After last weeks' Collaborative Top 5 result here are my picks for the best film sequels of all time.
5. Mad Max II (1981) [d: George Miller] - I remember getting this from the video shop in Thames Ditton village. I think I might have even bought their copy a few years later when they were closing down. It's been a long time since I saw it but my memory suggests it might have been better than the original. It certainly benefited from a bigger budget and director George Miller took full advantage of that. If you're after a post apocalyptic landscape you'll not find many places more suitable than the Australian outback and the desert backdrops play as big a part in the success of this film as Mel Gibson and a bunch of leather clad mohawked bikers.
4. Kill Bill volume 2 (2004) [d: Quentin Tarantino] - Genuine sequel of the second half of a film released in two parts? I've gone with the former as I'm a huge Tarantino fan, though I've always wanted to see a proper full length version of Kill Bill.
3. French Connection II (1975) [d: John Frankenheimer] - The fictional sequel to the original 1971 film that was an adaption of a true story. Gene Hackman is superb as narcotics officer Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle. Sent to Marseilles to continue the chase for the drug gang leader he finds himself a fish out of water, though things go really awry when he is held captive by the gang and injected with Heroin.
2. The Godfather: Part II (1974) [d: Francis Ford Coppola] - My memory often lets me down regarding films and I realised discussing the overall vote last week that I can't entirely remember which bits happen in Part I and which in Part II. That aside I remember the whole epic story being a remarkable piece of cinema. Al Pacino is outstanding as Michael Corleone but it's the ensemble cast and intertwining stories that make the whole saga so believable.
1. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) [d: Irvin Kershner] - I've written about Star Wars before I'm sure. It was the biggest film of my childhood. I had Star Wars posters, Star Wars comics, Star Wars figures, Star Wars bubblegum cards and, my crowing glory, a Star Wars duvet & pillow set. I made my own light sabre out of cardboard, though it proved horribly ineffective in a fight with a plastic sword and had to be retired from active service. Anyway, by 1980 I had developed something of an obsession with the original film so you can imagine my excitement about a second film. Empire did not disappoint. A bit like Mad Max 2 it built on the original story but added a bigger budget that meant it looked more polished.