It’s getting harder to find a film that’s not made to be some sort of kickoff for a franchise. During the summer months, especially, audiences are bombarded with remakes, reboots, and sequels. Just this summer there has been Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Jurassic World, Magic Mike XXL, and Terminator: Genisys, to name a few. But what makes a good sequel? Since most sequels are guaranteed to make money based solely off the inventive first installment without ever changing a thing (cough, The Hangover series, cough), then what inspires filmmakers to deliver a sequel that actually extends the journey begun in the first film, expanding it in a new and entertaining way?
These are the questions at the heart of the latest video by YouTube user Now You See It. In “What Makes A Sequel Good?,” the video essayist compares various sequels to note where they succeeded and where others failed. Terminator 2: Judgment Day, for example, added multiple twists and wrinkles to the original premise and expanded on the characters introduced in the first film. Speed 2: Cruise Control, on the other hand, merely substituted a boat for a bus. It’s an interesting examination of what lies at the heart of good sequels, and how Hollywood could stand to think more about making a good film instead of simply a cash grab on name recognition alone.