The Best Comic Book Adaptation Sequels (Part 2 Only)
I know I’ve been complaining a lot lately about sequels and remakes lately. But I’m in the midst of a long weekend and I’m in a much better mood. I wanted to look back at the best sequels (Part 2) I’ve seen and give them their due respect. I will especially give extra points if a sequel revived an otherwise struggling franchise. Actually, I want to try to focus on those films in particular. Sometimes you don’t even have to see the original film to be caught up because producers will try to re-invent the franchise with a sequel instead of starting over. But, I will let you know which one of the films I mention does deserve a viewing of the original.
5. Blade II: Taking the Director’s chair from Stephen Norrington by Guillermo del Toro, the story immediately introduced an interesting twist by having Blade team up with the very vampires council he has been hunting to stop a new breed of vampires that feed on other vampires, it’s an extremely entertaining and suspenseful dynamic throughout. No one can make Wesley Snipes look like a good actor, but the fight scenes are amazing and the rest of the cast (particularly Ron Perlman) do most of the dramatic heavy lifting. The original “Blade” is okay, but not necessary to watch to understand everything in the sequel.
4. Spider-Man 2: Easily the best of the Tobey Maguire spidey trilogy. We were not worthy for having the great Alfred Molina nail Doctor Octopus in ways that no one saw coming. He was hurt. He was angry. He was terrifying. Accompanied with a great story, amazing visuals, and a supporting cast of Willem Dafoe and James Franco back when he was actually still trying, this sequel is a dark horse for one of the top fifteen best part 2 films of all time (in any genre). It would probably still be a good idea to watch the first film; especially if you’re completely new to Spider-Man.
3. Batman Returns: The not-as-dark, but still fascinating sequel to the 1989 original. Released in 1992, this was my generation’s introduction to two of the most popular villains in the comic book folklore. Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer deliver stellar performances. The last scene is a truly great setup to a part 3 that never happened. You should definitely watch the first Tim Burton adaptation before diving into this one.
2. X-2: To this day, this still has the greatest opening scene of any comic book movie. Directed by Bryan Singer and written by Zak Penn, X-2 chronicles the X-Men band together to try to stop a group of mutants keen on assassinating The President of The United States. A great script carried by Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) makes this a great ride. Even if you’ve never heard of X-Men before, I think you can get away without watching the first one as long as you can accept that people can be painted blue from head to toe and teleport.
1. The Dark Knight: Was there ever any doubt? Winner of two Oscars and nominated for many more, “The Dark Knight” introduces us to a reimagined villain in ways we never saw coming. I’ve talked about Heath Ledger’s performance in this role so much already, I don’t know what else to say. A dark and gritty pseudo reality for a comic book premise, this is still, hands down, the best part 2 of any comic franchise and may possibly one of the greatest part 2 films of all time. The original, “Batman Begins”, (also written and directed by Christopher Nolan) absolutely deserves a viewing before diving into “The Dark Knight” even if you already know everything there is to know about the Batman folklore.