It’s oft-repeated movie wisdom that sequels are always inferior to their originals. Of course, people who watch enough films and take the time to think about them instead of reiterating the same trite axioms as everyone else know this to be far from accurate. Apropos of nothing, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to put forward a litany of sequels he considers to outstrip their predecessors in quality.
Wrath of Kahn
Legend of the Drunken Master
Blade Runner 2049
Final Destination 2
Captain America Winter Soldier
Add others below.
PS It’s an unarguable fact Alien & Aliens are equal.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 12, 2020
He went on to state that Terminator 2 also belongs on the list but he forgot to add it, and that the preponderance of superhero movies is accounted for by the first of such series often being an origin story, with the time required to introduce a character from scratch often weighing them down and a required battle against a villain not always being an organic fit into the narrative.
Someone did put forward Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as a viable candidate, to which Gunn replied: “They’re both my children,” suggesting he can’t be expected to choose between them. Meanwhile, his assertion that Alien and Aliens are equal is a reasonable statement, and can also be extended by pointing out that comparing them is difficult as the first is a horror movie, while the second is action.
His specification that he’s only considering direct sequels to an original entry accounts for the absence of the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road, Bride of Chucky, Fast & Furious and 6-Headed Shark Attack, each of which are the fourth in a series and better than everything that came before them.
This would be the point I would ask you to sound off below if you agree with Gunn’s list or if there’s anything you would consider adding to it, which I encourage you to do, but also consider something even more potentially blasphemous: which remakes do you think are better than the original?