Sequels are a tricky subject, sometimes even controversial. They can either win their fans over like they did before or push them away from ever liking the franchise again. Most superhero franchises have that one sequel that no one really likes (X-Men 3, Batman and Robin, Blade Trinity,) but on the whole, it’s rare to find a sequel better received than its original. You can have your Dark Knights and Godfather 2’s but some films just struggle to retain the charm of the original. And sometimes, I just disagree completely.
Before watching any of these sequels (bar one), I knew full well that reviews were bad and the original was much preferred. However, I think these sequels leave number one in the dust
Paranormal Activity - IMDb rating: 6.4
Paranormal Activity 3 - IMDb rating: 5.9
Alright, I’ll be honest; the PA series isn’t exactly the most critically acclaimed, with many people saying that it repeats itself with every film. Now, I only saw the first movie last month, and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. It was a great horror film, but apparently the sequels got worse and worse. Hearing that the 2nd and 4th were terrible, I went straight for a cheap Blu-Ray purchase of Paranormal Activity 3, a film I was interested in long before I watched the first. We go back in time as we see the main character of the first film as a child back in the 80's who, along with her sister, is haunted by an evil spirit. Her step-Dad catches this all on film.
The problem I had with Part 1 was that, as much as I enjoyed it, the scares were quite scarce. I jumped maybe twice in the film. Watching Part 3, I nearly hit the ceiling. The film turns the fear factor up to 11, with not only the jump scares frightening you but the build ups to them too.
It was important for me to put this on the list because I DO NOT scare easily. I can’t even name five horror movies that have had my heart pounding, so to accomplish this is really something in my book.
Kick-Ass - IMDb rating: 7.8
Kick-Ass 2 - IMDb rating: 7.1
The most recent addition on my list, Kick-Ass 2 was an idea that I didn’t agree with at first. I thought the first film was fine by itself, and immediately assumed that a sequel would ruin it. But my mind changed soon after as Jim Carrey was cast in the film. Eventually, after all the updates and eventually trailers, I was sold completely. Even after Carrey pulled out of promoting the film, nothing could stop me from seeing it. But then the bad reviews poured in. Like, a lot of them. Someone on Blu-Ray.com even went as far as to only award half a star. People said the novelty of a teenage girl killing loads of people had worn off, and that the departure of Nicolas Cage and Mark Strong hindered the film as well. But screw it, this was the most fun I had all summer. There was one scene that was kind of overkill, but this film is an action packed romp. The cast are on top form, esppecially Jim Carrey (Which it makes it even more disheartening to know he wouldn’t promote it), and is certainly a lot darker this time round, adding some well needed emotion. There is one scene in particular that I found so hard to watch, it was literally one of the worst things I ever had to witness in cinema, and it finally broke away from being nothing but a silly comic book movie.
Oh, and can we just take a moment to appreciate the amazing cameo by Game of Thrones’ very own Ser Jorah Mormont, Iain Glenn? Seriously, he was so scary! And he was only in it for one scene.
Bridget Jones’s Diary - IMDb rating: 6.7
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - IMDb rating: 5.7
Bridget Jones’s Diary is a fairly decent film. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy, but the film just barely scrapes 3 stars for me. I admire the way that it’s a total chick flick, yet somehow can still appeal to men, but my natural dislike for Hugh Grant ruined the experience almost. Still, Renee Zellwegger and Colin Firth were on top form. Kudos to both Grant and Firth for pretending Zellwegger is sexy (Oh yeah, I went there).
Joking aside, everyone enjoyed Bridget Jones more than me. But it seems I enjoyed part 2 more than them. Edge of Reason is a longer film (Only by about 10 minutes but still) so allows a bit more fleshing out which is great, and the humour this time around is spot on.
But what completes this film for me, and what my just be my favourite scene from any Rom-Com ever, is another controversial opinion: The Hugh Grant/Colin Firth fight in this film is a lot funnier than the first one. True, in the first one it’s quite unexpected whereas here you can see it coming a mile off, but the pathetic nature of Grant and Firth’s fighting coupled with the The Darkness’ I Believe in a Thing called Love absolutely had me in stitches
Dirty Harry - IMDb rating: 7.8
Magnum Force - IMDb rating: 7.1
I’ve already sung my praises for Magnum Force on the site, so for my full thought you can check out my Hit Play, but for now, this film is a fantastic action piece. ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is on the case of the mysterious murders of San Francisco criminals who have escaped justice. The film is never boring, with enough great 70s action scenes to ensure 2 hours of pure fun.
Toy Story - IMDb rating: 8.3
Toy Story 2 - IMDb rating: 7.9
Now, this is the only film on the list I’m confident that I’m not alone on; there’s gotta be people who love Toy Story 2, but I don’t know of many people who could ever rate it higher than the original. Let’s face it, the film isn’t rated that much lower than the first. But to be honest, the entire trilogy is perfect. 3 is my least favourite despite my absolute love for it and 1 just edges in at second, but my entire childhood could be summed up with Toy Story 2.
The story is great and the voice cast are fantastic, especially Frasier Krane himself, Kelsey Grammar, who plays the baddie Stinky Pete. But despite retaining the first film’s humour, the film manages to be very emotional, what with Jessie’s back story and the whole question of what happens to toys when kids grow up. And if anyone says that the song When Somebody Loved Me didn’t rip their heart out, they are lying.
So maybe it’s not impossible for a sequel to beat the original. Obviously I can’t be the only one who loves these movies, and there’s probably a ton that I missed. Were there any sequels you’d take over the original any day that didn’t come up on this list? Let us know down in the comments!
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