There have been a lot of new trailers dropping in the last few weeks. Here’s what I think of some of them!
Dunkirk (Expected July 21, 2017)
If it’s by Christopher Nolan you’re pretty much are guaranteed a great movie. It would appear, at least from the most recent trailer, that Dunkirk is no exception. With a general absence of good war movies in recent years (except Fury in 2014, perhaps, which was at least not bad) Nolan’s story about the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, France is a welcome sight. It’s also refreshing to see a movie being made about one of the Allies’ greatest failures of the Second World War.
Of course, while the Dunkirk evacuation was a strategic military defeat for Britain, the trailer also begins to show the moral victory, so to speak, for the retreating nation. The event is often heralded as the ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’ due to the aid given by ordinary British civilians who offered up their boats to personally evacuate British soldiers out of France. This ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’ narrative was created to not have the whole debacle appear as a massive military defeat and the event became known instead for the brave and patriotic collaboration that took place between military and civilian elements in a time of crisis. From what the trailer shows us, Dunkirk appears to be another great piece of filmmaking from Nolan. An ensemble cast including Cilian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Brannagh, and Mark Rylance doesn’t hurt either. Not sure how I feel about Harry Styles being in it though.
A Cure for Wellness (Expected: February 17, 2017)
I’ll begin by saying that both trailers for A Cure for Wellness have mostly just left me confused and unsure of what exactly the movie will be about. After a quick Google search, however, I now know that the movie is about a company employee who goes to retrieve his boss from a “wellness centre” hidden away in the Swiss Alps. Not long after his arrival, the young employee comes to realize that not all is as it seems at the facility and that perhaps something more sinister is going on. As his sanity begins to be questioned, the main character (who’s name we do not yet know) is admitted into facility, diagnosed with the same strange illness that keeps all the other guests longing for a mystery cure.
Even without an idea of what the movie was about I found myself quite excited for this one. A Cure for Wellness, at least what the initial trailer shows us, appears to be dark and really quite creepy; I’m definitely getting some Shutter Island vibes. Despite still not knowing too much about this movie, what we’ve seen so far is strange, suspenseful and rather chilling…sign me up!
The Mummy (Expected June 9, 2017)
While I find myself often unsure of how I feel about Tom Cruise, mostly because of the sheer number of movies he takes over every year, this Mummy reboot appears to be exactly what the franchise needs. Now, it’s debatable that this franchise even needed to be brought back to life, but I suppose in the current trend of remaking and rebooting things something to redeem the last several chapters of The Mummy franchise is a welcome addition.
The darker and more serious look of the new Mummy is a step in the right direction, I think. The franchise will feel fresh and new while retaining the same core supernatural mummy elements of the original. Of course there also appears to be a great deal of CGI-heavy city destruction in the trailer, which can sometimes be risky. When movies over-use CGI they very quickly become silly, feeling more cartoon-ish and losing all sense of tension (re: The Mummy Returns, The Matrix Reloaded, 2012, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, All the Transformers movies, etc., etc., etc.– I could dedicate a whole post to my feelings on CGI). We’ll have to wait and see how the new addition to The Mummy franchise pans out.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Expected February 10, 2017)
The first John Wick movie seemed to surprise everyone with just how good it actually turned out to be. I think a large part of the first movie’s success and acclaim stems from the fact that it had a clever self-awareness and knew exactly what it wanted to be. John Wick knows it’s a shoot ’em up action movie and it doesn’t try to go beyond this, crafting a story that entails a hitman coming out of retirement to kill a bunch of guys after they kill his dog. Astonishingly simple, and yet really quite elegant in its execution (pun intended). Of course, you also can’t discount the beautifully choreographed fight scenes and gun play, the well-crafted brooding atmosphere, or the fittingly casted Keanu Reaves from any evaluation of this movie either.
If they can keep the same elements that made the first one so good and yet innovate and bring something new, I think chapter 2 will be heading in the right direction. Honestly though, even if the story doesn’t make sense and the characters aren’t well developed I wouldn’t care. Seeing Keanu Reaves kill swarms of enemies with guns, knives, and his bare hands all whilst wearing a well-tailored suit is good enough for me.
Logan (expected March 3, 2017)
I have to admit, X-Men was never something I really got into. I’ve seen a few of them here and there, not in order. The most recent instalment I’ve seen is X-Men: Days of Future Past which I didn’t think was anything too special. I never saw any of the standalone Wolverine movies either and, judging from the reviews they received, I didn’t miss very much. Despite all of this, I’m quite looking forward to Logan. Reportedly Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine, Logan appears to be just the right note for him to end on. The trailer, featuring Johnny Cash’s haunting song “Hurt,” appears to be a more serious, more mature X-Men movie. If the movie turns out being along the same lines as the initial trailer I think it’ll be a critical success.
It would appear from the trailer that Logan will fix what I see as the biggest problem with recent superhero movies. Firstly, the sheer number of them is getting to be a bit much. Non-stop Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, Captain America, and now Justice League movies are coming at us in an endless stream.
Secondly, the combination of heavy CGI and ‘PG’ ratings are have made many recent superhero movies feel like cartoons. Characters both good and bad are flung through walls and endlessly punched and kicked and tossed around and emerge with only a scratch on their forehead. Of course, these characters are superheroes so that’s understandable, but movies are always more entertaining and more gripping when you fear for the safety of its characters. That’s why something like Captain America: Civil War was a let down for me. You know neither of the characters could really inflict any sort of lasting damage onto the other so I started to not care because obviously they’ll be friends again in the end no matter what happened. Now, of course, I realize that kids love these superhero movies too meaning that ‘PG’ ratings are essential if studios want to maximize their viewing audience. At the same time, however, it’s nice when something comes along for a more mature audience. With Deadpool‘s release earlier this year and its critical acclaim and success, I think studios will start to be more open to ‘R’-rated superhero movies (or at least PG-13). Logan, apparently to be rated ‘R,’ appears thus far to be a superhero movie of a smaller scale, exchanging CGI-heavy citywide battle scenes for drama, meaningful interpersonal relationships, and much grittier action.
Fate of the Furious (Expected April 14, 2017)
When will it end? Seriously. That’s all I’m wondering about after watching the first trailer for Fate of the Furious. I think seven Fast and Furious movies is more than enough. Each one is more ridiculous than the last, the modest street racers from the first movies now an elite tactical unit that drives flashy and expensive cars to save the world. I mean, come on.
Kong: Skull Island (Expected March 10, 2017)
I’m not sure how to feel about what I’ve seen so far from Kong: Skull Island. I’ll admit that what we’ve seen so far is cool and quite visually striking, but I can also see how the end product could easily spiral into a mess of CGI and style over substance. I have a feeling it might turn out like the most recent Godzilla movie (the creators of which are behind this new King Kong movie), where it starts off rather mysterious and captivating, but soon digresses into silly battles of over-large, city-destroying mutant creatures.
Regardless, I’ll definitely be seeing it in theatres when it comes out in March of next year. I think they’ve assembled a worthy cast with Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly who will hopefully be able to compensate for any problems the movie has. With this being Tom Hiddleston’s first role in a big-budget movie where he plays the main protagonist, I’m hoping it does well; I’d like to see him do more of these types of roles in the future!
War for the Planet of the Apes (Expected July 14, 2017)
The new Planet of the Apes movies have been pleasantly surprising. Considering how easy it would have been to make a movie about monkeys taking over the world really bad (e.g.: Planet of the Apes, 2001), director Matt Reaves has breathed new life into the franchise. Although I was just bashing some movies’ heavy usage of CGI, the new Planet of the Apes movies are an exception. These movies heavily develop the ape characters, bringing them to human-like levels of emotion and reasoning, beautifully crafting a CGI environment where human and ape elements interact. Plus, it really makes sense to computer generate the apes in this case because I think we’re past putting people in ape costumes and using real apes isn’t really an option either. Now, maybe you’re thinking: “What about something like Transformers? How could they have done a movie about fighting cars without CGI?” Well you’re right, of course, they couldn’t have. I’m less likely to criticize either of the two most recent Planet of the Apes movies though, because, unlike any of the Transformers movies, the CGI characters (the apes), like I mentioned above, are developed to human levels of being where every movement and facial expression is carefully crafted to hyper-realistic levels.
As the title of the movie suggests, it looks like we’re in for war with this new instalment in the franchise. Our favourite ape Caesar is going head-to-head against a new enemy known as ‘Colonel,’ played by Woody Harrelson. Andy Serkis’s incredible ape skills have been demonstrated yet again by the War for the Planet of the Apes trailer, proving he’s still the best in the business when it comes motion capture (he played Golum in Lord of the Rings in case you didn’t know). I’ll definitely be seeing this when it hits theatres next July.
Well, those are my thoughts! Did I miss any 2017 movie trailers? What are you most hyped for? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below!