Reddit's List Of 10 Action Movie Sequels That Were Superior To The Original

Action movie sequels don't always result in decreasing returns, as proven by Top Gun: Maverick's ongoing box office success. Sequels typically just reproduce the original's successful formulas with less magic, however, this isn't always the case. As many of the raving reviews for Top Gun: Maverick have revealed, sequels not only have the ability to live up to their predecessors, but in a few rare instances, they even outperform them in terms of quality.
Many action movie sequels have been praised by Redditors as being better than their predecessors, including The Dark Knight, The Road Warrior, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
So, what are the sequels that are genuinely superior to the first films? The list we now have in mind is shown below (definitely not all-inclusive). Check out the 10 movies below and tell us if you think there are any sequels that surpass the originals!

#1 Bad Boys II (2003)

Action Movie Sequels, Bad Boys II (2003), reddit listSource: Konexión

With the first Bad Boys film, Michael Bay provided a hilarious, explosive spin on the well-known "buddy cop" idea. But Redditor damienkarras1973 thinks that with the costly 2003 sequel, Bad Boys II, Bay outdid himself.
The chemistry between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith is even greater in this sequel, and director Michael Bay uses the extra money to give the audience plenty more "Bayhem."

#2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Action Movie Sequels, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), reddit listSource: Twitter

Reddit user u/P1nCush10n claims that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an upgrade over its predecessor. A fun enough pulpy World War II action-adventure, Captain America's first MCU solo film lacks the visceral thrills that the Russo brothers gave the sequel's set-pieces.
The Winter Soldier subverts the MCU's "villain problem" by having Steve Rogers' brainwashed boyhood pal the bad guy in addition to being a suspenseful conspiracy thriller in the vein of the 1970s.

#3 From Russia With Love (1963)

Action Movie Sequels, From Russia With Love (1963), reddit listSource: CNN

James Bond became an immediate movie legend thanks to Sean Connery's naturally captivating performance as the gentleman spy in Dr. No. In contrast, From Russia with Love, directed by Terence Young, is thought to be an even better movie by Reddit user u/Responsible-Ninja-30.
One of the most iconic combat scenes in movie history is the savage brawl on the Orient Express, in which Robert Shaw portrays the evil Red Grant in a genuinely terrifying performance.

#4 Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

reddit listSource: Twitter

Speaking of the "buddy cop" category, the action-packed 1987 noir classic Lethal Weapon by Richard Donner and Shane Black established many of the subgenre's cliches. For the 1989 sequel, Lethal Weapon 2, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover reunited with Donner once again in the director's chair.
This sequel, according to Redditor u/JediPony1944, is even better than the first film. It is packed with original set-pieces like the explosion in Murtaugh's bathroom and has a more memorable villain who is an elusive foe due to his diplomatic immunity.

#5 Spider-Man 2 (2004)

reddit listSource: Twitter

Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man film proved that comic books could be turned into successful blockbuster franchises and contributed to the current trend of superhero movies. Raimi, however, in the opinion of Redditor u/P1nCush10n, outdid himself with Spider-Man 2.
Peter Parker is forced to consider what it actually means to be Spider-Man in the sequel after losing his abilities. As Doctor Octopus, Alfred Molina embodied the ideal supervillain with his combination of human tragedy and mustache-twirling malice.

#6 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Action Movie Sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), reddit listSource: Twitter

The original Terminator film, directed by James Cameron is a taut, tense cat-and-mouse thriller that expertly combines noir and science fiction elements. Reddit user u/P1nCush10n claims that James Cameron's massive sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day from 1991, is not only bolder and bigger than the original film but also better.
T2 is one of the best action films ever produced, with twice as many Terminators, twice as many Connors, and ten times the spectacle.

#7 The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight (2008), reddit listSource: Twitter

With his gritty reboot Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan revived the comic book genre and delves more deeplier than ever into the Caped Crusader's history. However, Redditor u/taycky22 believes that Nolan outdid himself with the follow-up, The Dark Knight.
Heath Ledger's Joker is one of the most iconic villains in film history, and The Dark Knight plays like a Gotham City-based version of Heat.

#8 The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980), reddit listSource: Hitek

The Empire Strikes Back is one of the most significant movies that is mentioned when discussing sequels that are superior to the original. The first Star Wars film, directed by George Lucas is a near-perfect masterpiece that revolutionized blockbuster filmmaking, but Empire is much better.
Redditor u/taycky22 claims that "The Empire Strikes Back" is better than its predecessor. The sequel humanizes the renowned Darth Vader with its well-known "I am your father" twist and has a harsher tone than its predecessor.

#9 The Road Warrior (1981)

Action Movie Sequels, The Road Warrior (1981), reddit listSource:

George Miller’s original Mad Max movie is a dystopian police thriller set in the near future, just before civilization collapses. The Road Warrior, the second film in the series released in 1981, introduced the wacky post-apocalyptic thrills for which the series is now known.
The Road Warrior is a better film than the original, claims Reddit user u/taycky22, with all of its brutal antagonists, automotive violence, and spaghetti western storyline.

#10 Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Top Gun: Maverick (2022), reddit listSource: Twitter

The 1980s action movie Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott, is a classic of the genre, but Reddit user u/Ieatsushiraw contends that Joseph Kosinski's recent sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, which is by far the year's biggest hit, is superior.
The airborne moments were very spectacular to see on a big screen thanks to Tom Cruise's practical stunt work, and the surrogate father-son interaction he had with Rooster gave the action-packed film a compelling backstory.
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