Welcome back to the weekly Top 10 list. Each week we come up with a topic, go create our separate lists, and then come together to create a top 10 consensus. This week with Sicario: Day of the Soldado being released, we decided to countdown the Top 10 Sequel Improvements. This means sequels that are better than the originals. This is one of the most difficult and frustrating lists we have ever done. Some people think there are great sequels out there, but are they better than the originals? This is the most subjective list we have ever created so here we go!
10. Toy Story 3
Starting off our list is our only animated feature in Toy Story 3. This movie was just such an emotional journey from start to finish. We had grown up with these characters and with the human Andy and now we see him have to give them up. The group of toys is put in a daycare where they are tortured by a giant teddy bear and it works so well. We all cried when it looked as if they were about to burn and cheered when they were saved. Pixar reminded us what its like to grow up here. It was the best Pixar sequel until last week when Incredibles 2 came out and had more of our staff seen the film yet, I’m sure it would be on the list.
9. Avengers: Infinity War
In the ninth spot is a film that is still in theaters in Avengers: Infinity War. All of the Marvel films starting back to 2008’s Iron Man led to this movie and the payoff was beautiful. We finally got to see all our heroes come together and join forces to fight one of, if not the greatest villain of all time in Thanos. What makes Infinity War so special is our investment in these characters and their journeys throughout ten years. Seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Spider-man, and Doctor Strange interact with The Avengers was truly special and where Avengers 4 will go from here is something the entire world is anticipating.
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
At number eight we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is a tossup for most people between this and Civil War for the best Captain America sequel and this one happened to win in our group. Winter Soldier is such a step up from The First Avenger as it made Captain America more than just a boy scout. His dynamic with Black Widow is fantastic and they go on such a thrilling ride. The action is some of the best action in any comic book movie and the film feels like a political thriller. It is grounded and real, so you relate to the characters more. The Russo Brothers now have back to back films on this list.
7. Blade Runner 2049
Coming in at number seven we have the amazing Blade Runner 2049. This is a film I could dissect for hours and never get bored because I just find it to be a cinematic masterpiece. The first Blade Runner from 1982 was considered a masterpiece for such a long time and for 2049 to come in and be better is such an accomplishment we may never see again. It expanded this world like we never could’ve expected and put us through this journey full of emotional twists and turns. You learn what it means to be human and how easily we can forget it. Blade Runner 2049 is a film that will be remembered throughout cinematic history.
6. Spider-Man 2
Just missing out on the top five we have Spider-Man 2. While the first Spider-Man was a massive success and sort of the beginning of this comic book film genre, Spider-Man 2 came in and topped it. In this film we get to really dive into the character of Peter Parker who now must face a more powerful villain in Dr. Octopus. This is a villain you are sympathetic towards but also want to lose because he is terrorizing people. Everything here is just so much better than the original and it is a shame the third film just threw it all away.
5. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Starting off the top five we have Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. This widely considered to be the best Star Wars movie which is really saying something coming from the most popular franchise of all time. Empire Strikes Back became darker where the characters were put in peril and did not come out on top at the end. Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and Luke Skywalker has just found out the evillest man in the galaxy is his father. Oh, and he just lost a hand. Franchises always want to have the “Empire Strikes Back” of their trilogy and that is a testament to how renowned this film is.
4. T2: Judgement Day
At number four we have the beginning of the James Cameron fest in T2: Judgement Day. Terminator was such a surprise when it was released as we had not seen anything like it up to that point. Then T2 came out and blew the roof off the place. It is tense and haunting, and you are genuinely wondering how our main characters are going to beat this villain. For the time we had not seen effects like this, so it really changed the game for action films. Now this takes us to our next film.
Coming in at number three we have our second of the James Cameron doubleheader in Aliens. We just talked about this movie three weeks ago with survival films when it came in at number one. Here we see a sequel that is better than the original? Not to me but this is certainly a great film that became one of the most celebrated action films of all time. Alien was a classic horror film that is still haunting to this day. Does this improve upon that? Not necessarily, I’d say it just expands it to a kickass action film. However, if you like Alien more (like I do), there is an argument to be made.
2. The Godfather: Part II
Just missing out on the top spot we have The Godfather part 2. The Godfather is considered one of the greatest movies ever made and then they followed it up with another all timer. Here we got to see what was a prequel to the first film and it really brought more to the characters. This is an all-star cast all at the height of their powers who delivered a film that would be impossible to replicate. It’s really a tossup as to which film you like better because they are both great.
1. The Dark Knight
At the number one position on our list we have The Dark Knight. This is one of the most beloved movies of all time and one that has defined this generation. What happens here is you save the Batman franchise with Batman Begins, and then you elevate it with The Dark Knight. This movie is a classic and it was only released ten years ago. Everyone knows how great Heath Ledger was as the Joker and he gave one of the best performances of all time. It stills feels fresh with every viewing and it makes you wonder what could’ve been had Ledger not passed away.
So, there you have it! The Top 10 Sequel Improvements upon the originals. This was an incredibly difficult list to make as we all have different opinions. Just remember, at the end of the day we are all friends and talking about movies is what makes us happy. What does your list look like? Let us know in the comments below. We will see you next week with a topic relating to what will be the greatest movie of all time in Ant-man and the Wasp.