With The Dark Knight proving such a critical and commercial success, IGN takes at the top 10 best sequels of all time.
10. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) takes over the USS Enterprise’s “little training cruise” from Capt. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) after Starfleet loses contact with the secretive science lab Regula One. Turns out the lab and its staff (including Kirk’s ex-flame Carol and estranged son David) have been taken hostage — along with the powerful Genesis device — by Kirk’s old foe, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban). Khan and his crew have escaped from the dead planet they’ve been marooned on for decades and are seeking revenge on the man who consigned them there: James T. Kirk. Kirk also deals with getting older, a son he doesn’t know (and who hates him), and the ultimate sacrifice made by Spock to save the Enterprise from imminent destruction.
9. The Bourne Ultimatum
Jason Bourne indeed comes home in The Bourne Ultimatum and, boy, what a homecoming. The Paul Greengrass-directed sequel is a slam-bang conclusion to one of the most unique and adult action franchises ever produced by a major studio. Ultimatum is the most relentlessly-paced entry in the frenetic series; the action scenes are breathtaking and they include some of the best foot and car chases ever filmed. Bourne’s prolonged bout with CIA asset Desh in Madrid is arguably the most brutal hand-to-hand fight yet in the series, while the car chase between Bourne and another asset, Paz, is like The French Connection on steroids.
The third James Bond film, 1964′s Goldfinger perfected the Bond movie formula: more action, more beautiful women, lots of gadgets and nicely mixed in humor. Starring Sean Connery as 007, Goldfinger has some of the most memorable moments in any Bond film — from Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) painted in gold, to Auric Goldfinger’s silent henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) taking on Bond with his head-chopping derby hat, to Bond strapped to a table about to be eviscerated by a laser (“Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”). The action sequences are superb, including a long car chase with Bond using the gadgets on his tricked-out Aston Martin to make smoke screens and oil slicks, fire built-in guns, and ejecting the passenger seat.
7. (tie) X2: X-Men United
2003′s superior sequel to X-Men starts out with a BAMF! as teleporting mutant Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) goes on a one-man ass-kicking rampage in the White House. The action doesn’t let up from there, as the X-Men must take on military leader William Stryker (Brian Cox), who plans to use Professor Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) telepathic powers against all mutants. Loosely based on the 1982 X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, X2 does a great job of presenting the intolerance of non-mutants towards the X-Men and their fellow mutants, remaining realistic and entertaining.
7. (tie) Toy Story 2
1999′s Toy Story 2, originally planned as a direct-to-video release, reintroduced moviegoers to Buzz, Woody and the gang from Pixar’s first CG animated feature. And while the original is more significant for its groundbreaking achievements in the genre, the sequel surpasses it in many ways. The characters are just as funny and charming as ever, and the film has even more emotional resonance. Anyone wanna bet they can watch the Jessie flashback montage without shedding a tear? Sniff. Sniff. Toy Story 2 holds the rare distinction of having a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
James Cameron’s 1991 sequel to the 1984 movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, Terminator 2: Judgment Day packs in non-stop action, state-of-the-art special effects (that still manage to look impressive today), and a great villain (the seemingly unstoppable T-1000, played by Robert Patrick). From Arnold’s entrance to the breakout of Sarah O’Connor (Linda Hamilton) from the hospital to the shoot-out at the lab and the Terminators’ battle at the steel foundry, the action doesn’t let up and Schwarzenegger never looked cooler.
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