A lot goes into making just one film, the amount of work and production required for a film, even today with the technology available is likely stressful as it demands a rigorous schedule, and deep commitment. Moreover, making one successful is not an easy task. Only a handful of movie (film sagas, etc) have truly ascended to the tops of Hollywood, and in some cases, some work is under looked perhaps, to often in the business. When looking at Hollywood’s best, we sometimes fail to remember that though not very often, there have been (some) sequels that are in that category, of upper echelon. Without further ado, Here is my list.
#5 The Dark Knight (2009): Loaded with stars, including a show stealing act, and arguably one of the best performances in Cinema history by Heath Ledger, as the Joker and Christian Bale reprising his role as the Batman, in this 2009 sequel. The second installment builds on an already successful super-hero saga. Also starring: Morgan Freeman, Micheal Caine.
What made it great? Action, Suspense, Dark, Thriller, Great acting, great cast.
#4 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015): Same crew as the first one, and different villain. Same problem, well, sort of anyway.. Saving the world. Look, probably the ultimate reason this makes the cut is simply this: It is not a film of a single super hero, rather a team, which I do obviously realize it’s predecessor did. I should let you know, some of my favorite movies feature a team of super heroes, and this one happens to be one of them. How can you not find the Avengers, I don’t know uhhh… AWESOME?
What makes it great: The Avengers are back, and this time taking on what I understand to be an accident experiment, and they are literally fighting to save the world.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans.
#3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (2015)
I wonder how many people are actually aware that this is a sequel, seriously. Shifting to more serious discussions on this movie, the old crew (Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Mark Hamil (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (COMMANDER Leia), Peter Mayhew (Chewie), Anthony Daniels (C3PO), and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) all reprising their roles from the Original Trilogy. Let’s not forget to mention the new cast, which features Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Fin), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron).
This does not need an explanation. Director J.J. Abrams manages to bring some of the old, and put in some of the new in this EPIC continuation of the Star Wars saga. If you have not seen it, I BEG you to stop reading this (yes, you read that right) and go and see it NOW!
Also starring: Gwendolyn Christie (Captain Phasma), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux)
#2 Toy Story 2 (1999)
I grew up watching Disney movies. It was my childhood. I can’t tell you how many times I got a new Woody, or Buzz, but that is kind of besides the point here. Yes, you might say some of the reason this is on here is because of that, but Tom Hanks (Woody), and Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear) give me most my reasoning, and yes of course it wouldn’t entirely be Toy Story without the others.
I think the impressive thing about the Toy Story saga, to me is that they are able to successfully recreate some of what they have already done in the movies in that the same thing happens: The toys get captured and or try to escape from somewhere. If you loved the first one, you will love this and the 3rd one. On a side note, I hear there is going to be a 4rth.
What makes it great: I kind of already told you, didn’t I?
Also starring: Don Rickles (Mr Pottato Head), Wallace Shawn (Rex) , John Ratzenberger (Ham), Jim Varney (Slinky)
#1 Star Wars Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The magic of the first, and original Star Wars film is back and better than ever. Director, George Lucas stepped down from the director position, but was still very much involved. Irvin Kershner was the one directing, this time and it may have been for the better not just for this film, but possibly the whole Star Wars saga that this decision was made.
Kershner knew EXACTLY what this film needed, and like all the other films on this list, that is a challenge to put together in a sequel. The stakes were high, and it was a gamble because the existence of Star Wars was depending on this movie. It had to be better than “A New Hope” it at least had to be different. It was. Yes, the whole entire crew from the original is back here, and a couple new characters.
What makes it great: For some of the reasons I wrote in the above, and let’s not forget to mention two of some of the most Oscar worthiest performances I have ever seen in cinema.. James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, and perhaps most memorable was Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda, and Mark Hamil deserves some recognition, because without his performance Yoda is not authentic.
Starring: Mark Hamil (Luke) Harrison Ford (Han Solo) Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Peter Mayhew (Chewie) Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Kenny Baker (R2D2), James Earl Jones and David Prowse (Darth Vader) Frank Oz (Yoda) Jeremy Bulloch, and Jason Wingreen (Boba Fett)