In my opinion, very few movie franchises offer a sequel that equals or improves on the original. Most of the time, studios that have a hit on their hands simply think that bigger is better. They might produce a popular and profitable film, but it frequently doesn’t add up to a very satisfying follow-up. This lazy recipe, more often than not, just leads to a disappointing mess (yes, I’m looking at you Iron Man 2, Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3).
In some cases, a new director will take the helm of a true classic and come out with a fresh personal vision that doesn’t appear to be a carbon copy on steroids (case in point : Alien and Aliens).
And on very rare occasions, a director will take his own brainchild and build on it to produce a chef d’oeuvre. I present to you, dear readers, exhibits A and B : The Terminator and Terminator 2 : judgement day. As far as I’m concerned, these two gems offer a fully realized storyline that reaches a very satisfying conclusion. Everything else that followed was just an attempt to cash in on their success without ever coming close to recreating the movie magic created by James Cameron (a fellow Canadian!).
If you have never viewed these sci-fi masterpieces, don’t be deterred by the fact that they star Mr. Schwarzenegger. Just believe me when I tell you that this is the role he was destined to play. And you’ll be glad he came back.