Spawning Better Sequels

There are only a few sequels which have managed to be better than the original. The list is rather bigger when we consider the older movies including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but later it turned out that the sequels were just made to make use of the franchise name and earn for money. So, lets see some of those movies which released after 2000 as the interesting sequels. You needn’t agree to this, but you can always respect others’ opinion. Here are those sequels.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: With the oirigins of the great hero already established in the predecessor, this one develops nicely on what was there in Captain America: The First Avenger, and goes on to bring a thriller which is far ahead of any other Marvel Comics based movie featuring any superhero as the lead character. With Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson around, there is almost nothing that goes wrong with this flick of high quality. This one is not just about Captain America as you will understand; this is also not just a superhero movie, but much above that. [Read the full review here]

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army: The second movie outshines the first by using the fantasy atmosphere to go with the demonic horror which is always in the background, waiting to pounce. Visually better looking, and having more of a mixed story, this one has a clear advantage over the original. I liked them both very much, but there are too many epic scenes in this one, which means that it is very difficult not to give this one the advantage. Guillermo del Toro continues making things better, and this one surely needs another sequel. The world is different now from the time this one released, and could go on to become the classic hit.

Avengers: Age of Ultron: I have loved The Avengers, and there is no doubt about that. But this sequel is clearly better, because it has a more thrilling story-line, which is why even without Loki, this works so well. This is how a superhero franchise should evolve, into something more than just blind action, as the movie brings a stronger idea along with adding stronger cast making some nice characters like Quick Sliver and the Scarlet Witch, the latter being the most stunning addition with Elizabeth Olsen joining the team. The action is also more stylish and having more power. Even though I watched this one in a smaller theatre, I felt the superiority. [Read the full review here]

X2: X-Men United: The second movie of the X-Men should undoubtedly be the best, even after so many years with the series standing at X-Men: Days of Future Past. This second entry is my all-time favourite, and the fact that it was followed by the worst X-Men movie ever, only makes its position better. The joining of the mutants is one interesting thing, and there are many others including the addition of Nightcrawler who might be the most interesting and the most admirable character ever in the history of the X-Men franchise. Unfortunately, he was not seen much around after that. It is a surprise consider the scope that the character had.

Thor: The Dark World: The difference between Thor and its sequel is rather very less, but as the former was just an origin story and the latter having more scope, it was easier to exploit the same as far as this movie is concerned. Actually, the use of Dark Elves and their leader Malekith is the highlight of this one, and the fact that most of the action is set not on Earth gives this one the visual advantage. Even when the setting shifts to Earth, there are some very nice scenes of battle. The dark matter called Aether is another thing that adds to the curiosity of the audience. [Read the full review here]

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Instead, if we look at the movies which couldn’t do better than the original, there is a long list of them, especially with the number two, like Transporter 2, Insidious Chapter 2. Saw II, Shrek 2, Die Hard 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Blade II, The Chronicles of Riddick, Despicable Me 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and others. There are also those movies which come up with the curse of the number three, like Species III, Resident Evil: Extinction, Iron Man III, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and so on. Sequels are unpredictable, but they will make money almost every time!

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of these movies.

TeNy

Of Ants and Heroes

I watched Marvel’s latest Ant-Man on the first day first show of its release in India. Despite the highly positive opinions that it managed from the critics in North America as well as the United States audience, it seems to create a lesser impact here. There were only seven people to watch that movie when I watched it here and most of them actually arrived late. It is quite unusual for a superhero movie, and I would say that it never really came close to be accepted as a superhero movie here. Only those posters featuring Iron Man Armour, Thor’s Hammer and Captain America’s Shield seems to have created any interest among the common people.

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Ant-Man will have a big struggle here. It seems that the movie is going to be changed right after the weekend or reduced to just a show as far as the common theatres are concerned. It will run better at the multiplexes, but even there, Minions, Inside Out and Baahubali have managed to score over this one. Here, I am going with the general audience, and I would say that it is not even close to being one of the top movies from Marvel, and it is a superhero who is not really there being the right part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I am going to share my favourites from Marvel on this occasion.

5. Thor (2011)
The man or rather the immortal with the hammer always had immense possibilities. With Thor: Ragnarok coming up in 2017, one has to remember that the franchise has been using the possibilities very well. The combination of myths and futuristic technology has worked really well for this one, and the speciality of the first movie is that it is more emotionally effective, and has a strong message. Along with talking about the worth attained by sacrifice, and with the assertion that where one is born is not the final decision maker, Thor makes an interesting point which is very much valid in a place where too many things are hereditary and reservations are based on caste and religion. Then there is Natalie Portman, and her presence makes it work even better, and you know what Loki can do.

4. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Developing further from its predecessor, Thor: The Dark World is just a little ahead of the first movie featuring another version of the Norse God. Malekith the Accursed and his Dark Elves are a fantastic group of villains who mix dark magic and technology in such a way that they create a huge impact. Loki remains a favourite character, and the final battle is a treat to watch, just like the darker parts of the world. Visually more stunning than its predecessor, what this world comes with is a good mixture of things. Thor movies always have a special feeling, as it is so close to the myths. This one has already made sure that there will be something bigger in store for the third movie of the series, especially if you think about the meaning of the title there – it is something to watch out for.

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3. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Successfully establishing its ideological power, Captain America: The First Avenger thrives on its messages of sacrifice and duty. This movie made Captain America my favourite Avenger and also the most interesting character from Marvel. The characterization of Captain America takes the hero model to another level and makes all other superheroes just too selfish and not ready to make the right stand. From the extremities of weaknesses, Captain America is established and this selection is based on goodness and morality rather than anything else. It also makes sure that he remains more humane than any other superhero. Well, he might be the most impossible character. Red Skull is an interesting villain here too.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The fans of the original Avengers couldn’t really take this one as this was smarter. It is the only reason why this had less collection at box-office, but still there this one did collect huge. Even the critics have the first movie more, but that is more because they were too addicted to the predecessor that they couldn’t come out of it and also failed to understand Age of Ultron which had a much better idea, message and action sequences. The addition of two new superheroes was actually a very nice boost here, and Scarlet Witch is always a joy to watch. This movie actually has more than what instantly meets the eye, and it deserved to be the top grossing movie of the year, but strange nostalgia got Jurassic World to a higher level and emotions made Fast and Furious 7 bigger than what it really is.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Among the movies from Marvel, I consider this to be the most brilliant one. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not just a superhero movie, but a thriller with some fine ideological support. The plot is smart and intelligent, and the presence of a brain never really hurts even though visuals are those most cared about in the superhero movies. Well, Captain America has always been more of a supersoldier than a superhero, and so this nicely develops into an interesting plot. There is also that seriousness maintained, which Ant-Man could never manage, and unlike the way Iron Man series has been going, this one doesn’t go the predictable or repetitive way either. An intelligent superhero will only do good to the franchise.

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***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies.

TeNy