Did Top Gun: Maverick make the cut?
Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters this weekend! I thought that this would be a fun ranking to do. There are tons of sequels out there. Some are good, some are bad. Some are terrible. But then some surpass their original film. Those are the ones that make this list. Also, I just want to inform you guys that this is SECOND MOVIES ONLY. Infinity War and Endgame are not eligible for this list. You will not see Star Trek or Toy Story 3. There are great third and fourth movies out there, but I did not include those on this list. With that said, here are my ten favorite sequels of all time.
10. Deadpool 2
A lot of times, bigger doesn't always mean better. And I wouldn't argue that Deadpool 2 is better than Deadpool. I like them both equally. However, I think Deadpool 2 might be the funnier film. It ups all of the meta jokes. It turns the ridiculous dial up to 11. Deadpool is crazier. It's more violent. But I think it's more fun. Deadpool may be the better overall film, but Deadpool 2 is the more entertaining movie.
9. Creed II
Creed II is my favorite film of the Rocky franchise. What I found so impressive about this film was its ability to take something as ridiculous as Rocky IV and ground it. You see the effect of Apollo's death on Rocky and on Adonis. The fight at the end between Adonis and Victor Drago is brutal and intense. Rocky IV is dumb fun, but Creed II acts as a great sequel to both Creed and Rocky IV by taking the seriousness of Creed and applying it to the most over-the-top Rocky movie...and I think it works entirely.
8. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home is my favorite Spider-Man movie. I stand by that even after No Way Home blew me out of the water. This film combines the John Hughes comedy that made Homecoming so great with this big, epic superhero story with high stakes and a great villain. People say Jon Watts doesn't have a distinctive style. I completely disagree. He shows off all of his talent as a director in this film. The Mysterio sequences are some of the best scenes in the MCU. I love Far From Home. It's an absolute blast.
7. A Quiet Place Part II
I have a confession: I have not seen A Quiet Place. I've seen parts of it, but I haven't seen the whole thing from beginning to end. However, I think A Quiet Place Part II is a great sequel because it works as its own individual movie. Yes, there are maybe a few parts that feel like you need to have seen A Quiet Place, but overall, I think this movie stands straight up entirely on its own. John Kraskinski's direction is jaw-dropping. The tension is insane. And it's one of the best paced movies of all time. I adore this film, and I cannot wait for more Quiet Place movies.
6. Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 is better than Toy Story. Now, it's still the third best Toy Story movie (which doesn't make it bad. It's still super high on this list), but I think this is an absolutely fantastic movie. Toy Story was a character study of Woody and his pride. Toy Story 2 deconstructs Woody and examines how he reacts to being taken away from Andy, and it's not exactly what you would expect. They use Buzz in a great way. Jessie and Bullseye are obviously iconic characters that were introduced in here. A few too many corny Star Wars references aside, Toy Story 2 is one of the great animated movies of all time.
5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2 is one of the best crafted movies of all time. It's a fabulous sequel to Terminator, because it takes the franchise in a logical direction that you weren't really excepting. Schwarzenegger was a terrifying killing machine in the first movie. How do you outdo that? Make him a terrifying killing machine in the second movie...but have him be a protagonist and learn humanity. That's absolute genius. Beyond that, James Cameron knows how to increase stakes and scale. This is a much bigger film that focuses on the fight for the future more than it does the Terminator tracking down John Connor. It's the definition of bigger being better. This is a great movie. It outdoes everything that The Terminator did, and I love The Terminator.
4. Top Gun: Maverick
I cannot actually believe that this movie is this high on this list. I am not a Top Gun fan. I don't like the story or the action. Maverick is a likable, if somewhat bland character. However, after Top Gun: Maverick, I am in shock. This movie made me like Top Gun a significant amount more. And it made Maverick one of my favorite characters. The film makes you care so much more than Top Gun did. It follows up on all these plot lines that were setup thirty years ago in a really satisfying way. I am genuinely amazed at how good this movie is. I cannot wait to go back to the theater and see it again.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier is my second favorite MCU movie. It's near perfect. The MCU is known for the big CGI spectacle, with the multiverse and time travel and the Infinity Stones...all that stuff. Winter Soldier is none of that. This is a political spy thriller that has the best action in a superhero movie...ever. This film doubles down on the paranoia of a corrupt government agency, and gives you one of the most intense and emotionally resonant MCU blockbusters. This is the MCU at one of its many peaks, and I really hope they are able to recapture the magic of this film in the future.
2. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
1. The Dark Knightn my two favorite movies of all time. The Empire Strikes Back is the template for all other sequels. Star Wars was such a massive hit. How could you top that? Make it darker. Put our heroes in peril. HAVE THEM LOSE. Show us Luke's faults. Show us Darth Vader at his most powerful and most evil. Give us one of the greatest final showdowns in a film ever. Empire is a perfect movie. I love it to death. It's probably the film I've watched the most times. I cannot rave about it enough.
1. The Dark Knight
What is there to be said that hasn't already been said by thousands before me? The Dark Knight is another perfect movie. It's my favorite film. Batman Begins is a great Batman origin story. The Dark Knight is a great Batman story just overall. It has that detective element while also showing you the terrors that Gotham City has. The Joker is the quintessential Batman foe, and he is executed to utter perfection here by Heath Ledger. This film is iconic for a reason. It's atop so many lists for a reason. Every time I bring it up on my blog, I just don't want to stop writing about it because I love it so much. It's the best.