Big screen films have gotten off to a fast start this year, and there’s plenty of action topping box office revenues. Here are few well-known flicks and some under-the-radar movies that will get you revved up this year.
Logan (X-Men franchise)
This dystopian X-Men movie revives Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character as merely Logan, a broken down old mutant. He plays alongside a Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, whose faltering mental capacity has become a danger to all humanity. The X-Men series is guaranteed a future when a group of laboratory-created child mutants surface and one appears to be Logan’s genetic daughter. In many ways, the film represents a strong departure from the X-Men franchise due to the bloody, murderous rampages leveled against bad guys. Logan sidelines character development and puts brutal action in the driver’s seat.
xXx: Return of Zander Cage
The Fate of the Furious seems to be on everyone’s GPS, but Vin Diesel’s xXx flick opens a super cool Pandora’s Box. Actually, that’s the name of the weapon Zander must save the world from in this outing. The fun-loving romp introduces a new alternative crew with unique skills and key moments with Samuel L. Jackson and Ice Cube make the whole “saving the world thing” look really dope.
The Great Wall
Technically, this was released in December, so it’s a 2016-17 tweener. You’ll need to look past Matt Damon’s truly awkward Scottish accent to enjoy the amazing graphics and battle scenes when a legion of Chinese warriors protecting the world from flesh-eating monsters stand ready on the Great Wall of China. Much of the acting is subpar, but costume design and high-flying acrobatics make this a must-see for action lovers. And, you get to find out why they really built that big wall.
Kong: Skull Island
This creative interpretation of the King Kong franchise brings distinct whiffs of other classic movies to the table. The script is an obvious nod to Apocalypse Now and you may get a Jurassic Park and Avengers feeling at times as well. It’s all in there. But at the end of the day, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman give larger than life performances. John C. Reilly’s Hank Marlow mirrors Dennis Hopper’s eccentric Apocalypse Now role. Tom Hiddleston (James Conrad) and Brie Larson (Mason Weaver) keep the love angle afloat as human-eating nature beasties attack the cast at every turn.
Vengeance: A Love Story
If you’re a Nicolas Cage fan from his early quirky movies like Valley Girl and Raising Arizona, this may be your cup of tea. It’s a straight-forward crime story about getting justice outside the law for a sexual assault. Cage plays an off-beat cop called John Dromoor pitted against some despicable bad guys and former Miami Vice star Don Johnson. It gets a tad surreal and wasn’t a big box office performer. But hey, Netflix or Red Box work and chill.
Speaking of quirky flicks. This film tries to cross-dress sex change operations with a film noir detective novel that portrays a villainous “hit-person” as the victim. Twisted, convoluted and odd. Those may be the adjectives to describe the roles of A-list actresses Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez. It’s like a car wreck that you can’t stop looking at.
A pair of franchise films that are noteworthy are Assassin’s Creed and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The video game turned movie is surprisingly plot-buoyant. The fights scenes and graphics are as captivating as the computer game and the story doesn’t unravel. It may not knock your block off, but it’s a solid action flick. Resident Evil fans get to bid farewell to Alice (Milla Jovovich) in style as she offs the post-apocalyptic forces once and for all. It was a terrific ride, Milla.