19 Sequels That Were Definitely Better Than The Original

There is a stigma among movies (and other forms of media) that sequels can never be as good as the original. They're more often seen as cash grabs with lesser quality, and who can blame people for thinking so?

Sometimes, though, something magical happens. A sequel not only matches the original in quality, but surpasses it. When a Reddit post asked people to for movie sequels that were better than originals, people were happy to share.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

"Mad Max 2: [The Road Warrior] beats the [expletive] out of the rest of them. The first is a good, low-budget flick, number 3 is dire and it's telling that [Mad Max: Fury Road] was basically the best bits from Road Warrior stretched out into a full movie."

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.

"The quality variations between the 9 original Star Trek films is mind-boggling. How can you go from Wrath of Khan to Search for Spock. From First Contact to Nemesis. Did they just pick their writers at random for each movie and pray for the best?"

The Rescuers Down Under.

"Everything about it, too. Animation the quality of a Disney feature of the same era; the talents of Bob Newhart and John Candy; music and sound direction. It was just a good movie."

Many replies shared the thought of not knowing it was the second movie of the series, instead thinking the original The Rescuers film was the bad sequel.

The Dark Knight.

"I don’t like superhero movies, but this movie is amazing and puts the others to shame. It’s ironic that [the] best movie (for me) was about a character who didn’t have any superpowers. Meanwhile, I was bored out of my damn mind watching [The Avengers]."

X2: X-Men United.

"[...] there is a lot of world-building in the first film, including the hero origin story. X-Men did a lot of work establishing mutants, the X-Men, their abilities, their headquarters, their foes, and their place in the world. Once all that was out of the way, the second film had much more time to fully develop a full X-Men story."

Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

This one had a bit of debate within the replies, like this person who came to the first movie's defense, "I actually prefer the first one (though both are great). The biggest things that put it ahead are the more 80s cyberpunky aesthetic and the way the time travel works (I'm a sucker for things like the bootstrap paradox, so it does bother me a little that T2 throws the rules out the window)."

22 Jump Street.

"[21 Jump Street] is way better than it had any right to be which is usually a sign the sequel will be a phoned in cash grab where the jokes are, at best, stale repeats of the first (see Anchorman 2 for example). [22 Jump Street]'s entire meta spin is that it's just an exact repeat of the first with a bigger budget and it takes the 4th wall self-referencing to a ridiculous level. And of course the fake sequel chronology at the end is just the cherry on top."

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

"I feel like the first film was supposed to be some stand-alone crap as [it] lays the whole story in front of you [...] but once it started to gain traction, that's when Lucas was like '[expletive] I could make money and make people happy off of this as a series', so that's when the [The Empire Strikes Back] was born."

Thor: Ragnarok.

"The first one was boring, the second was forgettable, but they got that crazy Kiwi to direct the third one and that movie was amazing."

Another user elaborated on this, "Further, I contend Ragnarok is the most rewatchable film in all of the MCU. I am not saying it is the best movie, but the most enjoyable movie across multiple viewings."

The Godfather: Part II.

"Watch the breakdown scene with Al Pacino and Diane Keaton near the end. You know the one.

Dude can make all the crazy Adam Sandler movies he wants. That scene was one of the greatest acting moments in cinema history."

Shrek 2.

"It was everything [Shrek] had but more."

"I’ve gotten in some very long, very drunk arguments about this before." said one user, "The whole castle storming sequence alone makes Shrek 2 a masterpiece."

From the soundtrack to that perfect cinematic moment, many were lauding this film as absolutely amazing.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

"Catching Fire could have been a boring repeat of the first movie: government oppression, rumblings of revolution, and, of course, entering the arena. However, the movie was incredible. Perfect pacing, incredible writing, and, most importantly, engaged me in every single scene. I knew what was happening but I was still gasping and sitting on the edge of my seat."

Spider-Man 2.

"[Toby McGuire] is still the best spiderman to me. I rewatched Spider-Man 2 recently and it was so good I wondered how they could have cast other spidermen when he still exists."

Continuing to complement performances, another person wrote, "I've said it before, but Alfred Molina in my opinion was the perfect casting for Doc Ock. Menacing but relatable."

Paddington 2.

"I saw the first one and I heard they were making a second. 'How could they possibly make it better than the first?' asked I. Then they went and did it. I still love both of them, but the second had just a little more fun with it."

Addams Family Values.

Finally, one I can personally rally behind. The amount that I watched Addams Family Values as a kid was probably concerning and likely explains a lot regarding why I am the way I am in adulthood, but at least it was good!

Batman Returns.

The second Batman film on the list, the commenter justified it by saying, "Michelle Pfeiffer in black latex. Danny DeVito. Penguins wearing jetpacks. Christopher Walken. Devine feminine wrath. Doomed romance. A soundtrack by Danny Elfman. Neon in the living room."

All excellent points.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

"I feel like Winter Soldier is good for any movie, not just a comic book movie, but it would stand apart as a spy/action-mystery film. It’s one of my [favorite] films," wrote one fan, sharing an opinion that many in the replied agreed with.


As one person pointed out, "The original was a horror movie. The second was an action movie."

To which others agreed, "Alien is top tier horror sci-fi [...] Aliens takes what we already know and just amplifies how chaotic things can get. But the slow burn of discovery of watching the original Alien is just so elegantly paced."

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

"The first movie moved slowly for me, and the only interesting characters were Clarisse, Joe, and Mia in that movie. The second movie had a more interesting plotline (even if mildly cliché, but it was a well-done cliché), all the characters interested me, and it was outstanding to see Mia get to be queen without getting married, taking the law down at her own wedding."