10 Awesome Sequels That Undeniably Surpass Their Original

In our day of reboots, remakes, and franchises pumping out film after film for a money grab, sequels rarely surpass the originals. However, some are uncontestably better movies. Recently someone asked for examples of sequels that are better than the originals, and these ten topped the list.

10. Addams Family Values (1993)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Sihnonsreject quoted a scene at camp, “Amanda: I'll play the victim! Wednesday: All your life.” Goodybadwife argued, “I love both movies, but my favorite line is at the lemonade stand in the first movie. Amanda: Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?! Wednesday: Are they made from real girl scouts?”

Finally, MonkeysRidingPandas said, “Not sure who doesn't know this by now, but the girl scout is the same character as the stuck-up camp girl (Amanda Buckman) from Values. Same actress (Mercedes McNab) and everything.”

9. Evil Dead II (1987)

Image Credit: Rosebud Releasing Corporation

One person admitted, “I enjoy all three for very different reasons. Probably seen Army of Darkness the most of them.” Another user added, “Yup, I love them for different reasons. Same with the TV show, new movie, and my name is Bruce. They are all good in their own way. Evil Dead was horror, Evil Dead 2 was horror action, and Army of Darkness was comedy action horror.”

8. The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) 1981

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Another admitted, “I had watched Road Warrior like a dozen times before seeing the first Mad Max. But, boy, what a different experience.” DungeonMastersuggested, “It's the Death Wish of Australia, an exaggerated gritty gang-violence movie. It wasn't until the sequel that it became fully realized.”

7. Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek and Fiona from Shrek 2
Image Credit: Dreamworks.

Stuugie said, “The invasion with I need a hero playing is one of the best scenes in any movie straight up.” Many people agree “Shrek 2 is a perfect example of a good sequel. Interestingly expands the universe, continues the story meaningfully, develops the characters, and tops the original in set pieces.”

6. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

The Rescuers Down Under
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Several users were excited about this answer, and the consensus was it was superior to the first film. Run-AmokkShow added, “Show your kids this movie. Jaw-dropping opening scene. That's how you know you're doing it right when making a kid's movie, if they're reacting to every peak and valley of the action, clearly already invested in the main character.”

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Image Credit: Marvel/Disney

PlatinumPhoenix123 added, “I thought Captain America: Winter Soldier was the best movie in the trilogy, to be honest.” Another user, 26Cashlemon, agreed, “I liked how it was a unique spy-thriller and its own film compared to the rest of the MCU.” Finally, xVOYEVODA said, “I've watched the Winter Soldier flip that knife around so many times. I love it.”

4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Image Credit:
Paramount Pictures

The fourth top-voted answer was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. One user expressed, “I think this one belongs at the top of the list because it wasn't just an excellent sequel. It redefined Star Trek's entire aesthetic for the next couple of decades and brought the franchise back from the dead.”

3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Image from Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

Woo. I didn't realize this was a debate, but it is. The audience is almost evenly split on whether Terminator (T1) or Terminator 2 (T2) is better. But T2 won the vote. Zomburai said, “T2 turned Sarah Conner into one of the great characters in all fiction but at the expense of the rest of the first movie.”

2. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Image from The Empire Strikes Back
Image Credit: LucasFilm Ltd.

One user admitted, “As much as I love A New Hope, I've got to agree. Young me left the cinema in shock, but looking back, I can see the brilliance.” Another added, “Empire Strikes Back is a good movie all around. Even if you're not a fan of Star Wars, it's just a finely crafted film.” 

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Phantom_avenger quoted Harvey Dent, “You either die a hero. Or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain!” Another user added, “You thought we could be decent men in an indecent time. But you were wrong. The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance—unbiased, unprejudiced -fair.”

SonOfHorus82 said, “A ton of very well-deserved praise is heaped on Heath Ledger for what he did with the Joker, but Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent was just as masterful.”

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