For a change, let us take a closer look at a rather controversial cinematic concept – a cinematic sequel. There are multiple ways of deconstructing sequels. While some purists contend that sequels are degenerative and can hardly match the intensity and vision of the original ones, there are others who simply can’t seem to have enough of their favourite movies and crave sequels. Like any other argument, both the sides are equally true. On one hand, we have had terrible sequels that marred the spirit of the original films.
On the other hand, we have also had some excellent sequels that not only matched the quality of the original ones but surpassed them on multiple occasions. We at The Cinemaholic thought that it might be interesting to put together a list of movies that didn’t have a sequel but deserved one. While drawing the list, we made sure that not only should the included films be endowed with open and ambiguous endings but the storylines should be relevant as well. Additionally, we also considered viewers’ and critics’ opinions. Again, let us agree to disagree and be constructive in our approach while going through the list. Here goes the list of top movies that deserve a sequel.
10. District 9 (2009)
While the world grapples with an alarming rise in population, Neill Blomkamp’s unique venture ‘District 9’ alludes to the global phenomenon of evictions. Politically charged and emotionally complex, the movie ends on a rather ambiguous note, something that compels audiences to contemplate and ask questions about humanity in its current avatar. It appears that some such questions have been deliberately left unanswered by the auteur for a reason that is not too difficult to fathom – the possibility of a sequel. A science fiction project at its outer core, ‘District 9’ also poses uncomfortable questions on the mindless expansion of science and the consequent evil ramifications of illicit scientific ambitions. It is not without reasons that cinephiles from across the globe have been looking forward to a logical conclusion to the plotline, one that would decisively pull the curtains down to an almost 7-year-long quest.
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9. Se7en (1995)
Not for nothing is David Fincher considered to be the finest exponent of stylish thrillers. ‘Se7en’ is a movie that is so inherently disturbing that it is attractive. While the storyline is fairly simple, there are multiple points in the movie that hint towards a rather complex theme. Fincher’s apparent tryst with Christianity could be considered to be a distinct metaphor for representing the dark sides of humanity. Although, the ending is quite elaborate, there are enough scopes for making a sequel. Perhaps, it would only be justified if there were a logical continuation of the visible theme. However, knowing the person that Fincher is, it is highly unlikely that ‘Se7en’ would ever get a sequel.
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8. Léon: The Professional (1994)
Luc Besson’s ‘Léon: The Professional’ is remarkable for a multitude of factors. Not only does it show the ugly underbelly of New York City, it also unapologetically brings out police graft. Although, the movie today is largely known for being the debut project for Natalie Portman, it also featured one of the strongest performances from the stables of the versatile Gary Oldman. Any sensible viewer would be inclined to call the film a juxtaposition of crime, humanity and familial decay. It wouldn’t be too farfetched to imagine that the director had plans for making a sequel when the movie was envisaged, something that becomes understandable when the pregnant ending is considered. What eventually befalls Mathilda? Does she grow up to be a normal woman? Does she try to avenge the death of Léon? These are only a few of the questions that could be answered only through a sequel and a good one at that.
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7. The Truman Show (1998)
It wouldn’t really be an exaggeration to note that ‘The Truman Show’ is practically an experiment with truth. The movie in multiple ways questions our existence. Peter Weir probably tries to metaphorically delineate the horrors of our civilization that is increasingly being controlled through the usage of technology. While Truman exits the show at the end of the movie, there are many questions that remain unanswered. There can be numerous ways to imagine a sequel to the movie. While Truman’s foray into the real world could be one of the ideas, his return to the show could be another. Whatever it is, there is a strong possibility that viewers might find the concept of a sequel more than a handful.
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6. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Savage yet entertaining, brute yet artistic, loud yet subtle – through ‘Kill Bill: Vol. 2’, Quentin Tarantino yet again proves that no one else can surpass him in portraying onscreen violence. It might not very well be an overstatement if we were to say that the Martial Arts genre was given a new lease of life through this movie. While the movie logically terminates the ‘Kill Bill’ series, the ending is kept quite open for possible continuations of the storyline. Although Tarantino expressed his desire to make sequels to the movie on repeated occasions, the plan remained unexecuted. It could very safely be said that a lot of movie fans would badly want such a sequel for reasons that are multifarious.
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5. Children of Men (2006)
Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Children of Men’ is an epic tale of hope, despair, humanity and the craving for a better tomorrow. An extraordinary movie by all considerations, the ending is left deliberately open. While the principal protagonist Theo collapses, the future of Kee and her baby remains uncertain. With extraordinary performances from the likes of Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey, ‘Children of Men’ remains to be one of the most relevant movies of the first decade of the new millennium. It is again a cynical look at the mindless expansion of science sans any humane consideration. With a hopeful ending, the movie deserves a sequel more than many other dystopian science fiction projects.
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4. The Big Lebowski (1998)
He is the man for his time and place – the Dude! There is hardly any cinephile who hasn’t admired the eccentricities of the Dude. Coen Brothers’ ‘The Big Lebowski’ could indeed be considered to be a boxed representation of American crime. With darkly humorous undertones, the movie is now considered to be a cult classic. A casual approach, colourful characterizations and intelligent interplay of crime and wit mark the movie’s fundamental plotline. With ‘Little Lebowski’ set to take birth, ‘The Big Lebowski’ richly deserves a sequel, a sequel that would explore the exploits of the next Lebowski generation. Even the narrator might make a comeback through the sequel.
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3. Before Midnight (2013)
‘Before Midnight’ is not just a movie, it is a slice of daily life. While Jesse and Céline reconcile at the end, there are many questions that are raised through the seemingly inconsistent chronicle. In fact, some such questions are left unanswered for a possible sequel. Richard Linklater masterfully continues the couple’s tale through his ‘The Before Trilogy’ series and there is no reason why a fourth installment can’t be made. If the trilogy can sum up the three different stages of the couple’s lives, the next sequel could well metaphorically complete the four seasons contained in John Keats’ renowned poem ‘The Human Seasons’.
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2. Boyhood (2014)
Well, enough has already been said about Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’. While the realism and an epic investigation of life form the crux of the essentially innovative movie, the auteur’s dedication to form and technique is also something that any cinephile would automatically appreciate. It would probably be apt to describe the movie as one that would remain incomplete without a sequel. In fact, the protagonist’s life needs further investigation to impart a sense of completeness to the film’s diegesis. To sum it up, ‘Boyhood’ is a significant event in the history of cinema and a sequel would only enrich the event.
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1. Inception (2010)
Finally, what happens to the spinning top? Does it wobble and finally crash on the surface? Is Cobb dreaming as he comes back home and meets his children? These are some of the fundamental questions that remain unanswered when Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’ ends on a decidedly ambiguous note. While Nolan has specifically refused to offer an explanation pertaining to the ending, critics and viewers have time and again expressed the desire to see a sequel to the movie, a modern masterpiece by all stretches of imagination. To categorize ‘Inception’ as just a science fiction movie would be a gross understatement. In fact, ‘Inception’ is an effort to break into the human subconscious in a very conscious way and deconstruct the dynamics of fantasy and desire. We at The Cinemaholic believe that ‘Inception’ really needs a sequel to reach a logical conclusion.
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