When it comes to movie sequels, there are some that audiences always mention and shower with praise. Lists of the best sequels often include The Godfather Part II, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Toy Story 3, and Spider-Man 2. A movie forum contemplates sequels that deserve more praise. After all, the cinema world is immense.
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
The second National Treasure film is a pristine example of a sequel being equally as entertaining as its predecessor. Book of Secrets reunites the original cast of Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, and Justin Bartha, who all share a fantastic rapport and comedic chemistry. The film adds Helen Mirren and Ed Harris to the group, seamlessly fitting in and adding terrific emotional gravitas and humor.
This film broadens the scope of treasure hunting, with the characters searching for proof of the Gates family legacy and the infamous Lost City of Gold. With settings including The White House, Buckingham Palace, and Mount Rushmore, Book of Secrets has an inherently charming and adventurous quality bolstered by the creative mystery and chemistry of the cast.
2. Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Ghostbusters 2 is an equally amusing but even more frightening follow-up to the 1984 classic. This time, the Ghostbusters are going through a lull in their business because they are exceptional at their job. But it's just a false sense of security.
An evil spirit trapped in a painting, the kidnapping of Dana Buchman's baby boy, and a River of ooze underneath the city make for a threat of catastrophic proportions. It may be a darker film overall, but the laughs are still plentiful with the cast including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, and Sigourney Weaver at the top of their games.
3. Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)
Three Men and a Baby is a hilarious and endlessly sweet film. But as much as I adore that film, I enjoy the sequel even more. All cast members come into their own as characters in this unconventional family. The story takes place five years after the original. Peter, Jack, Michael, Sylvia, and little Mary have had a beautiful and happy life. But with Mary getting older, needs changing, and Peter and Sylvia secretly holding a torch for each other, they realize their life may not be sustainable.
Three Men and a Little Lady is hilarious and touching, with laugh-out-loud and heartwarming moments. The cast has a natural rapport and feels like a family. And the added romantic comedy element makes this a winner worthy of much more praise.
4. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Guy Richie's follow-up to Sherlock Holmes brings back the exemplary Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, whose buddy chemistry is realistic, hilarious, and even heartfelt. In this movie, Sherlock ropes Watson into another mystery on the eve of his wedding. His annoyance dissipates when they all realize the dark conspiracy at play, led by the mastermind Moriarty, an entrancing Jared Harris.
It's a thrilling ride with Richie's distinct directing style of slow and sped-up action sequences, engaging performances, and a mesmerizing musical score by Hans Zimmer.
5. Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (1984)
Besides The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Temple of Doom ranks low for many fans of the Indiana Jones series. But Temple of Doom had many worthwhile qualities. The story involves Indy, his young companion Short Round (Ke Huy Quan), and an actress named Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw), who find themselves in India, agreeing to find the captor of the children and the sacred stone of a small village.
The Temple of Doom features dark imagery and some genuinely frightening moments. But at the same time, it's also the funniest in the series, with great chemistry between the cast. It's also filled with old-fashioned flair and an endlessly quotable script.
6. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Every Muppet movie is worth viewing. My favorite of their numerous films is the riotous Muppets Take Manhattan. In this story, Kermit and the gang travel to New York in hopes of producing their musical Manhattan Melodies on Broadway. But their dream soon feels impossible after several rejections, and the friends part ways. Only Kermit keeps their goal alive.
The Muppets have a unique and charming sense of humor, especially in their 1980s films. The Muppets Take Manhattan is the wildest, most laugh-out-loud of their canon, with some terrific songs. There are also incredible cameos from Joan Rivers, Gregory Hines, Dabney Coleman, and Liza Minnelli. Fans of this film will understand why I delight in quoting “Boffo Lenny! Socko Lenny” and “3-D” in the voice of the Swedish Chef.
7. A Very Brady Sequel (1996)
Fans of the original, heartwarming series The Brady Bunch will watch the parody films in two ways. For viewers like myself, you delight in these lovingly hilarious films that poke fun at and honor the show's original spirit. Of course, the original and A Very Brady Sequel feature more adult humor.
In this follow-up, Carol's first husband seemingly returns from the grave, leaving the peaceful Brady house in unexpected disarray. The performances are spot-on, and the references to the series continue to be a laugh-a-minute. Fans will also love the musical numbers and 70s-inspired soundtrack, and the fun trip home to Hawaii.
8. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
The Rescuers Down Under is one of those rare sequels that surpasses the original. In this story, mice Bernard and Bianca of the Rescue Air Society travel to Australia to help a little boy named Cody and the majestic golden eagle, both held captive by a poacher. The animation is beautiful, the characters engaging, and the story has a beautiful underlying theme of conservation and animal rescue.
9. Clear and Present Danger (1994)
A sequel to Patriot Games, Harrison Ford once again steps into the role of CIA analyst Jack Ryan. He becomes the Deputy Director of Intelligence and almost instantly must deal with the fallout of what seems to be a hit by a dreaded cartel in Columbia. Like Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger are filled with thrills, twists, and turns. Importantly, it's an action film with maturity and intelligence that makes it a cut above the rest.
10. Father's Little Dividend (1951)
This sequel to Father of the Bride, this film once again follows Stanley and Ellie Banks (Spencer Tracy) shortly after the wedding of their eldest daughter, Kay (Elizabeth Taylor). Kay announces she is expecting a baby, much to the delight of everyone except Stanley. Having trouble adjusting to all the familial changes, it's only after Kay's baby boy arrives that Stanley's heart opens. And it does immensely, making this one of the sweetest sequels ever.
11. U.S. Marshals (1998)
If you are unaware that there is a sequel to The Fugitive, you are not alone. But this stellar follow-up is a tense thriller that deserves new viewers. The film features U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) and his team, which includes Joe Pantiliano and Robert Downey Jr. They must track down a man believed to be a murderer who swears he is innocent. The action is never overdone, and the twists in this one are genuinely unexpected.
12. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
The Princess Diaries 2 is another sequel that surpasses the original for many viewers. It's a charming, lovely film focusing on Princess Mia's emotional inner growth beyond her physical appearance.
Before Mia (Anne Hathaway) can ascend the throne and become Queen, she must marry. Mia and her grandmother Quern Clarice (Julia Andrews) are thus forced to help Mia find a proper suitor.
It proves challenging when her feelings lean toward Lord Nicholas Devereaux (Chris Pine), who wants the crown for himself. Overall, The Princess Diaries 2 is funny, thoroughly wholesome, and unexpectedly profound and inspiring, especially to women.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Marianne Paluso is a freelance writer and artist and holds a Masters Degree in English and Children’s Literature. Inspired by her favorite films, television, theme parks and all things pop culture, she especially loves Disney, classic films, fairy tales, period dramas, musicals, adventures, mysteries, and a good rom-com. She joined Wealth of Geeks in 2021, and has also contributed to The Nerd Machine, Catholic News Agency. She writes on her own website TheGirlyNerd.com, creates art that is sold on Redbubble and Etsy, and also partakes in the occasional Disneybound, cosplay, and YouTube video