© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


Mr. Movie: Better that the original?

Boy, Hollywood loves sequels. I don’t. Most of them really suck. The studios get a winner and decide to ride it into the sunset.


That said, there are exceptions!


We saw Paddington 2 because we loved the first one. The bear from darkest Peru who lands in London and is adopted by a typical British family is just so much fun and so dear. Believe it or not (I was amazed), the second one is even better. Sally Hawkins is back as the family’s Mom and Hugh Bonneville as Father. She was up for an Oscar for The Shape Of Water (2017) and he was fabulous as Robert Crawley, Lord of Grantham, in the PBS smash hit Downton Abbey. And Paddington 2 features the most unlikely of actors as the villain — Hugh Grant. Through a misunderstanding (of course), Paddington gets sent to prison. Where he quickly wins over the hardened cons and guards (and us).


The Godfather (1972) is almost the best movie ever made about gangsters. With Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Al Pacino and James Caan, it is terrific. But- the very best is the first sequel, Godfather 2 (1974). No Brando — he got his nose out of joint about his treatment by Paramount and refused to play nice with others. But it carries on the ascendancy of Vito Corelone (Pacino) and most of the rest of the original gang. Shoot, it even has Troy Donahue in a bit part! And it is the first sequel to win the Best Picture Oscar! Now be warned — Part 3 is right much of a dud.


Another sequel that won Best Movie might puzzle you. It’s Silence Of The Lambs (1991). OK, great movie — but what was the prequel? Thought you’d never ask. It is a consummate loser called Manhunter (1986). It is actually also based on Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, but it’s pretty lame. Silence is one of the scariest, nail-bitingest films ever. It features Jodie Foster as very much at risk FBI agent Clarice Starling. And it stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as the terrifying Hannibal Lecter. “I’m having a friend for lunch” gets a whole new meaning.


Terminator (1984) made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star and is really good. He plays a cyborg killer sent back from the future to kill an innocent waitress whose son will save the world in the future. But Terminator 2 (1991) is much better. Arnold is back, but this time as the protector of the future savior. And this one features Robert Patrick as the T-1000 a metallic shape-shifting killer who seems to be indestructible. Another warning: These Terminator things just keep coming — No. 6 came out in 2019. Can 7 be far behind? These sequels are OK, but not up to the first two.


Some other sequels that are arguably better than the originals include Toy Story 2 (1999) featuring Pixar at the top of its game and The Dark Knight (2008), the best of the Batman franchise.


All of the films in this article are available on DVD. All except Paddington 2 and Toy Story 2 are for adults.