This one’s really pretty self-explanatory so I’ll just say this… most people think sequels suck. And the general consensus, besides never start a sentence with “and,” is that you definitely STOP AT A TRILOGY! Below, I offer proof that sometimes it’s okay to keep pumping out films. Enjoy:
EXCLUSIONS: STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 – THE PHANTOM MENACE.
I’m excluding this film for two reasons. (1) I’d probably put it at #1 for nostalgic reasons but it’s actually not a really good movie. So, to remain objective, I should just exclude it (same goes for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). (2) To justify it, let’s just say that even though it’s #4 in the series it’s actually #1 in the continuity of the series. I’ll buy into that one if you will.
5. POLICE ACADEMY 4: CITIZENS ON PATROL.
Citizens on Patrol. C.O.P. Get it? I love the Police Academy franchise and, oddly, I have watched this one more than any of the other films. It’s stupid humor but I have a soft spot for it. Don’t get me wrong, the first sequel is probably the best in the franchise but this is probably my favorite behind it. Plus, it features HUGE stars… like Sharon Stone and Tony Hawk… yeah, that Tony Hawk!
4. FAST & FURIOUS.
Admittedly, this is much more of a true sequel but c’est la vie. I must say that this film, along with the one that followed it, restored my trust in carrying non-traditional franchises (like Batman, Pirates, etc.) beyond trilogies. The fact that that was pulled off by a Vin Diesel drag racing movie was no small feat. Turns out these films are just fun and with a good idea, the right talent and a decent script, you can milk a franchise of everything it has without offending audiences.
3. HARRY POTTER & THE GOBLET OF FIRE.
Here’s the thing about Harry Potter movies… they don’t really make bad ones. This one tends to get forgotten because it follows arguably the best film in the franchise and just before the films turned much darker in tone. However, it is a great watch that allows you to delve deeper into the Harry Potter world and the games are just fun. In fairness to it’s placement at #3 on the list, I will say that it is probably the best made film on this list if not one of the best fourquels ever written.
2. LETHAL WEAPON 4.
I LOVE this movie. It was my first real exposure to Jet Li who was an excellent addition (as a villain) to the cast. Now, the addition of Chris Rock for comic relief wasn’t quite as welcomed. It was quite annoying especially compounded with the equally annoying, though forgivable, return of Joe Pesci’s Leo Getz. Still, this is easily the best film in the franchise behind the original and contains an ending very similar to The Phantom Menace where Murtaugh and Riggs take on a very pissed off Jet Li. Good stuff!
1. ROCKY IV.
Rocky IV is not a good movie but you cannot have grown up in the 80s and NOT love this film. Sylvester Stallone’s blatant attempt to end the cold war with a boxing movie is just the same old story in a different dress. The problem is, we love that same old story so much that we can’t help but cheer for Rocky as he goes through the motions one more time. If you disagree, I must break you!
Also, be sure to check out the Classic Column take on Rocky IV (and the whole series) – it goes deeper than any Rocky analysis has a right to!
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.