Most sequels really stink, but occasionally we get a great continuation of the story. A good movie can rarely extend itself into a good sequel, but sometimes if does work. On very rare occasions, we even get a sequel that's better than the original film. Here are the top 20 Sci-fi Movie sequels:
1 – The Wrath of Kahn (Star Trek II) The best sci-fi movie sequel ever made. Lines from Kahn are still remembered and recited verbatim by the world. It made it's indelible mark on pop culture. This was a sequel not just to the first movie, but to an episode of the original Star Trek series.
2 – The Empire Strikes Back, the dark and brooding Star Wars sequel that lived up to the hype.
3 – Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) With all the nuance, grit, anger and apes of the first movie – but now even underground mutants join the fray! What more could we want in a sci-fi movie? “Beneath” was a great sequel.
4 – The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) She's alive! Alive!
5 – Max Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) It made an impact, carrying on where the first movie ended.
6 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008) The red man and his posse save the earth from an army of deadly machines. Even better than the first movie – though both are great flicks.
7 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) Just as good as it's predecessor, and with an extra terminator robot on the loose. Pitting Terminator against Terminator was a good choice here, and added an extra dimension to the story.
8 – Starship Troopers 4: Invasion (2012) A magnificent animated sequel to the great space-bug movie.
9 – Thor 2: the Dark World (2013) Much better than the first, thanks to Loki.
10 – The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) the compelling sequel to Pitch Black
11 – 2010: A Space Odyssey, a continuation of the classic 2001 A.S.O.
12 – Batman Returns (1992) A dark Tim Burton movie, well done.
13 – Aliens (1986) While it's not nearly as good as the first movie, "Alien," it certainly packs a punch.
14 – Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) A cross between horror and sci-fi; it works well.
15 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) A surprisingly good follow-up, and the Falcon even looks great!
16 – The Thing (2011) This was a prequel to John Carpenter's “The Thing” from 1982. Do prequels count as sequels? In any case, this movie proved to be interesting, and leads right into the '82 movie.
17 – X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) the best of the series, based on the Marvel comics of the same name.
18 – AVP Alien vs. Predator (2004) an unexpected surprise: it's actually good.
19 – Tron: Legacy. This 2010 continuation wasn't nearly as good as the first 1982 movie, but it does have moxie! It's a sci-fi movie sequel about living inside a video game, even if it didn't attain the greatness of its father film.
20 – Escape from L.A. (1996), while it doesn't have the brilliance of his 1982 masterpiece “Escape from New York,” this John Carpenter sequel does have some fun lines, good action, and the unshakeable Snake Plissken.
Honorable Mention and notes:
Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer was much better than the first movie.
Iron Man 3, and Jurassic Park 3: the second movies were awful, but the 3rd films redeem the series.
The Hungers Games 2? I liked it better when it was called “The Long Walk” by Stephen King. The HG are a predictable and shameless rip-off of both Mr. King and a Japanese movie from decades ago called “Battle Royale.” Disqualified.
The Matrix 2 and 3 were among the worst sequels ever. Neo should have retired after the first.
Back to the Future II is one of the best sci-fi comedy movie sequels. All three movies were well done.
It's not easy to follow-up a good movie, and too often the studios rush to cash in.
We usually groan when we hear about a new sequel coming to the cinema (and we're usually right). Sci-fi movie sequels are particularly tricky. But this list proves that sometimes – just sometimes – sequels live up to their predecessors.