lost the plot.
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008): Batman Begins brilliantly explained Bruce Wayne's turn to the 'dark' side. Backstory taken care of, The Dark Knight explodes with chaos thanks to Ledger's wild card Joker and the increasing strain on all Gothams do-gooders (Wayne, Dent, Gordon) that guarantees this is a comic book movie that is unlikely to have a happy ending.
Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010): Toy Story is genius. Many say the second improved on it. But for me the second one was too soppy and sing-songy. But the trilogy closer goes dark with real menace, a horrible bastard of a villain, and an emotional and tense climax that is apocalyptic, terrifying and at the same time absolutely beautiful.
And here's the 5 that just missed out:
Ghostbusters 2 (Ivan Reitman, 1989): Funny but also bloody terrifying!
Child's Play 2 (John Lafia, 1990): Chucky's back and malicious as ever!
American Pie 2 (J. B. Rogers, 2001): Very funny but also very sweet!
Jurassic Park 3 (Joe Johnston, 2001): Flying dinosaurs!
Austin Powers in Goldmember (Jay Roach, 2002): Cruise, Paltrow, Spacey, Spielberg.
What no Empire Strikes Back? No Godfather? No... sorry. Am I mad? Blasphemous? Joking? Does this list make you want to hurt me? Get in touch and vent your spleen!
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