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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right
Whether followed by Roman or Greek numerals or followed by its very own subtitle, the sequel comes in for a lot of stick. "Cynical cash-in" is one criticism often levelled; "lesser sibling" is another. But here are the sequels that make the grade, the follow-ups that put the emphasis on "up" not "follow".

Note: We have disregarded films that are really all of a piece, like Lord of the Rings and Kill Bill, and also series that share elements but restart each time, like Carry On or Three Colours.


The 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | Next Character
Shrek 2
DIRECTED BY ANDREW ADAMSON, KELLY ASBURY, CONRAD VERNON
RELEASED: 2004

Why's it so good? Three words: Puss. In. Boots. He's adorable, he's deadly and he goes nuts for catnip. The interplay between Puss and Donkey has become the principal reason to watch the series ("The position of annoying talking sidekick has already been taken!"), while Shrek and Fiona are reduced to playing straight men in the foreground.

Shrek 2 Shrek 2
How does it stack up to the original? It's not as good: there are far too many characters, the plot, similarly, is needlessly overcomplicated, and even Puss can't make up for the lack of a great villain (much as we enjoyed Everett's Charming). And while some of the endless movie referencing works well ("Be gooooood"), there's so much of it that it becomes exhausting.

Glaring error: The practice of inserting celebrity cameos from news personalities, and then redubbing with locals in other territories, started here and it's wildly annoying. Kate Thornton for Joan Rivers? Outrageous!


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 36 MONTHS


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