Getting a sequel just right can be difficult. If the first film is neatly resolved, it can sometimes feel like a bit of a botched job to stick a subsequent two hours onto the end of it.
Take, for example, the masterpiece that is Monsters Inc. In the original film, Mike says to Sully “you’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade”. Now it would be ludicrous to try and claim that its sequel, Monsters University, isn’t a great film. Obviously it is. However, the fact that they meet in fresher’s week does directly contradict a fact we were given in the original film.
Yes it’s a small flaw in an otherwise satisfying movie. However, that’s the thing about sequels. Whatever happens in the sequel, it has to compliment the original. If it wasn’t for the success of the original movie, there wouldn’t even be a second film. Really, a good sequel should show some respect for its older and wiser sibling. Here’s Concrete’s rundown of notable sequels. Spoiler alert: there are a few flops.
There are a lot of Anchorman fans out there, and not one of them would defend it as an intelligent film. If Anchorman were a person, you wouldn’t want to be on their team for Trivial Pursuit. No doubt there were many people who were uneasy when they saw the trailer for Anchorman 2; it is unashamedly more stupid than the original. However, despite things getting very weird towards the end, the film actually manages to be funnier than its predecessor. You stay classy, Ron Burgundy.
Although the chick flick is easy to dismiss as a frivolous and shallow genre, there are undeniably a few classics out there that have pretty much achieved world domination. Grease, Dirty Dancing, and Mean Girls are like the Holy Trinity of chick flicks. Anybody who says otherwise is wrong and you shouldn’t be friends with them. However, each of them has a sequel so bad it’s almost painful to watch. In all three cases, they’ve basically tried to recreate the magic with the younger siblings of the original characters. Needless to say, it doesn’t work. Not even the heavenly Patrick Swayze (RIP) could save Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, that’s how bad it is.
Silence of the Lambs is perhaps one of the greatest crime thrillers of the last century, particularly due to its terrifyingly accurate depiction of a psychopath in the enigmatic form of Hannibal Lecter. Unsurprisingly considering its success, Silence of the Lambs is orbited by a host of sequels and prequels. Whilst none are as captivating as the original film featuring Jodie Foster’s excellent performance, the other films do provide interesting context and backstory on the making of the monstrous Lecter. Whilst all the films are based on the same series of books by Thomas Harris, all fall short of the original film. The sequels and prequels all seem crass and sensationalist compared to the unsettling subtlety of the original.
It wouldn’t be a sequels article without a mention of Godfather II, so here it is. Although most sequels are generally considered either a flop or an interesting supplement to the original, this film is hailed as being greater than its original. It’s much darker for one thing, and you don’t have to imagine what you’d do if you came home to find a severed horse’s head in your bed. That’s all we want from a film, really.