Sequels. There is typically an eye-roll and a change of intonation whenever the word sequel is uttered. But, as I have said before on this blog, I’m not really bothered by sequels. Yes, there have been utterly horrific sequels, but there have been utterly horrific films that neither had prequels or sequels, so why all the fuss about sequels?

I think the frustration with sequels is typically two-fold. First, many studios have shown that the sequel is merely a money-maker. The first was a success, therefore, the studios don’t have to put much thought into a follow-up and simply make money based off the success of its predecessor. Secondly, and I think this is more of the foundational issue, I think people hate it when good stories are ruined, and many a sequel have been responsible for that. The first one was great, you identify with the character, loved the story, and the sequel ruined everything you loved about the first. There have been some sequels that left such a lasting impression on people, they can’t even enjoy the first film anymore.

I, however, have always enjoyed and been excited about sequels. I grew up on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies, but also loved Karate Kid 2, Crocodile Dundee 2, and Home Alone 2. Now, I know those are somewhat nostalgic sequels that might not possess excellent quality, but we know there have been those sequels that rival their predecessor: The Godfather part II, Aliens, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Not only do we have excellent sequels to look back on, I also believe studios are trying harder to hone their craft of sequels. They no longer simply see sequels as money-makers. I know some do [cough] Michael Bay[cough], but there are those sequels that care about their story; i.e., The Dark Knight, The Bourne series, and Sherlock Holmes. Let’s admit it, those are well-told stories in which the filmmakers have attempted to employ the same care they did with the initial installment.

I understand this discussion is being sparked by a not-so-great film, Taken. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Taken. There are truths, which will be discussed tomorrow, that really resonated with me. However, I don’t think Taken will be a timeless film, it was somewhat of a made-for-TV-movie that made it to the theater.

My point is that we should show a bit more grace to sequels. Push the fact that filmmakers have ruined sequels to the side. We should all desire for stories to keep going. In my recent reflections on The Dark Knight Rises, I said we never want good stories to end because the best story never does. We were all designed for an eternity, whether that eternity is in the arms of Jesus Christ or in eternal torment, we have been created for an eternity. Therefore, there is still part of us that doesn’t like to function within the confines of time. We want the story to keep going.

While I do plan on seeing Taken 2, whether it’s in the theater or not I don’t know. I don’t think it will enter the discussion of all-time-best sequels. I do, however, know the best sequel of all time. Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:17-19 we read, “If, because of one man’s [Adam] trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who received the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in the life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” This is why Jesus Christ is referred to as The Second Adam. In this case, the sequel is infinitely better.

  1. miriamel78 says:

    We were just talking about the trailer for Taken. It came on during a football game, and we turned to one another and said, ‘This looks just like that movie Taken……oh.” I didn’t think that the first one warranted a sequel, and I probably won’t watch it.

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