10 Sequels That Were Nothing Like The First Movie

For better or worse, at least these movies weren't carbon copies of the first one.

Batman And Robin
Warner Bros. Pictures

Despite churning them out at an alarmingly high rate on an annual basis, Hollywood is incredibly hit-or-miss when it comes to delivering genuinely good sequels. Some of the best ever made learn from the mistakes of their predecessors, improving upon the first movie's weaknesses to craft something familiar, yet entirely different and ultimately much better. Think The Dark Knight, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Bourne Supremacy and Weekend at Bernie's 2.

Other times, the studios are content to simply hit 'Ctrl C + Ctrl V' on the script for a hit movie, change a few locations or lines of dialogue here and there, and simply do the same old thing again because if it worked once, the chances are it'll work again. And it does, frequently, forcing audiences to sit through the likes of The Hangover Part II, Taken 2 and Ocean's Twelve wondering where that creeping sense of deja vu is coming from.

Reinventing the wheel is key to franchise filmmaking, as it manages to extend the shelf-life of a popular brand without veering too far away from what made the brand popular in the first place. However, there have been plenty of sequels that are completely unrecognizable from the movies that launched their respective franchises, and the results can quite often be incredibly hit or miss.

10. Thor: Ragnarok

Batman And Robin
Marvel Studios

The Original:

Kenneth Branagh's Thor was a superhero origin story wrapped in Shakespearean clothing, full of grandiose production design and canted camera angles. The theme of warring brothers dueling for their father's affection only reinforced the notion, with Chris Hemsworth playing the title character as a noble and stoic yet flawed hero.

The Sequel:

The Dark World is rightfully regarded as one of, if not the, weakest entries in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The franchise was in dire need of a fresh perspective, and Taika Waititi turned out to be an unlikely-yet-perfect fit for the material.

About as far away from Branagh's classic sensibilities as you could hope to get, Waititi re-energized the tiring God of Thunder by moving away from the opulence and borderline-pomposity of the previous two movies and into sheer batsh*t craziness.

In the space of just two movies, the Thor franchise had transformed from faux-Shakespearean drama into a wacky intergalactic buddy comedy packed full of witty one-liners and Jeff Goldblum going full Goldblum as an immortal alien. The biggest beneficiary of the drastic tonal change may have been Hemsworth himself, with Thor's reinvention into a cosmic frat-bro a much better fit for the actor than that of the troubled and reluctant hero.


I don't do social media, so like or follow me in person but please maintain a safe distance or the authorities will be notified. Don't snap me though, I'll probably break. I was once labelled a misogynist on this very site in a twenty paragraph-long rant for daring to speak ill of the Twilight franchise. I stand by what I said, it's crap.