They're No. 2 No. 1!
What's better than the new Wall Street turning out to be a pretty worthy successor to the original? Five sequels that turned out to be better than their originals!
Notes: We were kinda disappointed Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps got cold feet on Wall Street 2, so we thought we'd give love here to films that proudly wore their "2"s. In other words, Jaws 2 was eligible for consideration; Empire Strikes Back was not.
Also, in our book, the Lord of the Ringses, Harry Potters, James Bonds and Twilights of the world are series, not sequels. Plus, they're totally too refined to have numbers in their titles. Ooh-la-la.
OK, and now the list…
1. Empire Strikes Back (1980): You know how great this movie is? We couldn't abide by our own rules for more than one lousy paragraph. Who cares if it's not called Star Wars 2? And who cares if George Lucas now wants us to call it Star Wars: Episode Whatever? We love Han Solo. And we love that Han Solo knows it.
2. Toy Story 2 (1999): Toy Story was very, very good. Toy Story 2 was very, very good. "When She Loved Me" was the tie-breaker.
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982): Oh, was Star Trek: The Motion Picture slooooow. The only thing that lingers in this whiz-bang adventure is Wiliam Shatner's "Khaaaaan!," and that's the way it should be.
4. The Godfather: Part II (1974): A classic, a Best Picture-winner that brought honor to the sequel and one of the few followups that deserves its Roman numerals. (Oh, c'mon, you know they look more impressive. And, yes, to be honest, we think Star Trek II is too fun to be not be titled Star Trek 2.) In any case, it's hard to out-epic The Godfather, but Part II, with its dual storylines, timelines and Robert De Niro, did it.
5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991): If the 1984 original was, literally, a James Cameron fever dream, then this was our wake-up call. What we learned: (1) Cameron was a master; (2) you could safely make your bad guy go kid-friendly, so long as your leading lady got rock-hard; and, (3) nuclear annihilation, as imagined by Sarah Connor, is really, really, really scary.
Where will our sequels of tomorrow come from? Why, from Movies From the Future, of course?