2016 saw a thundering repudiation of the status quo in all aspects of the world around us. However, with the notable exception of Leonardo DiCaprio finally getting his elusive Oscar, the Hollywood scene was largely more of the same all over again. 2017 is a whole different story though, with a plethora of awaited releases and big ticket blockbusters from the biggest franchises and directors. Here’s a guide to the most anticipated flicks of 2017, broken down month by month.
Grab your popcorn and prepare for some mindless bombastic action, as the Triple-X franchise crashes back into cinemas with its third instalment: The Return of Xander Cage. Starring Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen and Nina Dobrev, this movie promises to be a typical action-filled cheese fest, so remember to leave your brain at the door before entering the theatre.
Source: Paramount Pictures
On a more sombre note, this month also sees the release of Patriot’s Day, starring Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons and Michelle Monaghan. This thriller recounts the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and the massive manhunt that followed.
Remember when The Lego Movie first came out? Admit it, you weren’t expecting much of a movie—until it blew you away with a combination of tongue-in-cheek humour, complex characters, and a heart-warming moral at the end. This February, you can expect more of the same from The Lego Batman Movie, as the titular character and his trusty sidekick try to light(en) up Gotham with their crazy antics. With a star-studded cast of Will Arnett (Batman), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred), Zach Galifanakis (The Joker) and Michael Cera (Robin), we can only expect that everything will indeed be awesome.
Cinemagoers looking to sink their teeth into something darker and edgier can opt for John Wick 2, an action thriller that features Keanu Reeves doing what he does best: acting as a terse, brooding hitman in a movie filled with realistic action sequences and colourful cinematography. Apart from that, those seeking more salacious fare can look forward to 50 Shades Darker, the sequel to 50 Shades of Grey, a movie which I’m better off not talking about.
Enjoy post break-week with a bevy of movies to splurge on! Logan will be the final movie in Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine trilogy: a must-watch for those looking to see the Aussie donning his iconic metal claws for the very last time. The gritty tone and low-stakes (no, the world is NOT ending for the umpteenth time again) look very appealing in the trailers, but how exactly Marvel intends to make the film R-rated remains to be seen.
Source: 20th Century Fox UK
Not a fan of X-men? Don’t fret! There are plenty of other reboots coming out in March that will surely satisfy your nostalgic cravings. Disney fans can look forward to Beauty and the Beast, a live-action retelling of the timeless classic, with Emma Watson cast as the titular Beauty. Kaiju aficionados will certainly appreciate the return of their favourite gargantuan gorilla to the silver screen in Kong: Skull Island, a visually stunning and spine chilling film about the frailty of man. Last but not the least, fans of the Super Sentai genre can re-live their childhoods with the much anticipatedPower Rangersmovie.
The most anticipated film in April is, without a doubt, the 8th Instalment of The Fast and Furious series! Ominously titled “The Fate of the Furious”, the intriguing trailer shows main character Dom (Vin Diesel) going rogue against his “family” for reasons yet unknown.
Source: Furious 8 Official Facebook page
TheBoss Baby, an animated film detailing the shenanigans of a kid (Miles Christopher Bakshi) and his CEO-like baby brother (Alec Baldwin) sounds very promising. (I’m not making this stuff up, check out the trailer here.) It remains to be seen how well it translates onto the silver screen, but the trailer is hilarious and shows oodles of potential.
Finally, April ends with a bang of galactic proportions as we hail the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2. The sequel to the movie nobody knew they wanted continues the adventures of the token squad as they go around traversing the outer reaches of the cosmos. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Source: Marvel Studios
You’ll be spoilt for choice once term ends, as May is stacked with blockbuster upon blockbuster! King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is Guy Ritchie’s first venture into the realm of swords and sorcery: a vivid reimagining of the classic Arthurian tale in his own eccentric style. Like all fantasy-history mash ups, the story could be a toss-up—but hey, the trailer looks absolutely stunning, so you’ll at least have that to fall back on if the actual film is not on point (pun intended).
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales continues the adventures of Jack Sparrow and Co. as they sail the high seas yet again in search of booty and plunder. Javier Bardem of Skyfall fame hops aboard as he sticks to his strong suit of playing sinister, disfigured villains — his character, Captain Salazar being probably one of the most macabre antagonists we’ve seen in recent times.
On the other side of the galaxy, Ridley Scott returns to theatres this summer with Alien: Covenant. The much anticipated continuation of this iconic franchise looks just as terrifying and blood-curdling as its predecessors, as it takes the story to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Expect another deadly fight for survival as Michael Fassbender reprises his leading character in Prometheus.
This June, three large movie studios will be looking for an Indian summer to their fumbling franchises. (Which is ironic, because Indian summers in June are excruciating). Riveting action awaits as Wonder Woman graces theatres early in the month. The enchanting Gal Gadot plays the titular character as she discovers her full powers and true destiny while fighting alongside men in the war to end all wars. The look and feel of the movie till now is absolutely fantastic, and the Wonder Woman theme score is just plain exhilarating.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
Also hitting theatres in June is Transformers: The Last Knight – yet another instalment in the Transformers franchise. Worlds are to collide and artifacts are to be found for the umpteenth time as Paramount’s eternal cash cow veers back into cinemas to give us a taste of the same old all over again. To complete the triad of franchises, June also gives us Despicable Me 3, the continuation of a series that unexpectedly caught everyone’s imagination but has now become a vehicle for selling yellow, capsule-shaped stuffed toys.
The web-slinger is back, and this time he has Iron Man in tow. After a fantastic cameo in Civil War, the story of Spiderman gets another reboot in Spiderman: Homecoming. This time, he’ll be going up against Michael Keaton, who will be playing The Vulture. (This means Keaton, who played Batman in 1989, literally lived long enough to see himself become the villain!)
Also entering the fray this July is Christopher Nolan, upping the ante with the release of his WW2 action thriller, Dunkirk. The movie documents the Miracle of Dunkirk, an inspiring tale of how the Allied forces fought against all odds, successfully evacuating hundreds of thousands of soldiers from a harbour surrounded by German troops. Ladies, if you’re sad your boyfriend towed you along for this, you’ll find consolation in the fact that the movie also stars Harry Styles of One Direction, whose ovary-exploding sex appeal needs no introduction.
August and September seem to be quiet months on the cinema scene, at least for now. August sees the release of the oxymoronically titled The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek. September’s biggest release would arguably be American Made, starring Tom Cruise as a CIA agent/drug runner in the 80s.
October is a special month for Sci-Fi buffs, as it sees Ridley Scott returning with Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to his critically acclaimed cult-classic Blade Runner. Starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, the story takes a 30-year leap into the future: while details on the plot are sparse, it’s evident from the trailer that this film has kept the desolate, dystopian atmosphere of its neo-noir predecessor.
If you enjoyed the brilliant, swashbuckling English spy caper that was Kingsman: The Secret Service, you will be pleased to know that Kingsman: The Golden Circle will also be hitting theatres this October. Expect more suave visuals and head-popping finales as the already stellar cast adds Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Pedro Pascal into the mix as Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) save the world yet again with a little help from their American spy peers.
Prepare for a November to remember, as Marvel squares off against DC in a fight for box-office supremacy. Thor: Ragnarok, the third movie in the Thor franchise, will be duking it out against DC’s finest in Justice League. At first glance, the scales are tipped in the latter’s favour as the ensemble cast of Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Henry Cavill along with a fantastic supporting cast will be a delight to watch. On the other side of the arena, Marvel can only to top this feat by pinning their hopes on cameos by Hulk and Doctor Strange—as well as the fact that DC always manages to somehow make a mess of large star casts (we’re looking at you, Suicide Squad).
Source: Warner Bros. Studios
With the acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, Disney has firmly ensconced itself as the Sultan of December films. Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi will see the new characters Rey, Finn and Poe continue their journey in a galaxy far, far away. Little is known about the movie at this stage, but it will be interesting to see where they go with the story and how they deal with the tragic demise of Carrie Fisher. RIP Carrie ):
However, if Star Wars isn’t your cup of tea, we suggest you re-evaluate your life choices before checking out Jumanji, a retelling of the 1995 classic that features Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart pairing up to escape the titular magical board game they are trapped in. Those with an ear for musical comedies can catch out Pitch Perfect 3, expected to be released in the last week of the year, if that’s what floats your boat.
Anddd that’s a wrap for the comprehensive companion to this year’s most awaited flicks! So whether you watch movies for light entertainment or for fodder to fuel endless debates about art style and background scores (or perhaps even to escape the trepidation of the United States of Trump), it looks like it's going to be a tremendous year ahead - for films at least.