Summer Movie Preview: Tragic Trilogies, Street Smart Thrillers, Kick-Ass Females!

With the Spring movie season offering up a plethora of action-packed entries from the emotional powerhouse of Logan to the gritty reboot of Power Rangers, as well as a few light-hearted flicks like Beauty and the Beast, 2017 continues to heat up as we move into a summer full of blockbuster sequels, sci-fi adaptations, and fierce female heroes. From our long-awaited introduction to the origins of Gal Gadot's Amazonian warrior in June's Wonder Woman to full-scale ape war in July's War for the Planet of the Apes, Summer 2017 is gearing up to deliver not only your average tentpole blockbusters, but also a handful of other cinematic surprises along the way. Here are some of the major films to look out for this summer!

Tentpole Blockbusters - From One Last Ride to New Beginnings:

Transformers: The Last Knight - Probably one of the most bankable franchises still around, the action-heavy Transformers saga rings in for the fifth time this summer with Michael Bay's latest adventure, Transformers: The Last Knight. Gearing up to reset the past and all we know about the Transformers so far, as well as pit Autobot leader Optimus Prime against his own allies, the film already looks to be one epic popcorn flick. But with the franchise losing some of its momentum with its last installment, 2014's Age of Extinction, can The Last Knight keep the brand of transforming alien robots alive? Leave it to Michael Bay to answer that one with more than a few explosions -- and hopefully a bit more story.

Spider-Man: Homecoming - With this month's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 already under their belt, and the hype surrounding not only this November's Thor: Ragnarok, but also 2018's highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War, already leaving fans giddy with excitement, Marvel Studios shows no signs of slowing down as they gear up to introduce yet another iteration of the famous wall-crawler, Spider-Man. With July's Spider-Man: Homecoming taking us through the early high-school days of Peter Parker (Tom Holland), who doubles as the teenage crime-fighter Spider-Man, the film looks to take fans one step past the generic origin story, and show us more of the iconic character than we've seen. With Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark tagging along to, the film could either be a comic-book fans wet dream, or merely another generic Spider-Man project.

The Mummy - It wouldn't be the summer without action star Tom Cruise settling in for another bout of massive stunts and big-budget action. This time taking on ancient mummies in June's reboot of The Mummy franchise, alongside Russel Crowe and Sofia Boutella, Cruise is set to hop aboard yet another million-dollar franchise as this film kicks off a massive monsters-themed series at Universal Pictures. Reeling in the likes of the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein to propel the upcoming franchise forward, it'll be the success of next month's The Mummy that truly determines the fate of Hollywood's latest money-making series of films.

Women in Action - The Ill-Advised and Otherwise:

Wonder Woman - One of the most anticipated films of the summer, June's Wonder Woman is set to not only introduce fans to Gal Gadot's mysterious origins as the warrior goddess Diana Prince, but also mark the first time the iconic character has graced the big screen in her own film. With last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice teasing Wonder Woman's role in this November's Justice League, Wonder Woman aims to explore the unique origins of the character's battle against not only the horrors of World War I, but also herself as she struggles to uncover her destiny. While the reception to most of the previous films in the DC Extended Universe have been ill-received, Wonder Woman remains a hopeful player as it finally introduces a hero that's been waiting for her due on the silver screen. 

Atomic Blonde - While Wonder Woman is set to kick some major ass in the trenches of World War I, Charlize Theron, star of July's gritty spy-thriller Atomic Blonde, is gearing up to take on the violent world of 1980s espionage. With the director John Wick and the upcoming sequel to Deadpool on-board, and a slew of brilliant actors from John Goodman to James McAvoy along for the ride, this female-lead action flick looks to pack in an intriguing premise with some impressive action sequences.  

Rough Night - In the vein of 1998's Very Bad Things and 2009's The Hangover, the latest female-driven crude comedy to grace the silver screen is June's Rough Night. Spinning a harebrained tale of four friends from college who reunite for a crazy night on the town, only to end with unexpected consequences, the film aims to bank off the success of last year's Bad Moms, while also employing the charisma of stars Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, and Jillian Bell to keep the ship afloat. While this film could be as tolerable as Bad Moms, it'll have to elevate beyond simply the crude and cliche to be anything to talk about.  

Trilogies of Tragedy, Twins, and Torque:

Cars 3 - While 2011's Cars 2 offered an ambitious but disappointing sequel to Pixar's lackluster Cars franchise, the third film in the series hopes to elevate the stakes of talking cars and high-speed racing...with more talking cars and high-speed racing. While the appeal of another Cars sequel might not be as high as it once was, the newest installment does look to be taking a few more risks than the last one did. With Lightning McQueen now on the brink of retirement, after facing a near-fatal accident on the track, the comeback journey is only just beginning, as he searches to find his true calling as a racer. While it might feel a bit melancholy to not see Mater in the film's trailers, it could promise a new ignition for one of Pixar's weakest franchises. 

Despicable Me 3 - Another animated feature ringing in for the third time this summer is Despicable Me. With the newest installment offering up more of Steve Carell's awkward ex-villian Gru and his slew of minions, while also introducing us to Gru's mysterious twin brother Dru, the franchise seems to be returning slightly to its original form in the first Despicable Me. While 2015's spin-off Minions might have made some of us hesitant for more of the yellow creatures, Despicable Me 3 will hopefully offer more than simply what we've gotten in the past. Nonetheless, the film will surely dominate the summer even if it isn't very memorable.

War for the Planet of the Apes - With two mildly successful films under its belt already, and the third film looking to unleash all-out ape war this July, the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise is set to continue its captivating tale of apes vs. humans in War for the Planet of the Apes. With Andy Serkis returning as the franchise's titular ape, Caesar, as he takes on a vicious colonel (Woody Harrelson) who aims to wipe out the apes for good, the film looks to explore not only the deeper emotions of its characters, but also the unknown future of how the "planet of the apes" may come to be.

Based in Reality - Battlefields of Violence and Vocals:

Dunkirk - One of my most anticipated films of the summer has to be the latest film from director Christopher Nolan, the World War II epic Dunkirk. With the visionary eye and brilliant storytelling of Nolan taking aim at the Dunkirk Evacuation at the beginning stages of the war, the possibilities of what this film could be remain a mystery. With the likes of Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Mark Rylance leading the film, the war epic aims to take a unique storytelling approach as it shows three separate perspectives and builds its momentum not through dialogue, but though the intense and unexpected environment of a war-torn France. 

Detroit - Moving from the beaches of Dunkirk to the violent streets of 1960s Detroit, director Kathryn Bigelow's latest film takes a fascinating peek at one of America's darkest times, as it explores the racially charged 12th Street Riot in Detroit. With Bigelow's past films exploring everything from Iraq War bomb squads to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, her unique and unflinching method of filmmaking is the perfect one to uncover such a horrifying and revealing period of American history. With John Boyega, Will Poulter, and Anthony Mackie starring, this could make for one of the summer's most talked-about films.

All Eyez on Me - Another biographical film already being buzzed about in the media is June's All Eyez on Me. Telling the story of rapper-turned-activist Tupac Shakur, as he rose to infamy on the streets of California, the film details the hardships of the late hip-hop artist during his time with Death Row Records, on the backdrop of a racially charged nation. With star Demetrius Shipp Jr. being a spitting image of the late rapper, and the film already fueled by the intense emotions of Tupac's legacy, it could promise a reception similar to that of 2015's Straight Outta Compton for the ambitious project.  

Street Smart Thrillers:

Baby Driver - With director Edgar Wright gracing this silver screen once more this year with next month's Baby Driver, the high-stakes action and criminally gut-busting comedy of his previous projects return in this high-octane crime thriller. Telling of a highly-skilled driver named Baby who gets caught up in the criminal hijinks of a bank-robbing kingpin, Baby Driver sets its sights on delivering thrill-a-minute action and quippy hilarity all to the beat of some kick-ass tunes. With its cast filled with veteran crime thriller actors Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx, and a few surprises in Ansel Elgort and Jon Bernthal, Wright could make a valiant return to the big screen with this fast-paced shoot-em-up.  

The Hitman's Bodyguard - With Samuel L. Jackson popping up in nearly every movie in Hollywood these days, and Ryan Reynolds maintaining his satirical action hero persona from Deadpool, the two finally unite in August's buddy-cop comedy, The Hitman's Bodyguard. With the two actor's unflinching vocabulary and dynamic chemistry set to kick off the end of the summer with one last bang, the film and its obvious hyper-aware premise could be enough to deliver something in the vein of Deadpool and Kingsman: The Secret Service.  

Sci-Fi Adaptations - Gunslingers and Distant Planets:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - While the latest film from French director Luc Besson could easily be the next John Carter or Jupiter Ascending, the sci-fi epic based on the French graphic novel series Valerian and Laureline looks to be one of the more promising sci-fi films of the year so far. With stars Dane DaHaan and Cara Delevingne having an oddly whimsical and charismatic chemistry, and the special effects looking more impressive than I imagined, this ambitious adaptation surely could be a hit for the summer season, as long as it doesn't lose momentum with lazy writing. 

The Dark Tower - With author Stephen King's It set to return to the big screen this Fall, another King adaptation making its way to the silver screen is August's The Dark Tower. Continuing the story of the acclaimed series of novels by King, which told of an epic battle for humanity between a lone gunslinger and a mystical being known as the Man in Black, the film is set to treat fans and newcomers alike to the massive world surrounding the mysterious Dark Tower. With the film being up for grabs by such directors as J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard since before 2007, the promise of the epic story finally gracing the silver screen could be enough to get fans and newcomers on-board for another massive sci-fi franchise. 

As the temperatures rise and the summer season quickly approaches, a plethora of ambitious films and tentpole sequels are set to make it a summer to remember. What films are you most excited to see this summer? Tweet me or comment below, and stay tuned as I begin my own journey into checking out all the massive movies releasing soon! 

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