2016 was a chaotic year. From a political circus that managed to spread worldwide to a near-civil war occurring over ferocious and polarizing opinions of Suicide Squad, 2016 is a year better left behind us. With 2017 rolling ahead and an entire new years’ worth of movies appearing on radars, it’s about time we look at some of the more hotly anticipated movies coming out over the course of the next year.
January doesn’t have many strong offerings, and although Split¸ the supposed return of M. Night Shyamalan, is exciting cinephiles everywhere, it’s not wide enough yet to raise any eyebrows. There is one January movie, however, that has an actual budget and franchise title stamped to it, and that movie is xXx: Return of Xander Cage. With its trailer being shoved into late-night cable offerings everywhere, the sketchy director at the helm, and the hilarious financial failure of its predecessor, this sequel is a head-scratcher for the ages. Nobody wants this movie. Why is it being released? Regardless, I’m looking forward to it because it’s going to be an over-the-top adventure full of bad acting and awkward directorial decisions, and I’m excited to revel in all its terrible, terrible glory.
February has a few interesting releases, including that of The Lego Batman Movie. Hot off the heels of the critical and commercial success of The Lego Movie, this sequel will obviously focus on Will Arnett’s Batman character, who was a brief part of this movie’s predecessor. It’s difficult to gauge where this movie will be held from a quality standpoint, as neither the director nor the writer have much credentials behind them. The directors of the original, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, are only producing this time around to focus on other projects. The director has primarily focused on Adult Swim-oriented entertainment, mainly that of Robot Chicken, and the writer is the author of both Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, so expect a lot of zany nonsense that harkens back to the original film. Another exciting addition to the month is that of John Wick: Chapter 2, which will hopefully expand to the universe the incredible first John Wick set up. I love Keanu Reeves, and I loved John Wick, and since the original directors are returning to the helm, I hope to see more over-the-top violence and surprisingly powerful storytelling from these two masterful sculptors of action entertainment.
Oh, right, and the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel is coming out. Woohoo.
March has quite the bunch of exciting releases, including that of Kong: Skull Island and the live-action Power Rangers reboot. Kong: Skull Island unfortunately appears to be more of the same generic action, and instead of Peter Jackson’s eye for spectacle at the helm, the director has previously directed a single indie film, so there isn’t much promise here. The trailer for the Power Rangers reboot is nothing short of embarrassing, featuring lots of bad acting and hints at a silly, overwrought story. Also, it looks like a trailer for a bad sequel to Chronicle, and is being helmed by the director of feature-length Xbox 360 advertisement Project Almanac, so let’s not get our hopes up too high for this one, eh? Another interesting addition to the month is that of the live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, with a very not-Japanese Scarlett Johansson in the lead role and directed by the guy who brought us Snow White and the Huntsman, so expect a lot of style of substance nonsense here.
By far the headliner of the month is Logan, the third standalone Wolverine film that actually shows a lot of promise. With a reported “R” rating and some actual prestige behind the camera, this one might truly be the gritty, bloody, realistic Wolverine film a lot of people have been clamoring for, and not the previous two live-action Saturday morning cartoons we have received. Logan is certainly aiming for a more dramatic angle and not an action-oriented one, and hopefully director James Mangold (who directed the better of the two previous adaptations, The Wolverine) will be able to pull a gripping story out of this material which has been begging for such an adaptation for some time now.
Almost nothing is happening in April except the eighth, yes, the eighth Fast and Furious film, this one hilariously stylized as The F8 of the Furious. Not since Tak3n has such lunacy been taken so seriously by a production company. Directed by Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray, there is a chance the franchise will continue its upward streak after the disastrous fourth film in the franchise. There isn’t exactly much more wiggle room for this franchise and it’s, admittedly, stretched very thin already, so who knows how they will find another way to clumsily shoehorn a story into watching cars launch out of hotels next. There isn’t exactly much more to look forward to in April, unless the third Smurfs film is your movie event of the year, or you’re looking forward to Paramount’s Untitled Horror Film.
May has two exciting movies coming: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 appears to be aiming for the more comedic chops of its predecessor while primarily abandoning the more action-heavy elements found there. While there will obviously still be action elements present, this film appears to be going in a more satirical direction (much like James Gunn’s Super) rather than a vanilla comic book film adaptation with very obvious comedy, like its predecessor. All of the same faces are returning, and while I didn’t appreciate the original Guardians very much, fans of the film will definitely latch onto this one as well. Alien: Covenant focuses more on the Prometheus elements of the Alien franchise, so it appears that the more isolated and gritty days of Alien and Aliens are gone and we are now going with the very bad idea of focusing more on what Prometheus brought to the table. Ridley Scott is coming back to direct (then again, he directed Prometheus as well) and is being written by a three-time Academy Award nominee, so there’s no real way to gauge how well this is going to do. Ridley Scott has been falling off the wagon as of late, so don’t expect a real masterpiece here.
June is an absolute cinematic nightmare. With upcoming titles like Wonder Woman, the acutely unnecessary Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise, the fifth Transformers film, the third Despicable Me movie (God help us all) and, most important of all, the shockingly gritty and harrowing Cars 3. There is going to be real no surprises with Transformers or Despicable Me. Transformers will continue being incoherent collections of sensory deprivation and Despicable Me will continue being a shameless cashgrab sans a story or good script. If The Mummy is anything like its hilarious trailer, then expect it to solely consist of Tom Cruise heavily breathing and a lot of visuals of varying quality. Wonder Woman is simply not an interesting character, and if it’s anything like Man of Steel or BvS (since it’s produced by Zack Snyder, it unfortunately will be) this will just be another soulless and depressing outing at the movies. I’m really only interested in Cars 3 since it appears to be more of a gritty drama, instead of the zany and incoherent nonsense the previous two films were. I’m honestly baffled that this movie exists and that Disney/Pixar shuffled out hundreds of millions in cash to produce a gritty, realistic drama about Lightning McQueen. Just think about that for a second. What is even happening anymore?
Just look at this! What is going on?!
The July and August lineups don’t have much going on. Spider-Man: Homecoming is releasing the first weekend of July, and is officially going to be the third interpretation of Spider-Man this century. In the span of a decade and a half, there have been three different version of Spider-Man. Think about that. This version is directed by a smaller director who will inevitably be bullied into doing what the studio wants, much like Marc Webb with the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and look at what happened with those two ghastly movies. Although I did not think Tom Holland was a good Spider-Man in Civil War, a lot of people disagree with me, so his performance alone might make the film good for some. August contains such nightmares as Annabelle 2, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature and the film of the year, The Emoji Movie. Do I even need to elaborate on these things? Because I’m not going to. What an awful month August will be.
September, October, and November contain very little to be excited over. September contains the release of The Lego Ninjago Movie, which until I just looked I had no idea existed. Much like The Lego Batman Movie, the original directorial duo is only producing, and since this one seems a lot more like a forced stretch than the Batman film (seriously, Ninjago? What is going on, Hollywood?) I don’t have very high hopes here. October contains the cinematic warcrimes Insidious: Chapter 4, the My Little Pony movie, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The only film I’m really looking forward to is Blade Runner 2049, as it is a reboot of one of my favorite movies and is directed by one of my favorite directors, who brought Prisoners, Sicario, and the best film of 2016 Arrival to the big screen. If studio interference is kept to a minimum, this is surely going to be one of the best reboots to date.
November also contains Thor: Ragnarok, the third wholly unnecessary Thor film that will surely bore audiences everywhere. Thor: The Dark World is one of the only movie experiences that made me fall asleep in the crowded theater, which is quite the achievement. This is also the third Thor film directed by a smaller director, so it’s inevitable that Marvel will bully this director, too. Also in November is the Justice League movie, directed by Hollywood herpes cold sore Zack Snyder. Set your expectations low for this one, friends. Get ready for a joyless, mirthless action film that is 75% CGI and 25% grey filter. Boo.
December sees one major film release, Star Wars: Episode VIII. Directed by talentless hack Rian Johnson, who brought us Looper, this film is sure to be absolutely no different than The Force Awakens. I’ve just about had it with Star Wars fever, but Disney will keep making these movies as long as they keep making money, which they always will. I’m not a giant fan of the first three movies, but they are masterpieces compared to the troglodytes we’ve been getting this century. People will like it or they’ll hate it, there’s not much to discuss here. Just not something I’m excited for. Perhaps even bigger than Star Wars will be the release of Untitled Warner Bros. Comedy.
What movies are you looking forward to in 2017? Any movies I missed? Any opinions you vehemently disagree with? Let us know in the comments below!
Full list of 2017 films here.