10 Best Film Sequels By Different Directors

Different director, same vision.

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20th Century Fox

The sequel is a tricky thing to land. Those that do, the best ones, are often extensions of their predecessors, films that riff off of the general greatness (good sequels rarely come from bad first films) of what went before them to extend that first film's vision or scope. 

The greatest sequels are often made by the same director, then—he or she simply carrying on from whence they left. Think The Godfather Part II, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Before Sunset or Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

There are occasions though, when a different director takes over the proverbial reigns of a franchise to produce a film on par with, and sometimes better than, the original. Whether they be direct sequels or franchise reboots, the directors here have managed to do just that; to take something not their own and imbue it with something that is, leaving a distinct watermark next to some already well established ones. 

Here then, are the 10 Best Sequels By Different Directors, and there's not a Hunger Games or Twilight in sight... 

10. The French Connection II (1975)

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20th Century Fox

The Sequel To: The French Connection (Friedkin, 1971)

The Director: John Frankenheimer

Taking Over From: William Friedkin 

Though nowhere near as iconic or influential as the original, which took home four of the Big Five at the '72 Oscars (Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay), cult director John Frankenheimer's sequel to William Friedkin's cop masterpiece, The French Connection, is a damn-fine effort, and one that deserves a little more recognition. 

With the action relocated from the grime and grease of New York to the more unfamiliar (especially by cop-movie standards) terrain of Marseilles, France—where Franco, the escaped drug-dealer from the first French Connection is holed up—Frankenheimer crafts a riveting, entirely unconventional thriller.

Hackman reprises his Oscar winning role as Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle, a fact that helps the film immeasurably, especially so considering that he's arguably better here, with Doyle being forced into a heroin addiction in a sequence of substantial power. Before that, he's altogether more sunnier than the Doyle of the original, and it's here that II gains extra credit for not being afraid of deviating from its predecessor. 

Add to that a foot-chase among the greatest ever filmed and you get a sense of just how good The French Connection II really is. It's everything you want from a sequel to a classic film. 


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