As recently covered on Corner of Film, some sequels are better than the original movie. In fact, the idea that a sequel should continue and improve upon its predecessor is not just logical but practically expected. This leads to sequels that are far more innovative and enjoyable than the films they initially stem from, and as strange as it may seem, it’s far more commonplace than you might think.
After all, the first movie in a franchise is often overly concerned with establishing characters and their motivations. With this out of the way, the follow-up is free to dive straight into its own story, without all the guff necessary in the first film to make it all make sense. The fact that a sequel is free to pick up or discard elements of the original as it sees fit can be a major strength if used carefully.
Though not all sequels are marked improvements, some are able to overshadow the movie that came before. Whether this is for story reasons, better production values, or a change in director, there are times when sequels are simply far better than the original. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 more sequels that were actually better than the original movie.
10. Back To The Future Part II (1989)
Sequel to: Back to the Future (1985)
The first Back to the Future is an iconic movie, without a doubt. However, the sequel, Back to the Future Part II, is objectively a better film for a number of reasons. Picking up at the precise moment that Back to the Future ended, Part II sees Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) once again launched into a time-traveling adventure with his brilliant and unpredictable friend, Dr. Emmett Brown.
With regard to its narrative, Back to the Future Part II was significantly more complex than the first movie. Though this isn’t an inherently good thing, the way in which it’s achieved is brilliant: Part II builds upon the original’s time travel by introducing the concept of alternate timelines and showing firsthand the dangers of meddling with the past. Back to the Future starts in 1985, then heads to the optimistic (*ahem*) future of 2015, then to an alternate version of 1985, and finally back to 1955 to revisit the events of the first movie. This time-hopping makes for an interesting examination of the concept of time travel, making it understandable and accessible for its audience in the process.
It should really go without saying that the Back to the Future trilogy is made up of three sci-fi classics, and it’s difficult to make an objective argument for any film being definitively better than the rest. However, when looking at the trilogy from a narrative perspective, Back to the Future Part II is the most significant: it features the most story and character development of all three movies, and it introduces multiple key ideas to the franchise. Though the original remains a true classic, Part II had it beat in a number of ways.