Top 10 Best Action Movie Sequels
Top 10 Best Action Movie Sequels

Top 10 Best Action Movie Sequels

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These are the top 10 best action movie sequels. These follow ups delivered on the action… and everything else. For this list, we're looking at action movie sequels that equalled, or even exceeded previous instalments. We'll be excluding superhero movies, which deserve their own list. From "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum", to "Furious 7", to "Mission: Impossible — Fallout", to "Mad Max: Fury Road", these action movie sequels had us wanting yet another one!

Top 10 Best Action Movie Sequels

These follow ups delivered on the action… and everything else. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 best action movie sequels.

For this list, we’re looking at action movie sequels that equalled, or even exceeded previous installments. We’ll be excluding superhero movies, which deserve their own list.

#10: “John Wick: Chapter 3 —Parabellum” (2019)

The first “John Wick” film seemed to come out of nowhere - a thrilling, back-to-basics revenge story packed with stylish gun fu fight scenes. Played with trademark reserve by Keanu Reeves, John Wick was the hero we didn’t know we needed. While its sequel, “Chapter 2”, upped the action and delved deeper into the franchise’s mythology, “Chapter 3: Parabellum” outdid its predecessors on both accounts. Now on the run, the titular hitman has to fight off a veritable ARMY of assassins - alongside some new allies. The action is even more gloriously over the top, with brutal and brilliant choreography, and reveals much more about the shadowy world of professional assassins. Not bad for a threequel!

#9: “Ip Man 2” (2010)

Safety in numbers? When it comes to Ip Man, think again! Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man might only fight when he has to . . . but he has to fight an awful lot. After showing up Japanese occupation forces in the first installment, Ip Man moves to Hong Kong for the sequel, only to face off with corrupt police and British boxer “Twister”. Improving on the first movie was no mean feat, given its mind-blowing choreography. But the carefully crafted fight scenes in “Ip Man 2” really have to be seen to be believed. As far as biopics go, historically accurate it ain’t. But it’s a rollicking good time that more than matches the previous film.

#8: “Furious 7” (2015)

Ah, retirement . . . the worst possible route to a quiet life in action films. “Furious 7” sees Dominic Toretto, Brian O’Conner and the team hoping to lay low and just kick back for a while. Naturally, this isn’t what happens . . . A vengeful assassin comes a-calling, and all Hell breaks loose. “The Fast and the Furious” franchise has always done better with audiences than with critics, but “Furious 7” brought applause from both, thanks to fun, completely preposterous action sequences, and unexpected emotional impact. Paul Walker’s passing made the movie bittersweet, but the final scene doubled as a heartfelt and touching tribute.

#7: “Lethal Weapon 2” (1989)

The first sequel in this buddy cop action comedy series sees the manic detective Riggs and his more straight-laced partner Murtaugh taking on a gang of South African drug dealers who’ve escaped justice thanks to diplomatic immunity. Full of explosive action and witty, madcap banter, “Lethal Weapon 2” is every bit as fun and frenzied as its predecessor. If you think being “too old for this shit” or having some kind of weirdly specific license will grant you immunity from this film’s appeal, we’ve got some bad news for you. Tell ‘em Murtaugh: “It’s just been revoked.”

#6: “The Raid 2: Berandal” (2014)

Following police officer Rama’s attempts to infiltrate the criminal underworld and expose its ties to police corruption, “The Raid 2: Berandal” did what no one who saw the first film thought possible: make an even better martial arts action crime film. While “The Raid” was full of beautifully brutal and eclectic fight choreography, this movie managed to take the established style up to eleven, by including bigger fights with greater numbers of combatants and even more unusual locations, such as an active car chase! “The Raid 2: Berandal” is a spectacular film and a phenomenal action sequel.

#5: “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” (2018)

Back in the 2000s, you could have been forgiven for assuming that “Mission: Impossible” peaked with its suspenseful third installment. But then the 2010s brought us the fantastic “Ghost Protocol”, “Rogue Nation”, and “Fallout”. With the exception of the woeful “Mission: Impossible 2”, the franchise has gone from strength to strength. “Fallout” follows IMF agent Ethan Hunt and his team as they track down stolen plutonium, with Henry Cavill making a welcome addition to the cast as CIA agent August Walker. The set pieces are huge, and the stunts and action sequences are INSANE - with Tom Cruise still going strong as an action hero even in his 50s. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled ride that represents the franchise at its best.

#4: “Aliens” (1986)

After her harrowing experience fighting off a hostile alien on her ship in the first film, Ellen Ripley returns to squares off against a colony overrun by the creatures. And this time, she’s accompanied by a group of heavily-armed space marines. “Aliens,” like its title, builds upon its franchise’s established premise by adding more – more aliens, more action, more everything. The film’s gritty, claustrophobic atmosphere, terrifying villains, memorable supporting cast, and very quotable lines help make it one of the pinnacles of sci0fi action cinema and an exceptional sequel.

#3: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)

The third “Indiana Jones” film, this sequel sees the title character once again battling Nazis as he races to rescue his father from their clutches and locate the literal Holy Grail before his fascist foes. The franchise is a landmark in action adventure films and “Last Crusade” is often cited as one of its best. Utilizing humor, heart, and mystery, along with memorable action scenes, such as the motorcycle chase and that fantastic tank fight, Indi’s third outing is an absolute classic of cinema- action, adventure or otherwise.

#2: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

Although the second “Mad Max” film nearly made the list, George Miller’s triumphant 2015 return to the franchise blew everyone away. Depicting the eponymous wanderer getting caught up in the escape of a tyrannical dicator's wives, “Fury Road” is essentially a single long car chase. However, on the road, there’s some of the most fantastically choreographed action ever put to film, along with intense imagery, intriguing characters, and plenty of desolate, yet beautifully filmed scenery. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a wild ride that’ll make any day you watch it a “lovely” one.

Before we get to our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

“Die Hard with a Vengeance” (1995)

“Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within” (2010)

“The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007)

“Skyfall” (2012)

“Desperado” (1995)

#1: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

This is it – the big one. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” sees the boy destined to lead humanity against its machine overlords on the run along with his mother, while a reprogrammed terminator protects him from a more advanced model. This film is a masterpiece of action film, incorporating stellar chase scenes, shoot-outs, and battles, along with humor, heart, surprisingly deep themes and terrifying imagery - plus more one-liners than you can shake a shotgun at. There were action movie sequels before “Terminator 2,” but this movie set the bar so high that films today are still trying to equal its stature. And that’s why it’s number one.