Last week I sat down to watch Army of Darkness for the first time. About ten seconds in, I realised that it was, in fact, a sequel to The Evil Dead. So I quickly switched over to watch that instead. But after the tree-molestation scene I was ready to give up. I decided to just watch Army of Darkness anyway, and in the end it worked out fine because it was really funny and didn’t relate too closely to The Evil Dead.
So I’ve been thinking a bit about sequels this week and I thought it would be a good time to do the 5 Fandom Friday tag: My Favourite Sequels.
Addams Family Values
The cast of the 1990’s Addams family films was flawless. Anjelica Huston was the perfect Morticia, and Raul Julia was ideal as Gomez. You couldn’t ask for a better Wednesday than Christina Ricci and Christopher Lloyd is unrecognisable in the role of Uncle Fester. This film brought together this incredible cast for a second helping of kooky fun, adding in the incomparable Carol Kane as Grandmama (the only role that was recast for the sequel). The second instalment had just as many laughs and tongue-in-cheek jokes as the first film, and it also features the glorious tango scene- my favourite part from both films.
2. D2: The Mighty Ducks
As a child of the 1990’s I spent a fair chunk of time watching The Mighty Ducks. Of the three films, I think that the D2 is the strongest. It introduced some fantastic new characters, such as Julie Gaffney and Dean Portman (Bash Brothers forever!). Additionally, this movie was less focused on Charlie Conway than the original, which I thought was a blessing because he always irritated me. There was a stronger rivalry between teams and bigger stakes that made D2 a more exciting film than it’s predecessor.
3. Toy Story 3
I went into the cinema to watch Toy Story 3 fully prepared to hate it. I felt that 10 years was too huge a gap between Toy Story 2 and 3 and I wasn’t sure that it was going to have the same feel as the originals. Five minutes in and I had completely changed my tune. I thought it was genius that, rather than pretending that no time had passed, Pixar embraced the time lapse and showed us Andy as a young adult, dealing with the dilemma of letting go of his childhood. It had some emotional moments, and I choked up over and over. But thankfully there were plenty of laughs as well (the part with Mr Tortilla Head always has me giggling). Toy Story 3 was so clever and managed to keep the spirit of the original films while still feeling fresh.
4. The Dark Knight
There are not too many sequels that are vastly superior to the original, but this is undoubtedly one of them. With superhero movies, the first film tends to be on the slow side, because you have to establish an origin story. But Batman Begins was excruciatingly tedious. The Dark Knight saved the franchise by introducing us to Heath Ledger’s Joker, a villain who is simultaneously fascinating and piss-in-your-pants terrifying. In my opinion, The Joker is the best part about this film, and his mad plots and creepy voice never fail to capture my attention.
5. The Golden Age
The Golden Age is another sequel that was made a long while after the original film. It was released in 2007, nine years after Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the film that kindled my fascination with the Tudor period, and I always felt a bit disappointed that the story ends just as Elizabeth really begins to come into her own as Queen. So I was delighted when The Golden Age was announced. As the name suggests, this film tells of the greatest period of Elizabeth I’s reign. The first film showed us Elizabeth as a young queen, dealing with the question of marriage and struggling to rule as a woman in a man’s world. In The Golden Age, we see Elizabeth as a confident, competent ruler. She has already established her image as The Virgin Queen and is about to unfurl some of her greatest triumphs. The Golden Age shows another side of Elizabeth, the vulnerable woman behind the white mask, struggling with impossible decisions and deep, personal disappointments. Although I love both films, I feel that The Golden Age beautifully captures the strong spirit of one of England’s most impressive monarchs.
What are your favourite sequels? Are there any on this list that you also love, or any that you’d like to add?