My Favorite Action Movie Sequels

John Wick is one of my favorite action movies in the past 10 years. As good as John Wick is, one of the toughest things to do in Hollywood is make a good sequel. In honor of John Wick: Chapter 2 opening, here is a list of some of my favorite action movie sequels.

In no particular order…

Die Hard 2 (1990)

The follow-up to one of the best action movies of all time didn’t disappoint. Our hero, John McClane, finds himself having another bizarre Christmas. Instead of the Nakatomi Towers, McClane is trapped at Dulles airport as a rogue military group takes control in an effort to free a drug dealer named Esperanza. Oh, and his wife is in one of the planes circling the airport and running out of fuel. What Die Hard 2 lacks in originality and tension, it makes up for it with some amazing action sequences. There’s a snowmobile chase/shootout, the shootout on the skywalk inside the airport, and the famous military funeral scene.

The Raid 2 (2014)

The Raid blew my mind. I’ve watched it more times than I care to share. If you haven’t seen The Raid, stop reading this and go watch it. Do it now.  Director Gareth Evans made a fantastic sequel that picks up right where the first movie ends. Rama goes undercover and finds himself in the middle of a corrupt police force and a gang of thugs. The Raid 2 is technically a “crime thriller” but that action is A+. Hammer Girl struck fear in my heart. She unzipped her designer purse and went to work.  Also, the kitchen fight sequence is one of my favorite fights on film.

Aliens (1986)

Lt. Ripley returns to the moon where her crew was wiped out by an alien lifeform. Since her visit, the moon has been colonized and but they’ve lost contact with everyone in the colony. For this visit, Ripley is accompanied by a group of Marines with enough firepower to start a small war. The xenomorph in Alien was creepy. However, Aliens showed how terrifying these creatures are in a pack. The action scenes are fantastic; especially Ripley and Newt being trapped in a room with two face huggers. Aliens has the spirit of the first movie, but with a lot more action.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Have I mentioned how much I love this movie? It’s essentially the Terminator showing up in the middle of a Captain America spy movie. Cap is trying to find his way in the world and is caught up in a S.H.I.E.L.D scandal and a ghost form his past (literally) shows up. There are so many great sequences, friendship drama, new characters, an assassination attempt, an elevator fight, and one badass highway shootout. Winter Soldier is not only one of the best comic book movies ever made, it’s a fantastic sequel and great lead into Captain America: Civil War.

The Dark Knight (2008)

2008 wasn’t that long ago, but it was still during a time when studios didn’t know how to make comic book movies. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy really changed the game and The Dark Knight is the main reason why. Batman Begins is a great orgin story, but TDK shows Batman in action and what effect his heroics had on Gotham,the criminals, the police, and the politicians that reside in it.  Nolan made the comic book movie people didn’t know you could make.  It reintroduced The Joker and showed filmmakers a different way to make a comic book film.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Over 25 years since it opened, Terminator 2 is still the gold standard for action movie sequels. It literally has everything you would want in a sequel. They took the villain from the original and made him a hero, and introduced an even more terrifying bad guy than the first film – a shape shifting liquid robot. Sarah and John Connor are on the run from a evil robot that wants to kill both of them. Thankfully, this time they have help from the same robot that tried to kill Sarah years before. Time travel is such a crazy concept.  James Cameron & Co. made a bigger version of the first film. There’s a bigger chase sequence, bigger stakes, and an insanely ripped Sarah Connors. Robert Patrick running with perfect form will always terrify me.