WITH the great weather we had recently, you could be forgiven for thinking that summer has arrived.
Well, not quite – as we all know, summer in Ireland usually seems to be ‘the good two weeks’ that land around the Leaving Cert exams, as well as going to the cinema much more often to catch the latest summer sizzler (or occasional turkey).
Speaking of which …
Colossal (May 19) Fusing Anne Hathaway with Pacific Rift, Colossal takes the standard monster-attacks-city trope to deliver a comedy (with added dashes of alcoholism).
The kaiju (giant monsters) at the heart of 2013’s Pacific Rim were that film’s biggest feature – pun intended – and, here, director Nacho Vigalondo has put his own twist on their appeal, casting Hathaway as a troubled woman who starts manifesting highly-destructive kaiju in downtown Seoul.
After 2014’s dour Godzilla (a film which audiences still haven’t forgiven for killing off Bryan Cranston in the first act, after bigging him up in the trailers), there’s a definite gap in the market for big, stompy monsters to make their mark on cinema screens.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 25) With Johnny Depp’s recent career seemingly cast adrift in one cinema shipwreck after another (the less said about SS Mortdecai, the better), it’s unsurprising that he’s returned to don the boots, hat and eyeliner of Captain Jack Sparrow.
While the franchise was in danger of hitting the rocks during its last outing, the addition of the charismatic Javier Bardem as a new nemesis – the eponymous Captain Salazar – may be enough of a jolt to get the series back on course, with early indications that the film is ticking all the right boxes to leave timbers well and truly shivered again.
The Mummy (June 09) Tom Cruise stars as Universal attempts to reboot the faded franchise that many cinemagoers still associate with Brendan Fraser (remember him?)
Updated to modern times, and now with an ancient princess as its Big Bad, you can expect a decent blockbuster that’s deftly delivered on Cruise control, with some heavily CG-led setpieces.
If nothing else, it could work as a welcome alternative to the superhero-heavy release schedule, as well as the latest in stale sequels. Which leads to …
Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23) Director Michael Bay’s latest film looks set to be a thoughtful, introspective piece that gradually explores the complex psychological and emotional impact of being a bloody big robot smashing and shooting things in slow motion* while the American flag flutters a lot in front of giant explosions and sunsets.
You’re either a fan of the truly atrocious Transformers films, or you’re not – fans know exactly what they’ll be getting here, while everyone else knows what to avoid.
(*Now with added King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table flashbacks, for extra cheese!)
The Dark Tower (July 28) With Stephen King’s It reboot on TV soon to make a whole new generation terrified of clowns, King fans can also take in the long-awaited film based on his Dark Tower series.
The formidable Idris Elba leads opposite Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis, with high expectations for the film to do justice to the themes and complexity of the books.
Atomic Blonde (August 11) With her bravura turn in 2015’s Mad Max showing an unexpected flair for an action-heavy role, Charlize Theron goes even further with Atomic Blonde, delving into Cold War-era cat and mouse games in divided Berlin.
With its uber-stylish, energetic, violent trailers seeing the film already dubbed ‘Jane Wick’ by some wags, the talented actress could be on the cusp of creating an impressive new franchise to leave action fans shaken and stirred.