Friday Five: Sequels that were surprisingly better than the original
In honour of 10 Cloverfield Lane, the surprisingly fantastic basement thriller sequel to monster movie Cloverfield which was released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, this week’s Friday Five is dedicated to sequels that were surprisingly better than the movies that came before them.
Toy Story 3
After the success of Toy Story, Pixar took the almighty risk of making a sequel. Somehow, it was as good as, if not better, than the original.
Most people would be happy with that achievement. Not Pixar. 10 years later, they decided to make another sequel. Surely this would be the end of the Toy Story series?
Not a chance. Toy Story 3, which sees the toys shifted off to a nursery after a mix-up during Andy’s move to college, is every bit as hilarious and heartfelt as the original.
It’s so good that it made grown men and women blub like babies in public.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Be honest: you were worried this was going to be rubbish, weren’t you?
Luckily, The Force Awakens was easily the best Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi, and it was arguably better than that too.
Combining old favourites with new characters, The Force Awakens harks back to the glory days of Han, Chewie and Leia while building a bright future for the series with Rey, Finn and stroppy Darth Vader superfan Kylo Ren.
Army of Darkness
How do you follow one of the most influential horror movies of all time?
If you’re Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, you send the chainsaw-wielding character back to the 14th century and have him embark on a Jason and the Argonauts-esque quest to find a magical book that will send him back home.
And have him kill lots of undead baddies in a series of gruesome ways, of course.
Army of Darkness is completely ridiculous from start to finish and it knows it. What it loses in the horror stakes it more than makes up for in the laughs, and it cements Bruce Campbell’s Ash as one of cinema’s greatest (and incompetent) heroes.
22 Jump Street
After the surprise success of 21 Jump Street, itself a remake of a beloved 80s TV series, a sequel was inevitable.
But far from being a lazy retread, 22 Jump Street laughs at its premise and Hollywood sequels at pretty much every opportunity. The chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum (who could easily carve out a second career in comedy) is even better in this one too.
And, let’s not forget, it gave the world this…
Day of the Dead
The final part of George A Romero’s original Dead trilogy didn’t go down well when it was released. It was much darker than Dawn of the Dead, with less humour and less hope for humanity. Well, no hope for humanity really – the whole world had been taken over by zombies.
Time has been kind to Day of the Dead, though. The cynical tone, which suggests the surviving humans are as much of a threat as the brainmunchers outside, has influenced everything from 28 Days Later to The Walking Dead.
It’s also one of the only zombie movies to have an actual zombie as a main character; the lovable Bub is able to shave, use a cassette recorder and even make friends with humans. He can also use a gun, because why not give a flesh-hungry monster another way to kill people?
Which sequels do you prefer to the original? Let us know in the comments.
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