The idea of a sequel should inspire excitement. Not only does a sequel continue a story that audiences already love, but sequels also have the chance to potentially equal their predecessors’ quality, or even improve on their shortcomings. However, some movies are either so good or bad that no one asks for a sequel.
Some sequels faced initial hesitation and even hostility, but they were so good that they won over their biggest critics and doubters. Others were also so amazing that they surpassed their already iconic predecessors and cemented their own legacies. Certain sequels outright supplanted their series’ previous legendary movies.
10 Creed Gift Rocky Balboa A Worthy Successor
In terms of quality and reception, the rocky movies had an inconsistent ride, but the sixth installment, Rocky Balboa, was regarded as the legendary boxer’s perfect send-off. When it was announced that Rocky would return in the spin-off/sequel series creed, where he trained his old rival’s son, fans were unsurprisingly concerned and angry.
Creed faced astronomical expectations and intense pushback, only for it to emerge as one of the best legacy sequels and sports movies ever made. Adonis Creed’s rise impressed viewers, so when it was announced that it would be expanded into its own series, all rocky fans treated Creed with as much sanction as the original films.
9 Mad Max: Fury Road Single-Handedly Revitalized The Action Movie
the Mad Max movies are regarded as some of the most influential action movies of all time but, to most modern viewers, they’re historical artifacts. Action movies changed so much in the decades after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and Max Rockatansky was all but forgotten, so very few people cared when Fury Road was first announced.
wrasse, Fury Road barely escaped a historically tumultuous production cycle. This would’ve killed any other sequel, but Fury Road became one of the most critically-acclaimed action movies and sequels of all time. Max’s return was universally praised not just for its exhilarating action, but also for reminding the action genre of how things can and should be done.
8 Top Gun: Maverick Shattered Expectations And Records
The thing about Top Gun is that it’s mostly remembered as a bit of fun. Maverick’s time in TOPGUN does have some of the greatest aerial scenes ever filmed, but the movie’s nostalgia was rooted in its comically excessive machismo and unintentional camp. in letter, Top Gun was a beloved relic of the ’80s, and even its biggest fans felt that one was enough.
Despite this ironic legacy, Top Gun was followed up by the serious military drama Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel didn’t just surpass its predecessor’s legendary stunts with even better ones and give Maverick a compellingly tragic arc, but it also became one of the biggest hits of 2022. Maverick is now one of the most financially successful movies of all time.
7 Fast Five Changed The Fast & Furious Movies’ Genre For The Better
As financially successful as the first four Fast And Furious movies were, they weren’t exactly well-regarded. To most people, Dom Toretto and his family’s escapades in the car race circuit were expensive guilty pleasures, not action genre classics. That all changed with fast five, which was a heist movie with muscle cars.
Fast Five retained the franchise’s love of fast cars but exchanged the previous movies’ grounded crime fiction for cartoonishly explosive action. This genre and tonal shift paid off extremely well, and now the fast sequels continually one-up their immediate predecessor in increasingly outlandish ways while consistently earning more than the last movie did.
6 Prey Revived The Long Stagnating Predator Movies
After revolutionizing action movies with the 1987 original and a cult classic sequel, the predator movies fumbled for the better part of 30 years. after predator 2, the Predator’s movies ranged from mediocre to poorly-received. The Predator was as regarded as the franchise’s unceremonious ending. Thankfully, prey reversed this death sentence.
prey had everything going against it, including unrealistically high expectations and a streaming-only release. Despite these hurdles, the 1700s-era prequel turned out to be the Predator’s best hunt since the original movie. Some fans and critics even argue that prey surpassed the classic predator, and the visceral prequel earned this high praise.
5 Toy Story 4 Cool Woody And Buzz Lightyear An Emotional Send-Off
as far as Toy Story fans were concerned, Woody, Buzz, and the other toys’ stories ended perfectly with Toy Story 3. The mere announcement of a fourth movie actually angered fans since they felt that a sequel would undo the emotional impact of Andy passing his childhood toys to Bonnie. instead, Toy Story 4 was the series’ perfect epilogue.
Fans thought Toy Story 4 would be a cheap nostalgic cash-in, only for it to be an emotionally resonant movie about letting go and a fitting farewell to Woody and the old gang. the Toy Story movies’ age coincided with that of fans, which made the finale’s themes of moving on hit a lot harder than anyone expected.
4 Mama Mia! Here We Go Again Was A Heartfelt Sequel And Prequel
As an ABBA themed jukebox musical, Mama Mia! was perfect for its fans. A sequel to Sophie’s quirky marriage seemed unnecessary and even ill-advised, especially since it significantly reduced Meryl Streep’s role as Sophie’s mother. It also used ABBA’s lesser-known hits after going through the band’s most iconic songs in the first movie.
Instead of just being a subpar follow up, Here We Go Again was one of the most ambitious movie musicals of recent memory. The sequel was simultaneously a sequel about Sophie’s life and a prequel to Donna’s youth, and it succeeded in everything it set out to do. Depending on who’s asked, Here We Go Again is either on par or above its beloved predecessor.
3 Before Sunset And Before Midnight Made An Already Perfect Love Story Even Better
Even though it’s devoid of the typical conventions and tropes seen in romantic movies, before sunrise is seen by many as one of the best bittersweet love stories committed to film. A sequel ran the risk of watering down Jesse and Celine’s romance but, thankfully, the exact opposite happened with Before Sunsets two late sequels.
Before Sunset and Before Midnight aged alongside Jesse, Celine, and audiences, which made the ensuing drama and love feel mature and earned. Romantic dramas are some of the last movies that need sequels, but Before Sunrise’s sequels complimented the original so well that they create one of the best movie trilogies ever made.
2 T2 Trainspotting Weaponized Nostalgia Like Never Before
Trainspotting is one of the last movies anyone expected to have a sequel, let alone need one. Mark Renton moving on from his addiction and disenchantment was the perfect way to end the 1996 movie, and his return would only undo his growth as a person. If it turns out, that’s exactly what T2 aimed to do, as Renton and friends regressed onscreen.
There was nothing to celebrate in T2s nostalgia and reminiscing. T2 explicitly grappled with Renton and his friends’ failures in middle age, and this surprised viewers in the best ways possible. T2 came out at a time when legacy sequels were popular. Unlike most other follow ups, T2 had a tragically sympathetic point to make upon its return.
1 The Godfather: Part II Redefined What A Sequel Can And Should Be
Given its current glowing legacy and impact on cinema, it may be hard to remember a time when The Godfather: Part II inspired more doubt than adulation. The second part of Micheal Corleone’s descent into power came out when high-profile sequels were practically non-existent and even looked down upon as artless cash-ins.
Part II didn’t just surpass the already legendary the godfather, but it revolutionized the cinematic sequel as well. Instead of just bringing back Michael, Part II paralleled his story with his father’s own time in the underworld. without Part II, sequels wouldn’t get as much credit and respect as they do today.
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