20 Sequels That Are Better Than the Original

20 Sequels That Are Better Than the Original

It is commonly agreed that sequels never surpass the original. Of course, although that cliché has on its side the constant deluge of crappy sequels the culture industry drowns us in, there’s also the fact that some sequels, actually, kinda rock. In fact, some sequels even end up being better than their originals, like S. Darko. Nevermind, scratch that, we meant to throw that as a joke and now we feel like we have to take a shower. Anyway, there are awesome sequels, and then there are the sequels that can be said to be better than their first parts.

In this Pictofact, we discuss those movies. And we focus not on sequels in general, but specifically on second parts. Quick, name second parts that are better than the first. You’re thinking of James Cameron, right? Yeah, we know, we also love Scream 2. But no, we left the J-Cam outside this list, because adding him is just cheating — and we also left out Scream 2, because it rocks, but there’s no way it’s better than the first Scream. And you know what movie we also left out? S. Darko, because it's not good, we still can’t let go of the fact we even mentioned it — aaand we’re going for that shower now. Enjoy!

The Godfather: Part II

Sequels Better Than The Original 1974 The Godfather: Part Il Crisscrossing the ongoing rise to power of Michael Corleone with his father's origin story, the movie seamlessly blends together the stories of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro's characters, both actors at their artistic peaks. 1972's The Godfather was already a cinematic achievement, and Coppola managed to surpass it with this double tale in the sequel. CRACKED.COM

Spider-Man 2

Sequels Better Than The Original 2004 Spider-Man 2 Sam Raimi tightened up everything that worked in the original. The performances, script, and quirky comedic tone are better, there are some classic Raimi horror elements, and the action is just frenetic, intense, and mind-blowing. Truly a masterful follow-up to the already awesome 2002 original. CRACKED.COM

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Sequels Better Than The Original 1981 Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior This is the movie that turned Max Rockatansky into the post-apocalyptic folk hero we know and love. The movie abandons the original's revenge motif and instead focuses on the need for survival and fleeting moments of hope. Mad Max 2 is grim and weird - and then it turns into a long car chase. Wonderful. CRACKED COM

The Dark Knight

Sequels Better Than The Original 2008 The Dark Knight Batman Begins is a treat, but almost forgettable compared to its cinematic masterpiece of sequel. Channeling Michael Mann's Heat, Christopher Nolan gave us a neo-noir, action crime thriller anxiety attack full of iconic scenes, lines, moments, and performances. CRACKED.COM

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Sequels Better Than The Original 1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 1979's The Motion Picture is too slow and self- serious. Khan, however, is a brilliant space thriller. What it lacks in action it absolutely makes up in wrath: Its plot is tight, it features body horror, Khan is a terrifying menace, and that ending deserves all the praise it gets. CRACKED.COM

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Sequels Better Than The Original 2013 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire The first one was an adequate romp, and the two-part ending tried too hard to be Important. Catching Fire, however, was fun and brutal, entertaining and grim. It did everything the original did well, but better: the horror dystopia, the engaging action, and getting great performances from the cast. CRACKED.COM

Rocky II

Sequels Better Than The Original 1979 Rocky II Rocky truly became an action franchise after Rocky III, which yes, is very fun. The first one is a great underdog drama where the final match is secondary to, erm, what's the word? Oh yes, feelings. Rocky II finds the sweet spot between the personal drama and the face- pounding action. Absolutely underrated. CRACKED.COM

Friday the 13th Part 2

Sequels Better Than The Original 1981 Friday the 13th Part 2 The first one is a schlocky classic, and in the third one Jason gets his mask. But the 1981 sequel truly defined the character. It starts with the murder of final girl Alice, features a tight plot with brutal murders, ends with some disturbing psychosexual mommy-weirdness - and even shows Jason in a creepy, if not quite iconic, baghead look. CRACKED.COM

Before Sunset

Sequels Better Than The Original 2004 Before Sunset 1995's Before Sunrise was insanely smart and touching, so there was little hope for a sequel that would close the open ending and continue the story. However, Before Sunset honored the original by giving it further depth. Jesse and Céline are more cynical, but also older and wiser. By the time the final scene arrives, though, it's a beautiful, perfect movie. CRACKED.COM

Timecop: The Berlin Decision

Sequels Better Than The Original are 2003 Timecop: The Berlin Decision It wouldn't take much to surpass the peak '90s mediocrity of Timecop. But it's a whispered secret among fans of straight-to-video trash that the 2003 sequel is kinda better. Yes, it's still trash, and its production values are lower. But it has better fight scenes, and it has more fun with the ensuing time paradoxes. CRACKED.COM

Ouija: Origin of Evil

Sequels Better Than The Original Ouija: Origin of Evil Either you know the Ouija sequel is better than the 2014 original, or you're thinking, Wait, they did a sequel to that? They did (a prequel, actually), and it's awesome. Mike Flanagan classed it up by avoiding the original's trashy gimmicks, and instead focusing on atmosphere, dread, and genuine creepiness. 2016 CRACKED.COM

Evil Dead II

Sequels Better Than The Original 1987 Evil Dead II Sam Raimi's 1981 original is a grimy, low- budget splatter classic. But the sequel upped the insanity, while fully embracing self-aware absurdist humor and Bruce Campbell's comedic genius. Yeah, it's less of a sequel than a reboot, remake, whatever, but Ash attaches a chainsaw to his arm, Isn't that what matters? CRACKED.COM

The Empire Strikes Back

Sequels Better Than The Original 1980 The Empire Strikes Back Empire set the template for the bigger, louder, grimmer sequel. It opens with the kickass battle at Hoth, then features Luke's training with Yoda, and it all leads to a thrilling and just dark third act with a plot twist that we still talk about. Irvin Kershner proved others could do Star Wars even better than George Lucas. CRACKED.COM

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Sequels Better Than The Original 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2011's The First Avenger has aged well, with a fun style previous to the Flanderization of the MCU. The Winter Soldier, however, escaped the assembly line by just being a dark and violent spy movie. With references to political thrillers from the '70s and great, brutal, kinetic action, this movie just excels in every way. CRACKED.COM

Back to the Future Part II

Sequels Better Than The Original 1989 Back to the Future Part II Yes, the 1985 original is perfect. But even with such a high bar, Zemeckis managed to outdo himself with a sequel that folded the original onto itself, focusing on time paradoxes and parallel realities, in a roller coaster leading to those insane 10 final minutes. CRACKED.COM

Bride of Frankenstein

Sequels Better Than The Original 1935 Bride of Frankenstein Having done the wonderful 1931 Frankenstein, James Whale made history with a bigger but also campier sequel. The lighter tone makes it a more confident movie than the original, but then there's also the dark ending, which rounds it up as a masterpiece. CRACKED.COM

The Bourne Supremacy

Sequels Better Than The Original 2004 The Bourne Supremacy We'll just say it: The Bourne Identity is average. The sequel, however, is so good that it pretty much created the gritty shaky-cam action subgenre, also balancing with a well-written, well-paced story about surveillance and paranoia. Plus, awesome car chases. And finally a good use of that Moby song. CRACKED.COM

Batman Returns

Sequels Better Than The Original 1992 Batman Returns Somehow, Returns manages to be sillier and campier than the 1989 original, while also being darker and more serious. This speaks to the sequel's more ambitious narrative and aesthetic complexity. It heightens the twistedness of Gotham and its citizens, while also pumping up the action resulting from Batman's fight against weirdos. CRACKED.COM

Addams Family Values

Sequels Better Than The Original 1993 Addams Family Values The sequel became essentially the Addams Family movie. That lame CGI stuff? Whatever. Give us Gomez and Morticia as new parents, an entire Wednesday-centered subplot about normies being the real evil, and Joan Cusack as a psycho gold-digger. This sequel is art. CRACKED.COM
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