It’s rare, but sometimes the climax of a trilogy is in the middle. Perhaps the filmmakers have just developed a better understanding of the characters, or even the narrative as a whole, but either way, the second installment can be a keeper.
Whether it’s intergalactic wars or post-apocalyptic journeys, some Redditors watch a particular trilogy and say “I like the middle one best.” Some of the Reddit users’ picks will come as a surprise to moviegoers while others will be right, but either way, they think these second chapters are definitely worth watching.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Almost Everything About George A. Romero’s Premonitory dawn of the dead holds up today. Mainly because it works so much more than just a horror movie. Just as the original tackled racial tensions, Dawn points to consumerism.
Aliasad1998 was both expansive and precise in his assessment: “Using zombies to convey the idea of dehumanizing the enemy and its effects, has been done many times since that film, but has never been so good Moreover, the film’s status as an intelligent commentary on consumer culture…has been discussed at length and deservedly so.”
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
the original star wars trilogy has several bizarre scenes, but at least two-thirds of them are a masterpiece so far. An editor in chief, king_jong_ilprovided their ranking of the first six installments of the saga, giving the edge to the original trilogy The Empire Strikes Back: “A new hope was better than the prequels and the The Empire Strikes Back even better than that. I feel Return of the Jedi wasn’t as good as Empire Strikes Back.”
Few fans or general viewers would disagree on Return of the Jedi being the weakest of the three, but Redditors are split on whether A new hope Where Empire is better. However, the slight advantage goes to the latter.
The Road Warrior (1981)
For many, the return of George Miller in the post-apocalypse, The road warrioris by far the best episode of the original madmax trilogy. The fourth chapter of the Miller saga, Mad Max: Fury Roadexists in the same universe but serves more as a reboot than a continuation.
_EarlofSandwich_ was succinct with their praise: “The road warrior remains one of the leanest and most iconic films to date.” However, Redditors tend to be divided between the second chapter of the trilogy and 2015’s road of fury. But they are very different beasts and should be analyzed as such. A user now deleted wrote “road of fury probably has better action and is very exciting The road warrior feels like a fuller story and was thematically more resonant. I preferred Max’s characterization in this film and how thin it was.”
Bill and Ted’s Fake Trip (1991)
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure wasn’t supposed to start a trilogy, but thank goodness it’s because Redditors seem to like all three. As the 2020s Bill and Ted face the music was one of the few long-delayed trilogy cappers (or simply sequels) that did as well as the original installments, Redditors seem to gravitate toward the duo’s second adventure, Bill and Ted’s fake trip.
MovieBuff90 put it well in their thread, “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey is a hellish sequel”: “While the first is a goofy 80s classic, this sequel is a bizarre journey through time and hell. This What I love about this sequel is how willing the filmmakers were to go in. Most comedic sequels just rehash the events of the first movie, but this one goes its own way.
Scream 2 (1997)
The fans claim Cry 6, which is now dated March 2023, but they still have 5 more movies to binge. This includes the excellent Cry 2, which Redditors tend to favor even over the original film. Now, Cry 4 sure, the franchise was dropped from trilogy status, but more than a decade passed between the 3rd and 4th installments, and the 3rd was blatantly trying to serve as a conclusion to the stories of Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Dewey Riley.
Designer-Molasses-732 aptly described the appeal of the college film: “For me, Cry 2 had the most serious tone and funniest setting. I love that movie. So many memorable scenes. The creative opening, the death of CiCis, the death of Randy in broad daylight, the studio chase of Gale, Sid and Hallie trapped in the police car, etc. Also, I liked the masses of media and police all around campus. There was a lot going on, a lot of different suspects.”
Before Sunset (2004)
Several Redditors believe that before sunrise (1995), before sunsetand Before midnight (2013) are of similar quality. Others specifically defend the middle chapter, as a user now deleted: “Although I like all three, I always thought the second one was the strongest. I like that it’s in real time and the frustration throughout the film is unbearable, especially how it ends .God, I love those movies.”
BaltimoreKnot definitively agreed, writing “Sunrise was a great movie, and Midnight was good (but quite grueling), but Sunset is absolutely fantastic, by far the best of the trio.”
Shrek 2 (2004)
Shrek (2001) was a critically acclaimed pop culture juggernaut that occupied the box office for weeks. Then Shrek 2 did the same in the summer of 2004, receiving comparable reviews and earning almost twice as much as its predecessor.
Jellyfish Wish7 was succinct:Shrek 2it’s a masterpiece. same Redditor then responded to his own comment with “In my film class, my teacher explained why this was one of the best follow-up movies, just saying.”
Spiderman 2 (2004)
Like the 2002 original, Spiderman 2 was a well-reviewed and financially successful superhero film. It was also narratively richer than returning director Sam Raimi’s original film, and the director’s comfort with elaborate sets proves even more impressive with the creation of Alfred Molina’s iconic Doctor Octopus.
UltimateStrenergy praised Raimi’s sequel, writing “Spiderman 2, there is not even a competition. Maybe even the greatest movie.”
Hot Fuzz (2007)
SECRETLY_A_FRECKLE suggested Wright’s second movie starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but with a note about its episode status of a three-movie arc, “I’m going to throw Warm fuzz here. Not part of an official trilogy, but it’s the second movie in the Cornetto trilogy, so I’m calling it.”
Warm fuzz account, and even if it is a different film from Shaun of the dead and the end of the worldit still feels similar enough to be considered more than just a director’s share.
The Dark Knight (2008)
A thread has been started to determine which is generally the best episode of a trilogy: first, second or third? Naturally, Redditors offered all three as a suggestion, but there was a clear preference for the second episode.
The_quietkid69 have posited that the second installments of franchises are often the best. They then listed several examples, including The black Knight. Dizzy-Entrepreneur96 then replied “I forgot The black Knight in terms of being a trilogy. Definitely one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.”
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