Top Gun: Maverick is shattering the worldwide box office in a seemingly unlikely turn of events. After being delayed from its original 2020 release due to the pandemic, maverick has finally arrived and the public loves it. It even beat the Marvel box office kings, replacing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as the highest-grossing film in North America this year, and is set to repeat that feat around the world.
Although the original was nearly forty years old, the sequel resonated with audiences and breathed new life into its characters. Whether mavericksets a precedent for legacy sequels to the action genre, so the following classic films are ripe for a modern revival.
“Lethal Weapon” (1987)
lethal weapon follows loose cannon Riggs (Mel Gibson) and veteran Murtaugh (Danny Glover), two LAPD detectives who are forced to work together to stop a drug trafficking ring. Three sequels and a TV reboot followed over the years.
What makes that lethal weapon The movies’ job is the chemistry between Gibson and Glover, and the chance to see the two partners bicker in their old age is full of potential. Murtaugh constantly claims “he’s getting too old for this shit”, so how about a chance to prove it, as the two retired officers get dragged into another case.
lethal weapon is available to stream on HBO Max.
“Big Trouble in Little China” (1986)
A cult classic from John Charpentier, Big problem in little China teams up with the director Kurt Russell for the fourth time. Russell plays macho truck driver Jack Burton, who ventures into the underworld of Chinatown to help rescue his friend’s kidnapped fiancée.
The film contains an impressive amount of world-constructing surrounding Chinese mythology and the supernatural underworld, especially during the era of 1980s action films. Carpenter made an effort to remain respectful of Chinese culture, and a sequel modern that brings this magical realism into the modern world could have the same appeal asShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Big problem in little China is available to stream on Starz.
“Rush Hour” (1998)
When a Chinese diplomat’s young daughter is kidnapped in the United States, Hong Kong Detective Lee (Chan) and Los Angeles Detective Carter are assigned to the case, despite their stark differences. Although hostile at first, they quickly grow on each other.
As lethal weapon, Peak hour works because of the chemistry between Tucker and Chan. The series ended with the year 2008 Rush Hour 3, an unfairly hated entry into Chan’s legacy. A proper sequel, with Tucker and Chan aging, will allow fans to reconnect with the characters and see how their dynamics have developed in their old age.
Peak hour is available to stream on HBO Max.
This list could be populated with just Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, but Commando stands as one of his best. Arnie plays ex-Special Forces John Matrix, who is back in action after characters from his past kidnap his young daughter. He’ll use every gun, knife, and gardening tool he can get his hands on to save the day.
Commando is a cheesy classic from the 80s, with Arnie springing from the one-liners as he dispatches henchmen in R-rated fashion. Perhaps a sequel can team up The Matrix with adult daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) to take down a new army of thugs.
Commando is available to stream on Starz.
‘Tango and Cash’ (1989)
Tango and money straight-laced pairs, by the book Ray Tango (Sylvester Stallone) with the reckless and reckless Gabe Cash (Kurt Russell). After the two detectives are framed and thrown in jail, the two rivals are forced to work together to escape, clear their names and find those responsible.
In an alternate universe, Tango & Money could have produced several sequels, such as lethal weapon and Peak hourwith follow-ups focusing on the growing bond that develops between the two leads, similar to how the relationship between Maverick and Iceman develops during the two Superior gun movies.
Another underrated movie from Sylvester Stallone, Cobra stars Stallone as Marion “Cobra” Cobretti, a street cop determined to stamp out crime. When a mysterious cult appears and begins murdering innocent people, Cobra is forced to protect the only surviving witness as the cult hunts her.
Cobra is a unique action movie in that it almost turns into a slasher movie. The film had to be cut to get an R rating after it was initially rated X. A sequel was planned but never materialized, while Stallone claimed in 2019 that Robert Rodriguez is involved in creating a remake.
‘Last Action Hero’ (1993)
When a young boy is sucked into the universe of his favorite action series, he teams up with the film’s star, Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to defeat the villains who threaten to cross over into the real world.
As much a comedy as an action film, Last Action Hero pokes fun at clichés from ’80s action movies, including those Arnie starred in. While such action movies are rare in Hollywood today, a modern narrative that focuses on a child getting trapped in a superhero movie might ridicule the genre along the same lines.
Last Action Hero is available to stream on Netflix.
“The Demolition Man” (1993)
When reckless police officer John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) is cryogenically frozen following a failed hostage rescue, he is awakened in a crime-free utopia in the year 2032. The nemesis of Spartan Phoenix (Wesley Snipes), a ruthless killer, was unfrozen earlier and escaped to commit a series of crimes. Unable to deal with such a violent criminal, Spartan is put on the case.
Much of what makes the wreckerworks is its futuristic setting. Spartan is a fish out of water in his peaceful new surroundings and is paired with Officer Huxley (Sandra Bullock) to show him the tricks of the trade. A new sequel could show how Spartan has adapted to his new surroundings in the years since the original film, and how he’s brought a bit of his own personality into the time period.
the wrecker is available to stream on Hulu.
“Escape from New York” (1981)
Another collaboration between John Charpentier and Kurt Russell, Escape from New York stars Russell as Snake Plissken, a convict who is sent to a futuristic New York City to save the US President. If Snake can complete the mission within 24 hours, he will be released.
A suite, Escape from LA, was released in 1996 to lesser reception, sadly ending the series. A highly influential film on popular culture, creator of video games Hideo Kojima claims that the film inspired his Solid metal gearseries and its protagonist Snake.
“Beverly Hills Cop” (1984)
When his best friend is murdered, Detroit cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) travels to Beverly Hills in search of justice. Beverly Hills Cop was a smash hit with critics and at the box office, and it helped propel Murphy to stardom. Two sequels followed, but none were as successful as the original film.
In 2013, a TV series was launched which would follow Foley’s son, with Murphy providing only a cameo. After the network passed on the pilot, plans were instead shifted to create a fourth film. Rumors have swirled about its production for years, but Netflix apparently intends to produce Beverly Hills Cop IV in the near future.
Beverly Hills Cop is available to stream on Showtime.
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