Age of Ultron came out last week. Like many geeks and fans of the Marvel movies, I saw it that weekend.
And, to be completely spoiler free, I was also a little disappointed. I won’t really go into why here. The problem for many sequels, and Age of Ultron was no exception, is that its hard to meet expectations. The Matrix sequels were highly anticipated, and were a major letdown. Big budget action sequels often do stuff like go back to what came before and seemed to work, and then doing more and more of that. Meanwhile, the novelty has somewhat worn off. Take, as an example, the big fight in the middle of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. No one really saw it coming, and it was full of amusing cameos from recognizable actors. Naturally, when the sequel was made (a movie I mostly enjoyed, truth be told), the fight was expanded and made even crazier, as befits a sequel. Was it better? Not really.
But every so often, a movie comes out that is a sequel that is just plain better than the original. It doesn’t happen often, but below the cut are some of my picks for sequels better than the originals.