With the rave reviews pouring in for the sixth entry in the Mission:Impossible franchise, we are reminded of the great action franchises that have entertained audiences worldwide for decades. From Die Hard to Indiana Jones, and now the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the action genre has consistently been one of the most popular genres throughout the world, and across time. In preparation for the release of Mission:Impossible Fallout, here are 5 action sequels made after 2010 that are worth your time:
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz
Director: George Miller
Running Time: 120mins
Coming 30 years after the release of its predecessor, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, George Miller was able to take the franchise in a new direction with Mad Max: Fury Road. The film focuses on Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa as she faces off against a tyrannical ruler known as Immortan Joe. With the help of Max (Tom Hardy) and Joe’s five wives, Furiosa and her team take on an entire army to defeat Immortan Joe and ensure the freedom of those enslaved by Joe. Nominated for 10 Oscars, and winning 6, Mad Max: Fury Road proves to be one of the best action films ever put to screen.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Common, Lauren Fishburne
Director: Chad Stahelski
Running Time: 122mins
When the original John Wick came out in 2014, it was a surprise to audiences and critics alike. Reeves, who had been in a string of subpar films, returned to form as John Wick, a retired hitman brought back into the business after the cold-blooded murder of his dog. The sequel, which was released just last year, builds on the characters and the universe that was introduced in 2014, while introducing a whole army full of Wick’s past associates. Not only are the action sequences excellently choreographed and shot, John Wick: Chapter 2 fills in many of the gaps and answers many of the questions its predecessor left open at the end of the first film.
The Raid 2 (2014)
Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara
Director: Gareth Evans
Running Time: 150mins
If there were any major complaints with the original The Raid film, it was that there was little development of characters, and no strong story to be invested in. Although the film featured some of the best action choreography, it felt like there was a piece missing. When The Raid 2 came along in 2014, it developed the characters, added an engaging mob-oriented story, while retaining the impressive action sequences audiences expected from a Raid film.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Sam Mendes
Running Time: 143mins
The James Bond franchise has spanned decades. The first film, Dr. No, was released in 1962 with Sean Connery as the very first 007. Since then, the character has been portrayed by many great actors, but none have fit the role as well as Daniel Craig, who as of 2018, has starred in four Bond films, with another expected in 2019. Coming off the heels of the highly disappointing Quantum of Solace, Mendes’ first Bond film, Skyfall, is one of the best in the series. Benefiting from many of the same strengths as 2009’s Casino Royale, Skyfall delivers on everything you’d expect from a Bond film.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner
Director: Brad Bird
Running Time: 118mins
Waiting 14 years to make a sequel is extremely risky, especially with animated films. Relying primarily on an audience of kids and families, you run the risk of losing the audience you had from the first film, as those kids grow older. This fact doesn’t seem to phase Pixar, though. They released Finding Dory in 2016, a whole 13 years after the original Finding Nemo film. It quickly became the highest grossing animated film, until Incredibles 2 dethroned it this summer. The film picks up where the last one left off, and follows the Parr family on their quest for Superhero legalization. Not only has the animation improved considerably, but the story, characters and charm of the first Incredibles film is still very present in this fantastic sequel.
These 5 films, and many others, show that after decades and decades, the action genre still has something new to offer audiences. Currently sitting with a 93% on RottenTomatoes and 86 on MetaCritic, Ethan Hunt and his crew seem to be impressing critics with Mission:Impossible Fallout.