“Once You Get The Origin Story Out Of The Way…”

A.O. Scott‘s observation that the second films in a franchise (The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, Spiderman 2) tend to be the best ones is true, I think. David Carr: “Is there any chance that Hangover 3 will by any good?” Otherwise they’re performing a kind of superficial forced joviality in quotes. What else are they gonna do? Let it all out and just hate on the whole corporate summer avalanche? No — lighthearted chuckles.

  • Correcting Jeff

    Add Superman 2. And while Star Trek: The Motion Picture wasn’t an origin story, they obviously figured out how to make things tick in The Wrath of Khan.
    Where this breaks down: Godfather 2, which included the origin story.
    Also, Abrams version of Trek wasn’t a traditional origin story in one key sense- given the time travel hook changed what was the original “origin” for the characters, we weren’t covering old ground, everything was technically new.

    • chien_clean

      Superman 2 is just fight scenes. It’s not better than Superman with the origin and so forth.

  • obfusciatrist

    Iron Man 2 is the worst of the three. Hangover 2 may end up better than Hangover 3 but it was worse than the first. Temple of Doom is the weakest of the first three.

    Personally, I think the second Back to the Future is the weakest of the three. Matrix doesn’t fit.

    I’m having more trouble coming up with additional examples of franchises where #2 was best than where it wasn’t.

    • Raising_Kaned

      If you’re “having trouble” coming up with the likes of Wrath of Khan, Silence of the Lambs, The Road Warriors, Superman 2, X2, Evil Dead 2, Terminator 2 maybe you should be spending more time watching movies, and less time on blogs talking about them? I mean — I’m teasing you, of course, but COME ON, MAN!

      Additionally — you could name Aliens, Two Towers, Bourne Supremacy, Dawn of the Dead, Hot Shots: Part Deux, Bride of Frankenstein, Batman Returns and be totally justified in doing so (although, in almost all of those cases, the original is very highly-regarded, as well, so it becomes a bit of a spirited debate).

      A tougher exercise is finding a trilogy in which the third movie is FAR-AND-AWAY the best. You have The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (if that counts), Toy Story 3 (arguable), Goldfinger (highly-arguable, esp. given the length of that series), and then you start grasping for straws looking for stuff like NL’s Christmas Vacation where the quality bar is set considerably lower.

      FWIW, I don’t think either ToD or BTTF2 are the weakest of their respective trilogies — that would be the third, IMHO — and Reloaded actually IS my fave Matrix (I fully realize that POV is way off the reservation, though).

      • obfusciatrist

        I’m not having trouble naming those. I didn’t say I couldn’t think of any other examples, just that it was easier to think of examples that didn’t fit the model than those that do.

  • JoeS

    BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Is also a great 2nd film.

    But, I think that, overall, the second is best saying is overdone. There are almost as many con examples as pro.

  • David Slovakia

    Wrath of Khan is highly overrated. Star Trek 4, the one where they save the whales is easily the most entertaining one of the bunch.