12. Sequels

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October 17, 2012 by bdetienne

This morning, I was perusing CNN.com for the post-debate reactions when I came across a story from partner website Entertainment Weekly about Taken 2. The film, staring Liam Nielsen, is a follow up to the 2008 film Taken and centers around an ex-CIA agent who is targeted by the father of men he killed in the midst of trying to rescue his kidnapped daughter in Paris in the first film. I enjoyed the first installment immensely but thought it was a one-off film, but a few months ago I began seeing trailers for the second.

Sequels are not uncommon in Hollywood. [Sometimes they are planned, such as a book series adaptation like Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; other times, they aren’t (wow, this National Treasure movie is a huge hit! Let’s make another one!)] However, due to several factors that may include budget, stars from first moving bowing out, bad script, fan expectations, timing, etc., the sequel is often not as good as its predecessor. It may be decent [even serving as a nice complement to the first film] or it may be terrible [franchise-killing, in some cases], but it just isn’t the first one.

Which brings me back to the EW article. It is claiming that Taken 2 could take the rare sequel that is better than the first film [audiences seem to be agreeing as the film has been tops at the box office during its first two weeks in theaters and is fast approaching the $100 million mark in receipts]. It then has a photo slideshow of 15 other sequels that their reporter opines are better than the first. In my opinion there are only three sequels I have seen that were better than the debut film: Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars Episode V); Terminator 2: Judgment Day; and The Dark Knight. Take a look at the list and see if you agree. Perhaps you have some films you would add to the list?

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