Sequels have been a common fixture in Hollywood for a long time, so it’s not uncommon for many films to get one even if the sequel is released several years after the first movie. However, most of these big-budget sequels fall short of expectations as modern-day directors rely mostly on action sequences rather than fixed narratives. But a handful have fared pretty well with audiences and have gone on to ride on the same success as its predecessors.
Today, ExploreTalent will deliver to you a list of the best action movie sequels, as most lists aren’t definitive, these are only based on critical acclaim as well as commercial success.
1. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
As the fifth installment of the highly successful Mission Impossible series, we see Tom Cruise once again taking the role of Agent Ethan Hunt, a role he was seemingly born to play. The reason this particular sequel was so good is because of its story line. It ventures away from the traditional as Ethan and his team find themselves subjects of a CIA manhunt. In this cat-and-mouse chase, it’s unpredictable as to who is the actual bad guy and how the agents are going to be able to fight their way out of this rather sticky situation. Many critics have gone to say that this is the best Mission Impossible film in the franchise and is even more impressive than the critically acclaimed Ghost Protocol.
2. Once Upon a Time in China 2 (1992)
Following Once Upon a Time in China is its sequel just a year after. Overall, the second film was more impressive because the studio had increased budget after the first movie did well. Critics have gone to praise the plot and how it was nicely fused with the intense action scenes. It also helps that Asian heavyweights Donnie Yen and Jet Li grace the screen at the same time. The Once Upon a Time in China series is truly on a league of its own.
3. Hellboy II (2008)
Four years after the first Hellboy burst into cinemas, dark fantasy director Guillermo del Torro made sure to clean up his film making skills with its sequel. Del Torro, who had already made his other hit Pan’s Labyrinth by the time Hellboy II was in production, made it a point to show audiences just how well versed he was with the supernatural/action genre. His production did not disappoint, and a lot of audiences agree that this sequel truly outdid its predecessor.
4. Spiderman II (2004)
Spiderman had always been instilled in the hearts of comic book lovers everywhere. While more classified as a comic book film, no one can argue the action scenes between Spiderman and the terrifying Doc Ock. The best part about this sequel is that it fits in nicely next to the rather dull origin story. It has gone to not only shatter the box office results of its first movie but has also become the best Spiderman movie out of the trilogy starring Tobey McGuire.
5. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road sits as one of history’s most critically acclaimed action films and has garnered enough accolades as proof. It has an all new aesthetic and a cast filled with unforgettable three dimensional characters. The main focus of the movie is survival in this rather savage post apocalyptic world, but it does shed light to themes of solidarity and vengeance.
6. Aliens (1986)
People would argue that the first Alien movie was the best, but if one were to look into the darker elements of its sequel coupled with the introduction of a helpless little girl, then the suspenseful environment is increased by a 100 percent. In Aliens, everyone’s favorite heroine Sigourney Weaver is back as Officer Ellen Ripley as she embarks on another mission that turned deadly.
7. Terminator 2 (1991)
Since Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s performance in the first Terminator film wasn’t enough, audiences were filled with delight when it was announced that the movie was going to get a sequel. The sequel turned out to be a surefire hit, especially with Schwarzenegger switching to the good side in this one.
Critics have praised the action sequences, calling it one of the best films in Hollywood. Director James Cameron, who was riding on the success of Aliens at the time, did a good job casting and directing the film as it stands to be one of the most iconic ones in its genre to date.