HAMMY’S TOP 10…BEST SEQUELS

Last week, I wrote a list of My Top 10 Worst sequels (click here to check out my list). To balance it out, I thought I’d do a list of My Top 10 Best Sequels! After watching Kingsman: The Golden Circle, I hoped that I’d never see a sequel again. However, Blade Runner 2049 rekindled my hopes and dreams. Yes, it’s as good as the critics say. It would be on this list, but I need to watch it again to fully critique it (my review will be coming up soon, just need time to digest the film!). There are some sequels that improve on the original in significant ways, and some sequels that are just as good as the original. Of course, these sequels are few and far between, as the majority of sequels are mediocre. However, all of the sequels on this list should be watched by Hollywood big wigs when attempting to produce a sequel. It’s not rocket science, is it?

  1. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Horror sequels are usually trash. I can think of a few off the top of my head that are good films (Evil Dead II, Scream 2, one of the other Nightmare on Elm Street films (3?), but most a cheap cash-ins on the original/franchise. I did want to include Evil Dead II on this list, but that’s far too popular for my liking! And it’s just a remake of Evil Dead (I say that in a positive way!). New Nightmare is an atypical horror sequel: it’s ambitious and meta, for starters. In the film, Wes Craven is working on an Elm Street sequel with Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund. However, things become a little meta as Freddy Krueger starts to kill Heather’s friends…It’s not quite as successful in its meta-ness as Craven’s Scream, but it’s a bloody good attempt. The climax is a little too silly, but for the first two acts the mix of meta-commentary and horror is perfect.

(click here for my review)

  1. T2: Trainspotting

Independence Day: Resurgence warned us not to see a sequel that’s released twenty years after the original. T2: Trainspotting warned us against the seduction of nostalgia. Danny Boyle also gave us a cracking film to boot. The original came at a time where things could only get better, a time that’s looked on very fondly by Britain as a whole. How could Boyle and co deliver something as unique and defining as Trainspotting again? The answer: by giving us an exploration of nostalgia that depicts it as a dangerous drug. It’s the sequel we wanted, not the sequel we needed.  It tells us that the past can destroy our future if we dwell on it too much. And that’s a message we all need.

(click here for my review)

  1. Day of the Dead

I always feel sorry for Day of the Dead. The first two film of Romero’s ‘Dead’ series are the most remembered, but for my money Day of the Dead is the best. Perhaps it’s too bleak for most people, even considering the bleakness of ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ Here, humans are the enemy. Few of the characters are likeable. The character I sympathized with the most was Bob, a zombie who was beginning to understand certain things. Romero clearly wants us to be on the side of the zombie here. He’s had enough of humanity, and this is his ‘screw you’ letter to the world. And it’s a brilliant one. Yes, it’s talky, but the conversations actually mean something. They add to the wide-ranging cynicism on display. Oh, and it boasts some of the goriest scenes that Romero’s ever committed to film.

(click here for my review)

  1. The Dark Knight

For many people, this is the peak of the comic book film genre. This is a film for those people who don’t like comic book films (and those that do, so it caters for two audiences). Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’ was the rare example of a reboot justifying its existence; ‘The Dark Knight’ defined its existence. It’s more of a crime drama in the vein of Heat than a typical comic book film (but has its fair share of ludicrous plot points). It’s complex, weighty and depicts moral dilemmas in a city where morals are hard to find. But what we all love about The Dark Knight is Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker. The best villain in film history? Maybe. He proved all the naysayers wrong with a performance that gave us the definitive Joker for our modern times. Without him, The Dark Knight wouldn’t be one of the highest rated comic book film ever. Sometimes, I skip right to The Joker’s scenes…

  1. Spider-Man 2

This is my favourite comic book film. Yes, it may not explore the depths of terrorism like The Dark Knight, but it gave me the perfect version of a comic I loved as a child. Freed of the need to tell an origin story, Spider-Man 2 has Peter Parker battling Doctor Octopus, self-doubt, and the fact that his best friend is in a relationship with the love of his life. Doctor Octopus is one of the great tragic comic book film villains, a man with good intentions turned to evil by his own creation. The film tells its own story while setting up further plot points for the (terrible) sequel to explore, in an example all comic book films should follow. And it boasts some of the best action sequences in a comic book film seen to date.

(click here for my review)

  1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes had no right to be as good as it turned out to be. Sure, it had it’s fair share of flaws, but proved that a reboot/remake can be done right. The sequel gave me one of my favourite films of all time. It’s basically a Shakespearian tragedy with apes doing sign language instead of uttering poetic rhymes. This improves on the original by doing away with all the scientific mumbo jumbo and focusing on the inner politics of the super-evolved apes. Caesar is leader, but close frenemy Koba doesn’t like Caesar’s attitude towards humans. When humans enter ape territory, the ape world begins to crumble from within…The human side of the film may be weak, but Caesar and crew give us a riveting plot. Just give Andy Serkis an Oscar. Now.

  1. Aliens

How do you do a follow up to the best science fiction horror film of all time? Change the horror into war. James Cameron has made two great sequels. This is one of them. Aliens expands on Alien not merely by pluralizing the title, but giving us more characters, more aliens, more explosions, and Ripley in a power loader fighting the Alien Queen. “GET AWAY FROM HER YOU BITCH!” Cameron retains some elements of horror from the original, but ramps up the tension so much that there’ll be nothing left of your fingernails by the end of the film. But it also has a tender heart, in the guise of the ultimate female heroine, Ellen Ripley. She plays mother and (alien) murderer with aplomb.

(click here for my review)

  1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Yes, I bought tickets to see this in 3D when it was released in cinemas in August. When you spend over a tenner to watch a film at the cinema that you’ve watched hundreds of times at home, you know that film is something special. Yes, The Terminator is the superior film, and T2 merely a big budget remake of the original, but it beats any modern day action sci fi film hands down. It’s bigger, louder, contains more explosions, and is longer than its predecessor. So, it’s the typical sequel. However, it never forgets to have a heart, has a terrifying villain in the form of the T-1000, and boasts some of the best action sequences in film history. And I could quote from the film all day long. It has more heart than the typical modern Hollywood blockbuster. Hollywood should study this and Aliens when pumping out their endless sequels.

(click here for my review)

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

What would a list of best sequels be without The Empire Strikes Back? It expands upon the original is ways you wouldn’t even dream of and also turns the original on its head. This isn’t a feel-good, popcorn extravaganza like Star Wars; this is serious, dark and gritty. However, it’s also funnier than its predecessor and has a bigger heart. The love story between Han Solo and Princess Leia is believable, the stakes are high and the ending is pretty, pretty bleak. We also get to meet Yoda and have endless lines to quote from. This is what sequels are supposed to be like. This is the reason why Star Wars is hyped up (well, apart from Disney extracting cash from our wallets). Because we want every Star Wars film (and every film in general) to be as good as this one.

(click here for my review)

Honourable Mentions

28 Weeks Later

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (click here for my review)

Creed (click here for my review)

Dawn of the Dead

Evil Dead II

The Godfather II

Mad Max 2

The Raid 2

Toy Story 2

X-Men 2

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

17 thoughts on “HAMMY’S TOP 10…BEST SEQUELS

  1. John Freeman October 9, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    Civil war is better than the winter soldier

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews October 9, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Hmmm…on second viewing, I felt Civil War dragged in the middle. Think Winter Solider is more weighty from a thematic POV. But still love Civil War!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Grim Reader October 9, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Wayne’s World 2, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Glad to see Day of the Dead get a mention. Whilst not as good as the original, it is still a great Z movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews October 9, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      To my great shame, I haven’t seen Wayne’s World 2 or Bogus Adventure…

      Like

  3. mattdoylemedia October 10, 2017 / 8:04 am

    Good list. I’d have personally maybe included Evil Dead II, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Really happy to see New Nightmare in there though as Ir eally thought that one was underrated. I haven’t see everything o nthe so couldn’t really comment on some of them. Aliens is an odd one for me as I prefer the director’s cut of Alien 3, but i’m happy to acknowledge that most prefer the second film, so it makes sense as an entry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews October 10, 2017 / 9:34 am

      Have never seen Bogus Journey…but yes, Evil Dead II is a great sequel!
      I’ve never quite warmed to Alien 3, in either the theatrical cut or the director’s cut.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mattdoylemedia October 10, 2017 / 10:09 am

        For me, 3 felt more like 1 which gives it an edge. I like 2, but it never felt like an Alien film to me, more an action film.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hammy Reviews October 10, 2017 / 11:14 am

          I understand what you mean, it tried to be more faithful in tone to the original.
          Have you seen Alien Covenant, by the way?

          Liked by 1 person

          • mattdoylemedia October 10, 2017 / 12:07 pm

            Not yet. I want to grab the DVD first chance I get though. I know the reception to it had been mixed, but I liked the look of the trailers

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hammy Reviews October 10, 2017 / 1:11 pm

              I’ve been meaning to watch it as well. Didn’t think much of Prometheus, but willing to give Scott another chance

              Liked by 1 person

              • mattdoylemedia October 10, 2017 / 2:02 pm

                Yeah, Prometheus was disappointing. I didn’t hate it per se, but Covenant looks like an improvement to me. The trailers made it look like a middle ground between Alien and Prometheus, which I don’t mind as a concept.

                Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.