Originally Posted by IAM4UK
Some very good sequels listed; I agree that "Wrath of Khan" deserves special recognition based on the fact that it was so vastly superior to the original Star Trek movie it followed. "Godfather II" was excellent, but the original was also excellent. "Empire" was great and entertaining, but so was "Star Wars." "T2" was a very pleasant surprise, but "Terminator" was great in it's own right. As for the "LotR" films, I think they all captured the spirit of the books very well, but the third had the most going for it.
I was facing this same dilemma. Is a "best sequel" a movie that carries on the tradition of the original, or one that greatly improves upon the original? For the latter category, from this list I would have to pick Spider-Man 2, because I thought the first Spider-Man was awful and the second one was moderately watchable, which counts as a big improvement. However, I still don't think it's a great movie by any stretch, so that pretty much disqualifies it.
My pick would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The first two Harry Potter movies were borderline unwatchable. Azkaban was a quantum leap improvement and a damn good movie on its own. The later sequels have fallen somewhere in between.