Even the most casual cinema-goer would know that sequels never live up to the original, except that sometimes, just sometimes, they kinda do. On the very rare occasion, second instalments actually do live up to the hype and against all odds, receive critical and commercial success that can surpasses the original. Unfortunately these instances are few and far between, but when they do happen, they blow audiences minds in a big way.
So let’s take a look at some the most famous instances of second films that equalled the original, or in some cases, surpassed them. Kicking things off with a few worthy entries that didn’t quite make the final cut.
Batman Returns (1992)Gremlins 2 (1990)X-Men 2 (2003)10
Evil Dead II (1987)
Whilst its more than a remake than a straight up sequel, Evil Dead II is the perfect example of a filmmaker wanting to outdo themselves the second time round, and boy did director Sam Rami achieve that feat in every conceivable way.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Sure, Night of the Living Dead was an important film for the horror genre, but if you’re going to pick the perfect zombie movie, it’s going to be this ridiculously gruesome, hilarious, action packed genre defining classic.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Not only did Toy Story 2 break the cycle of sub-par straight to video releases that Disney had become accustomed to releasing, it demonstrated to other studios the limitless potential of franchising animated films. (So I guess we have Pixar to thank for the never-ending stream of Ice Age movies).
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Light years ahead of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Khan upped the stakes in every possible way, and gave us one of cinema’s most powerfully emotional endings of all time.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
The first Mad Max is certainly no turkey, but the gulf between the first and second film is almost like going from black & white to colour. The climactic chase scene alone is more of a action packed than the entire first film, and set the benchmark for on screen high octane carnage, until the release of last years Fury Road of course.