[WEEKEND OPEN BAR: The one-stop ramble-about-anything weekend post at OL. Comment on the topic at hand. Tell us how drunk you are. Describe a comic you bought. This is your chance to bring the party.]
It was during the 8th century BCE that the Greek poet-Jedi known as Homer detailed the events of the Trojan War with the Iliad. An impassioned narrative of a conflict between kings, warriors, gods, and mortals, Homer’s epic poem has been celebrated since its inception. However, the readers who stop after reading the final line of the Iliad (“Thus, then, did they celebrate the funeral of Hector tamer of horses.“) has only treated themselves to half of the story.
The second half of the tale comes in the form of the Odyssey, an epic which follows Odysseus on his dangerous voyage home. Odysseus is a hero of the Trojan War (like the Trojan Horse? Yeah, that was his idea), but he’s slipped into a slick puddle of shit-luck. As such, his return to Ithaca has been delayed by incredible storms, man-eating monsters, an encounter with Polyphemos that ends with being cursed by Poseidon, the allure of Sirens’ songs, and more than a few battles. Oh, when Odysseus finally gets home, he has to figure out how to kill all of the assholes that’ve been depleting his estate and trying to court his wife.
But don’t worry – Odysseus pulls it off, and in style!
“’Dogs! You thought I would never come back from Troy, so you have been carving up my substance, forcing the women to lie with you, courting my wife before I was dead, not fearing the gods who rule the broad heavens, nor the execration of man which follows you for ever. And now the cords of death are made fast about you all!’”
Not only is the Odyssey a mythological tour de force that’s still read and studied and imitated today, it’s also the first documented sequel in the history of narrative. And it’s bad-ass. Hell, many believe it to be equal, if not superior, to the Iliad.
Sure, there’s an argument to be had that most sequels are cheap cash-grabs that capitalize on the popularity of great works. There’s no denyin’ that much of the direct-to-video market is built on this premise. But with the Odyssey having been established nearly three thousand years ago, there’s a time-tested precedent that sometimes sequels are worthwhile continuations.
So here’s our topic of discussion: What is your favorite sequel?
While it’s not the only sequel I love, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Ghostbusters 2.
I know that there’s a decent amount of criticism for this movie. Many claim that the movie is just a rehashing of the original, with the Ghostbusters once again being called upon to save NYC while facing opposition from city officials. In both movies, the critics maintain, there’re a slew of lesser-ghosts to be handled while the true spectral threat looms in the background. There’s also an argument that by the end of the second movie, the characters haven’t developed a whole heck of a lot.
And I can’t necessarily counter these claims.
But after spending fifteen minutes trying to tap out an explanation as to why I love Ghostbusters 2, the best I can present is – it’s funny. It is, really. I find myself quoting this sequel more than it’s predecessor, and in turn I go back and watch it more as well. I think that this movie is like going back on a roller coaster with your best friends – sure, you may have a rough idea as to which way the track bends, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to scream when you hit the drop.
I’m not making sense. This whole thing has been short but pointless.
What is your favorite sequel?