Sequels are definitely a mixed bag in terms of quality, but one of their advantages is an audience’s immediate connection and empathy towards a familiar and (hopefully) beloved character. No one really cares what’s inside the Temple of Doom or where the Holy Grail is hidden, they just want to go on another adventure with Indiana Jones.
Our interest and investment in these characters and their worlds often percolates in the years (or sometimes decades) between installments, and the opportunity to revisit them is often greeted with unmatched fervor – which makes it enormously disappointing as you watch a film unfold and realize that while the character on the big screen may look and sound the way you remember, something is… missing.
Characters originally depicted as being total badasses are often hit hardest in this regard. The problem is easily diagnosed: They’ve lost their edge, and the qualities that made them such badasses initially have been severely diluted. Metaphorically speaking, they’ve been neutered.