5 Good Comedy Sequels
It’s no secret that Hollywood is obsessed with sequels. However (and yes, I have said this probably a million times), there simply aren’t a lot of good sequels. Outside of perhaps The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and a select few Marvel films, it’s really slim pickings.
With the recent debut of Dumb and Dumber To in the rearview mirror and the upcoming debut of Horrible Bosses 2, I got to thinking specifically about comedy sequels.
There aren’t that many good ones. However, if forced to suggest five comedy sequels that are actually worth watching, this is what I came up with:
While technically a sequel, Men in Black III kind of sneaks into this list. I still love the original Men in Black (even if 90% of it is for nostalgic purposes) but was very disappointed by the first sequel, Men in Black II. In fact, II could be used as evidence against the idea of sequels. However, somehow Men in Black III did enough to undo the damage of the second film and created a surprisingly well-developed time-travel premise that was better than just “half-bad.” I’m not sure if that’s good enough criteria but I’m chalking it up as a success.
Somewhat like Dumb and Dumber To, we waited an abnormal amount of time for the Anchorman sequel. After what felt like decades, news of our favorite news team reuniting sent the Internet ablaze. In some ways, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was a letdown but I like to compare it to Nextflix’s revival of Arrested Development. Time and hype set the bar a little too high. Reality is: the movie was more than just entertaining and it reminded us why all us teenage boys fell in love with the first film.
I was shocked after I saw 21 Jump Street. To me, there was no way that movie would work. Even the previews made it seem like a typical comedy that had literally every funny part in the trailer. Then I actually saw the movie and was more than just pleasantly surprised. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who later went on to direct the supremely hilarious The LEGO Movie) proved they were a force to be reckoned with. Expectations for this year’s 22 Jump Street, like Anchorman 2, were unfairly high. However, the result not only justified the idea to continue the franchise but it worked on an even deeper meta level than the first. In all, 22 Jump Street is pretty much on par with the original, and this is the best compliment it could hope for.
To me, the most “classic” comedy franchise film is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. There’s certainly plenty of National Lampoon’s movies but Christmas Vacation seems to be the most universally-praised. It’s also one of those rare holiday movies that doesn’t have to be viewed in November or December (though it definitely makes it a better experience).
When it comes down to it, though, there is no way you can talk about successful sequels and leave out Woody, Buzz, and their band of brothers. It is almost impossible (and certainly unnecessary) to discern between all three Toy Story films. However, Toy Story 2 deserves recognition because it continued the great premise of the first film while finding an action-packed storyline that actually felt original. This is hard for any film, making it even more exciting given the expectations coming off the universally-acclaimed original.
Any that I missed? Sound off below!
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