With 2016 behind us, it’s time for us to look forward to a brand new year of movies, most of which – hopefully – will be worth the time and money it took for us to physically remove ourselves from our homes, television sets and Netflix accounts. There are a LOT of movies to look forward to in 2017 – from reboots of favorite TV shows to long-awaited sequels to recent and classic films. But the following 10 movies are the ones that I’m really looking forward to seeing on the big screen, as opposed to a bootlegged, CAM-quality version available for download on your favorite torrent site.
1. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (February 10th) – The original “John Wick” was, hands down, one of the best action movies of 2014. Keanu Reeves proved that, with the “Matrix” trilogy behind him, he still had the capabilities to play a convincing action hero. In “John Wick: Chapter 2”, Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski join forces once again to deliver a movie that expands the dark, neo-noirish world of assassins and crime syndicates established in the first film, whilst delivering the high-octane action set pieces and brutal fight choreography that made it a cult classic amongst action movie purists. Oh, and Laurence Fishburne’s in it too. Yes, I said it! Both Morpheus and Neo of “Matrix” fame will be in this movie, and my goodness, I can’t wait to see their on-screen reunion!
2. LOGAN (March 3rd) – The success of 2016’s “Deadpool” proved that audiences were willing to support R-rated superhero movies from major film studios. Twentieth Century Fox, the studio behind the “X-Men” movie franchise, have been playing it safe for years with the character of Wolverine (played faithfully by Hugh Jackman since 2000), giving him PG-13-level scenarios for him to unleash hell upon. With “Logan”, Hugh’s final outing as Wolverine, Twentieth Century Fox promises “strong brutal violence and language throughout” according to the MPAA rating, and a little “brief nudity” (assumedly involving Logan) for the ladies. And with a plot that walks a fine line between emotional, heartfelt drama and vicious, bloody violence, this could be the fitting send-off that Wolverine deserves.
3. THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (April 14th) – SEVEN MOVIES in, and “Fast and Furious” is showing absolutely no signs of stopping. The strong bond amongst the heroes of the F&F franchise (which was felt both on and off-camera with the unfortunate demise of Paul Walker) resonated more with fans that any of the fancy cars driven, smashed into or decimated in the name of justice. In “The Fate of the Furious”, this bond is challenged by the sudden side-switching of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) to the evil forces of criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron). Could this mean the end of the Furious team….and the franchise? Time will soon tell.
4. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 (May 5th) – The first “volume” of “Guardians of the Galaxy” took the gigantic risk of introducing audiences to the little-known, space-travelling team of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Raccoon. The end result was the highest-grossing superhero movie of 2014. While I can’t predict how much money Volume 2 will make in the box office, I can guarantee that (based on the trailer that came out last year) that this will be an uproarious, fast-paced, action-packed, slam-bang sci-fi adventure like no other. That’s what I said about the first movie, and look at how great that turned out. In other words, get excited for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”.
5. WONDER WOMAN (June 2nd) – Admit it. Warner/DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” didn’t stand a chance against the might of Marvel Studios with their “Captain America: Civil War” and “Doctor Strange” movies. But I believe they have a chance to prove their worth to the comic book movie world once again with their long-awaited film adaptation of “Wonder Woman”. Sure, you can argue that this film will be Warner/DC’s version of “Captain America: The First Avenger”, but as a years-overdue, live-action origin story to arguably the most iconic superheroine in history, this is definitely a movie to be excited for. And I’m hoping that it’s worth the wait.