Hey everyone, just a quick blog update so not going to say much as an introduction. As the title suggests this is my list of 10 sequels which i feel are treated unfairly by general audiences. They are not necessarily the greatest sequels of all time, but they are films which i feel deserve a second look.
10: Magnum Force
This film suffers from being part of a franchise which appeared to decline with each sequel, and as such the general opinion appears to be that Dirty Harry is a great film but the sequels should all be ignored. This is a shame because in some ways Magnum Force actually improves upon its predecessor. Firstly the villian/villians are far more intresting. Dirty Harry saw Harry Callahan square off against psychotic thug Scorpio, it was much more of a traditional “good” guy versus bad guy. In Magnum Force Harry is forced to confront the extreme version of his own brand of justice, this is the movie in which Harry is forced to discover what many people believe he does not have, and that is a sense of “his limitations”. Ignore anybody who discredits all of the Dirty Harry sequels because the fact is that Magnum Force is a really great film which i actually prefer to the original film.
9: Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
This is another example of a great film falling under the shadow of an iconic original. Planet of the Apes may have better effects, the classic lines, and one of the greatest plot-twists in cinematic history, but part of me has always preferred the second installment. The film has a incredibly bleak tone with its images of the future state of humans as reptilian creatures who worship a nuclear bomb, not to mention an ending which manages to eclipse The Empire Strikes Back in just how sombre it is. If you enjoyed The Planet of the Apes then give the sequels, starting with this one of course, a watch. They are well worth it.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
I can hear the sounds of laptops and phones being hurled across the room in despair, but just hear me out on this one. Admittedly the film has not aged well, the homoerotic subtext is handled incredibly badly, especially in the Coaches death sequence. A scene which should be removed from all copies of the film and launched straight into the sun as soon as the technology becomes available. Despite this i still think the film is an underrated entry into the Nightmare franchise, it is the only sequel which manages to capture the dark tone of the original film, and it nails the character of Freddy. Freddy’s revenge remains a poor horror film, but it is certainly worth a watch, and is a vastly superior film to the incredibly over-rated Dream Warriors.
7. The Color of Money
What makes The Color of Money such a great sequel is that it updates the original, but still manages to stay true to the spirit of The Hustler. There are few films which have captured the bourbon soaked, cigarette stained atmosphere of the pool halls of the 1960s as brilliantly as The Hustler. Likewise The Color of Money perfectly encapsulates the neon-lit, flashly clubs of the 1980s. At the heart of both films is the image of the beautiful loser, of being the king of the underground, and the atmosphere of two legends clashing in any sport. This is why the crucial match between Vincent and Eddie in The Color of Money does not occur on-screen, it is completely unnesscary to proclaim who actually wins these matches, instead what is being contensted in every sporting event is the ego of the sportsman. If you have not seen The Color of Money, make sure you give it a watch, it is a truly great piece of work.
6. Gremlins 2
Simply put, Gremlins 2 is a supremely fun piece of work, and one which is truly undeserving of the negativity which surrounds itself. Instead of attempting to produce a darker work than the original Gremlins, the film attempts a lighter, more self-reflective tone, and Gremlins 2 absolutely nails this atmosphere. From the speech which pokes fun at the vague rules of the Mogwai to the greatest cameo in cinema history in which Hulk Hogan is forced to interfere when the Gremlins interrupt their own movie. Gremlins 2 is supremely silly, but it is also a seriously entertaining film.
5. Rocky 5
I was debating whether to put Rocky 2 or Rocky 5 on this list, but had to go with 5 because of the amount of hostility which surrounds this film. Stallone himself has even stated that he is unhappy with the film, but i have never understood how this film is regarded as the worst entry in a series which includes Rocky 3 and 4. Rocky 5 is in no way a perfect film, in fact it is a deeply flawed film, but it should be admired for attempting to bring Rocky back to the grounded roots of the first two films. One major strength is the re-hiring of director John G. Avildson, who is a superior director to Stallone, and with one more draft of the script this could have been a great finish to the trilogy. Unfortunatly it followed Rocky 3 and 4, and had little chance of receiving positive feedback.
4. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
This is no slice of cinematic perfection, but is certainly one of the better action sequels to be released. The film suffers from a similar problem to Die Hard 2 in that it may be a bit to similar to the original Under Siege, but if you enjoy the sight of Steven Seagal kicking the crap out of several terrorists then check this one out.
3. The Addams Family Values
The Addams Family Values is one of my favourite comedies of all time. Sure the plotline involving Joan Cusack as serial-killer The Black Widow does not make much sense, but this film is all about the sub-plot of Wednesday Adams being sent to a summer camp. The comedic writing is brilliant and Addams Family Values is a film i find myself quoting again and again. Watch out for a hilarious cameo by Nathan Lane as an exasperated police chief, “Who are you, What are you, Who moved the rock” is now my default reaction to all weird situations.
2. Another 48hrs
I know a lot of people criticize this as a re-hash of the original, which is a perfectly legitimate criticism, but i still think it is a perfectly good action thriller. The chemistry between Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte is still great and their comedic interactions are pretty funny. If you enjoyed 48hrs, but are put off by the negative reaction to this film, then give it a watch. You may be surprised.
1. Batman Returns
I have found that reactions to Tim Burton’s Batman movies seem to rest on which of the films that individual saw first. Those who saw the original Batman first tend to prefer that one over Returns. Whereas those who saw Batman Returns first seem to criticize the cartoonish nature of the first one. I saw Batman Returns years before i saw the original Batman, and it remains my favourite of the original four films. Batman is brutal in this movie, at one point he literally shoves a bomb onto a mans chest before pushing him into an alley, the bomb promptly explodes taking the man with it. Batman Returns is the dark version of Batman which Burton failed to deliver with his first attempt, and i think it is far superior to the original.
So that is my list of ten underrated movie sequels. If you feel i left any out then feel free to leave a comment on this post and i may do another list in the future. I may also do a list of over-rated sequels so if you would like to see that then leave a comment. Thanks for reading, and i will be back shortly with more reviews and features. Till next time, see ya.