Leo’s Top 5 Film Sequels

Written by Leo Panasyuk June 04, 2013

There's actually a science to it, believe it or not!

There’s actually a science to it, believe it or not!

These days, movie sequels seem to be a go-to money-making scheme for several Hollywood film studios. With the “Fast and Furious” franchise having just released its sixth entry, sequels are a force that just won’t let up. Yet while making a sequel may seem easy enough because you already have an existing source material to draw from, making a good, if not better sequel is a whole different ball game. Many sequels strive to differentiate themselves from the previous film but only a certain few actually accomplish this, becoming shining examples of the ‘superior sequel.’

5. “Fast Five” (Justin Lin, 2011)

The sequel that (finally?) got rid of physics.

The sequel that (finally?) got rid of physics.

As good as “Fast and Furious 6” was, “Fast Five” is probably the best sequel in the entire Fast and Furious franchise. Think of it as a turbo-charged version of “Ocean’s Eleven.” The usual mechanics that made the franchise what it is are all there but with the new twist of making it a heist film on wheels. As odd as it sounds, it actually worked quite well and what we got was probably the best Fast-film of the entire franchise. Also, there’s a scene where two cars tear a bank vault out of a wall and turn it into a weapon. Yeah – it’s that awesome.

4. “Spider Man 2” (Sam Raimi, 2004)

A better villain and a better story = a better sequel.

A better villain and a better story = a better film.

Sam Raimi’s “Spider Man 2” was not only a great sequel to an already great film, but is lauded as one of the best superhero films of all time! What makes it so great is the fact that we see the mighty web-slinger at his darkest hour as he faces the reality that the love of his life is going to marry another man and that his powers are beginning to dwindle. The sheer drama backed up by fantastic acting by Tobey Maguire and Alfred Molina, who plays Doc-Ock, an emotionally and psychologically damaged doctor out for Spidey’s blood, makes for a truly remarkable story and an overall amazing film.

3. “Skyfall” (Sam Mendes, 2012)

Undoubtedly the best of the Craig Bond's.

Undoubtedly the best of the Craig Bond’s.

“Skyfall” more or less dominated my Facebook news feed from the day its first trailer was released to the day of its actual theatrical release. After a less than impressive outing with 2008’s “Quantum of Solace,” the next chapter in the Bond franchise more than made up for QoS’s shortcomings by providing a richer and more realized story. Bond is a broken and disillusioned agent at the film’s start and must work his way back up to where he was and to see the fearless 007 at such a low point gives him a much more human feel. That, along with thrilling action and outstanding performances by Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes makes “Skyfall” my absolute favourite Bond film.

2. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (James Cameron, 1991)

He said he'd be back... he wasn't lying.

He said he’d be back… he wasn’t lying.

I’ve always found it difficult to say which of the first two “Terminator” films is my favourite. But almost every time I decide on “Terminator 2.” It has everything that makes a great sequel: better action, a better (if not a little familiar) story, a more terrifying villain and just more Arnie which is always a good thing, right? This really was the film to set a new standard for action films and under Cameron’s masterful direction has become immortalized as one of cinema’s greatest (action) films ever.

1. “The Dark Knight” (Christopher Nolan, 2008)

A truly immortal performance.

A truly immortal performance by Heath Ledger.

When I think of great sequels, my mind always jumps to “The Dark Knight.” Far from the comic book movie it appears as, this brilliant gem of a film is about more than just about a wealthy playboy who dresses up like a bat and beats criminals senseless in the dark hours of the night. In fact, it’s actually a story about escalation, sacrifice, corruption and terrorism. The film also gives Batman his most complex, psychotic and memorable adversary ever: the Joker, who is portrayed brilliantly by Heath Ledger. My absolute favourite scene of the entire film to showcase the Joker’s madness is when he burns a giant pile of money, essentially proving how little he cares for it and how Gotham “deserves a better class of criminal.” Brilliant acting, action and story make this film my all-time favourite sequel.

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About Leo Panasyuk

A fan of all things film, Leo never really lets himself get tied down to one specific genre. He's always interested in watching new and old films and especially loves the IMAX format. When he's not choosing which movie to watch next, he's studying Film and English at Western University.

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