We saw Catching Fire last night, and let me say, it’s always a treat when, in those rare moments in time, you land on a cinematic sequel that’s better than its predecessor. Catching Fire is one such movie. Where Gary Ross’s adaptation was passable, I think we can all agree that it was a bit rushed at times (and dragged at some parts) and never really let the full impact of the story settle in on the audience.
But I Am Legend’s Francis Lawrence’s followup to the Hunger Games does not suffer from any of the above ailments. Instead, it is one of those sequels that knocks its predecessor out of the *ahem* arena. By the ten-minute mark me and the group I went with were already near tears. And let me just say: I will never look at Rafiki the monkey the same way again.
Here are some other movies that, in my opinion, are better than the originals that inspired them.
Toy Story 3 – I may be biased, because this is one of my all time favorite movie franchises, and even though the original and the sequel are already pure 10’s, part 3 is an easy 15. Sarabeth claims that she’s never seen me cry so hard as I did in the theaters for this movie (although I maintain it was when we watched My Dog Skip.)
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 – I’m sure most people skipped this movie because of the yawn-fest of the last two. Granted, this turned into a high-seas soap opera quicker than you can say “Buccaneer”. But On Stranger Tides really would have been a better immediate followup to the first movie.
Mission: Impossible III & Ghost Protocol – I can leave or take the first Mission Impossible, the second one is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Heck, I can easily say that Mission Impossible III is the greatest action movie I’ve ever seen, and it’s followup, Brad Bird’s Ghost Protocol is close on its heels.
Monsters University – This is a tough one because Monsters Inc. is pretty flawless on its own. And it’s not that Monsters University is better than its predecessor (nor is it worse), but it actually makes it better. Heck, Monsters University is pretty great on its own, and whenever I watch it, I end up feeling so sorry for anyone who doesn’t see it.
Shrek 2 – I’m not sure why I like this better than the original. I will say that Shrek the Third was a complete embarrassment, but they made up for it with Part 4, believe it or not.
The Dark Knight- ‘Nuff said. I have’t seen The Dark Knight Rises yet, but it’s pretty hard to believe that it could be better than The Dark Knight.
Return of the King- True, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is like one long movie, but it’s one long movie that just gets better and better and better. Tissue, please.
The Rescuers Down Under – I wonder if many people know this is a sequel. Though Disney’s original Rescuers is pretty great, this one definitely ups the ante via visuals, emotion, music, and memorable characters. G’day mate!
Share with us some of your favorite sequels in the comments below. Did you see Catching Fire yet? What did you think?