Let’s forget about that whole Egyptian gods thing — Gerry Butler’s got another action movie for you this week. He reprises his role as a head Secret Service agent in
, sequel to London Has Fallen which got a 48% rating from critics back in 2013. The Olympus Has Fallen Fallen movies inspire this week’s 24 Frames: best and worst action sequels by Tomatometer!
Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST! Every movie in the 35-year old franchise is Certified Fresh, seeing the highest bump in Tomatometer between the last two entries: going from 81% (1985’s ) to 97% (2015’s Beyond Thunderdome Fury Road).
WORST! The original RoboCop trilogy saw a steep drop in quality by the second entry (32%) before cratering in the single digit percentile with the third.
The Dark Knight
BEST! Gotham’s finest was given a new hope when Christopher Nolan rebooted the franchise with (85%), before going full tilt with modern action masterpiece Batman Begins The Dark Knight.
Batman & Robin
WORST! And the reason the series needed a reboot? Joel Schumacher’s nipply laugh riot, which got an ice cold 11% from the critics (compared to ‘s 41%).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BEST! (79%) was a compelling nod to old-fashioned war serials. Refitting Steve Rogers into a modern political thriller drew even higher praise.
The First Avenger
Speed 2: Cruise Control
WORST! The original with Keanu Reeves is sitting pretty at 93%. The sequel, which drops 90 points on the Tomatometer, is all wet.
The Bourne Ultimatum
BEST! The Matt Damon Bourne movies essentially got better as they went along ( at 83%, Identity at 81%), with franchise highs awaiting at the end.
The Matrix Revolutions
WORST! already gave audiences a sinking feeling the series was headed in a weird direction (though that’s still Reloaded just Certified Fresh at 73%), and confirmed by the trilogy’s baffling capper.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
BEST! Though Judgment Day‘s Tomatometer is lower than the 1984 original (can’t beat 100%), this is still a legendary action movie in its own right.
WORST! 25 years later, though, Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to the franchise and helped deliver the worst one yet, failing to improve on ‘s 33% rating.
BEST! The Terminator‘s James Cameron took over the series (original got 97%) and steered it from horror to action film territory.
Alien Vs Predator: Requiem
WORST! After Cameron and Ridley Scott exited, the Aliens franchise entered a slow burn into ignomious Rotten territory, getting progressively worse scores (the mash-up previous to this one got a 21%).
BEST! The F&F movies have had a golden turnaround, going from chintzy street race movies to top-flight summer blockbusters. It all began with Fast Five, which followed series low rating of 28%.
Fast & Furious
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
WORST! Not the lowest score in Michael Bay’s robot lineup (that belongs to ‘s 18%), but Age of Extinction Revenge does represent the steepest drop in the series: 38 points from the original’s almost-Fresh 57%.
Crank 2: High Voltage
BEST! High Voltage only climbed two points over the original ‘s 61% but the fact these insane manic movies managed to resonate with critics is a story in of itself.
A Good Day to Die Hard
WORST! (82%) was an unlikely comeback flick for John McClane, which was completely squandered in this Russia-set cashgrab.
Live Free or Die Hard
X-Men: Days of Future Past
BEST! Days of Future Past netted Fox’s Marvel franchise its highest ratings, improving on ‘s decent 70% Fresh rating.
Highlander 2: The Quickening
WORST! A detested second entry that was completely ignored in further sequels, and a far cry from the 1986 original‘s 67% stake on the Tomatometer.
BEST! Sam Raimi’s zesty Doc Ock romp fielded an improvement over the original‘s 89%, which helped kickstart the superhero craze we live in today.
Escape From L.A.
WORST! Escape From L.A.‘s score isn’t a far cry from ‘s 85%, but the movie’s light critical drubbing and box office failure spelled the beginning of the end of John Carpenter’s directing journey.
Escape From New York
Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within
BEST! The first got a middling 53% from critics so nobody expected Brazil to come back guns blazing for the sequel.
WORST! A (which got 96%) sequel sans Harrison Ford, Fugitive Marshals isn’t necessarily awful but critics couldn’t find enough compelling reasons to justify its existence.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
BEST! The original (19%) was a mere stepping stone for director Roland Emmerich on his path to Universal Soldier and Stargate , but the franchise has found new critical life with Independence Day Day of Reckoning. The series still isn’t Fresh but, hey, let’s give it another 20 years.
xXx: State of the Union
WORST! Vin Diesel must’ve pissed a producer off because his Xander Cage character gets violently asploded in a special feature on the State of the Union DVD. The original didn’t exactly set critics alight with its 48% Tomatometer, but that’s miles ahead of this Ice Cube sequel.