The 1980s and 1990s witnessed some of the greatest action movies of all time and these innovative films resulted in some of the best movie sequels in the genre. Some even claim that these sequels are better than the originals, but we’ll let you decide if that is true! Let’s examine some of the best action movie sequels from this period.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released in 1991 and is the sequel to the 1984 film The Terminator. The movie was written and directed by James Cameron and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie really set the standard for action movie sequels as it made use of new technology to set it aside from the original. The Terminator franchise used the critical acclaim of this sequel as a springboard to further success.
The franchise now includes a total of six movies as well as TV versions and various web series. We have also seen the Terminator in other forms of media such as video games like Terminator: Resistance, released in 2019 and set during the ‘Future War’ and a Terminator 2 slot game can be played at the best online casinos in Michigan. In this game, players will see famous characters like Sarah Connor, her son John Connor and the menacing T-1000. Clearly the success of the original Terminator movie and the sequel have contributed to the success of these innovative spinoffs as fans are drawn to new products featuring one of their favorite movies.
Aliens was released in 1986 and is the sequel to the 1979 science fiction movie Alien. The movie, which was written and directed by James Cameron, saw Sigourney Weaver reprise her role as Ellen Ripley and is generally accepted to be an improvement on the original. Indeed, the movie magazine Empire dubbed Aliens the greatest movie sequel ever. The movie franchise continues to inspire reboots and innovations, with FX planning an Alien TV series.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was released in 1981 and is the sequel to the 1979 movie Mad Max. The movie starred Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky and its reception was encapsulated in a New York Times review which said: “Never has a film’s vision of the post-nuclear-holocaust world seemed quite as desolate and as brutal, or as action-packed and sometimes as funny as in George Miller’s apocalyptic The Road Warrior, an extravagant film fantasy that looks like a sadomasochistic comic book come to life.” Director George Miller’s experience as an ER doctor gave him the inspiration for some of the more brutal scenes in the movie.
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Another sequel starring Mel Gibson is Lethal Weapon 2, the 1989 movie is the second in the Lethal Weapon franchise following Lethal Weapon in 1987. The movie which saw Gibson star alongside Danny Glover and Joe Pesci, was the third most successful box office draw of 1989, earning $227 million worldwide, behind Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Despite the success of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, many view Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom as the better movie. The original starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and won five Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound. This makes it a bold argument to suggest the sequel (or to be accurate, the prequel) ranks above it, but there are many who believe this to be true.
So, it is clear that some of the most successful movie franchises from the 1980s and 1990s have benefited from successful sequels in terms of box office revenue and critical acclaim. Arguments will continue about whether the originals or the sequels were better, but it is clear that these franchises produced some of the best movies of the genre.