My Favourite Film Sequels
It is pretty much guaranteed these days that if an original film has even a remote amount of success at the box office then a sequel will come along to continue the franchise.
There are numerous examples where these films are nothing more that a regurgitated rehash of the original, but with a poorer, and sometimes not completely different storyline.
As always there are exceptions to the rule. Here, I celebrate in the splendour that is pure film sequel gold. These materpieces do not only stand up in their own right to be downright brilliant, but in some cases actually surpass the original.
Be sure to check out my other infobarrel top ten countdowns from previous decades:
5. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton
In the not to distant future the world is a war-ravaged, apocalyptic nightmare as man battles for his very survival against an army of killer cyborg machines. Only a small pact of humans survive, led by their dynamic leader, John Connor. He is the only man who is a match for the machines and only he can lead the remaining humans to victory against their cyborg overlords.
In a new ploy to finally eradicate the rebel human resistance, the machines have sent an advanced killing cyborg, the T-1000, back in time to kill the adolescent John Conner. The rebels have sent their own machine, a reprogrammed replica of the Terminator model T-800 which dominated the original film to protect the young Connor.
The future of the human race depends on his survival.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day Trailer
4. Back to the Future Part 2
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd
Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly (hello McFly? anyone home?) have to travel to the year 2015 to help stop a series of events that trigger the downfall of the whole McFly family.
Whilst in the future, Marty stumbles across the idea of buying Gray's Sports Almanac. This outlines every major sporting event result until the end of the 20th century, and then using that information to place a few bets when back in 1985. However Biff, now a octegenarian with a walking stick who Marty encountered in the original film, overhears their conversation and travels back in the time machine himself to 1955. Back in 1955, Biff gives the teenage version of himself the Almanac and tells teenage Biff to keep it safe because that one day a "crazy kid" or "wild-eyed scientist" may come looking for it.
With Biff now able to accurately predict every sporting event he soon rakes in more money than Bill Gates and parlays that into his conglomerate Biffco.
It's up to Marty and the Doc to get the timeline back in order and return this alternative history to the past.
Back to the Future Part 2 Trailer
3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
The second instalment in George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy and arguably the best of the entire six movies in the franchise.
Here we do not begin straight after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Luke Skywalker's heroics in his x-wing fighter to destroy Governor Tarkin's Death Star happened some time ago and our heroes from the first film are now an integral part of the rebel alliance. The idea of that victory as a defining moment for the rebellion and their fight against the empire is soon dismissed. The opening titles sequence shows, brilliantly in my opinion, the might and power that the Empire still possesses as the camera sweeps along a Superstar Destroyer deploying probe droids. Their aim is to search the galaxy in the hunt for the rebels secret base.
When one of these Probe Droid lands on the ice world Hoth, where the current Rebel base is located, its destruction by Han Solo soon alerts the Empire. A full-scale land assault commences resulting in the rebels managing a tricky last-minute escape from the Empires grasp.
With the Rebels fleeing, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C3P0 fly the Millenium Falcon into an asteroid field to avoid pursuing Imperial TIE fighters. Meanwhile, Luke, along with R2-D2, head for the swamp planet of Dagobah to meet with a Jedi master and learn the ways of the Force.
Star Wars Episode V:The Empire Strikes Back Trailer
2. The Dark Knight
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine
This is by far the best comic book adaptation that has been converted onto film.
If there were any lasting memories of the camp 1960's Cesar Romero's Joker character languishing in the minds of audiences, they have been irradiated. Gone forever.
Many considered Jack Nicolson's quintessential portrayal of the Joker in the 1989 film as sublime. The benchmark. Where else could the character go? The answer? A lot deeper and a hell of a lot darker.
Heath Ledger is cast in the same mould as Marlon Brando or Daniel Day-Lewis in the way that they completely absorb you in the character and mesmerise the audience.
The Dark Knight begins with Gotham city, not for the first time, on the brink of chaos. Street hoodlums are committing crimes whilst dressed in the guise of clown masks in a bizarre homage to the Joker.
The Joker himself is completely insane, wanting public disorder and mayhem more than the traditional rewards of his organised crimes.
The new district attorney, Harvey Dent, together with wily police officer Jim Gordon, is trying to calm the residents of Gotham but in reality losing the war against the crime cartels.
And finally there's Batman, complete with husky voice and all the toys that only a multi-billionaire cold afford. In the end we all know who wins in Batman versus the Joker but exactly who triumphs in the acting performances? Well that's a no-brainer too.
The Dark Knight Trailer
1. Godfather Part 2
Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall
The second film in Francis Ford Coppola crime masterpiece, Godfather part two continues with the intriguing story of the Corleone family and the darker side of the American Dream.
The film tells the story of the young Vito Corleone, his start in life, subsequent immigration to America and the struggles he has in caring for his family. We are shown New York in the early 1900's with Vito starting out on his life of crime and the formation of the criminal roots that will grip his family for generations to come.
Interspersed with this is Michael's attempts to expand the family business in the 1950s. Now based in Nevada, Michael wants to buy into the Las Vegas and Havana casino industries by any means necessary. With the traditional Corleone negotiating tactics of any means necessary Micheal plans to remove anyone in his way to get what he wants. But in achieving this Michael is in threat of losing the one thing he swore to protect. His own family.