If you reading this are anything like me, then 2016 has probably been a rough time for you. Brexit, the rise of Trump, Syria, and a string of high profile celebrity deaths are just some of the things that made this year a damned dumpster fire. But do not despair children, for I, an underachieving Masters student, am here to distract you from your misery with a redundant breakdown of the trailers of the week!

From yet another Spider-Man reboot, to Vin Diesel turning on his family (?!), there were a lot of interesting trailers this week. That at least suggests that 2017 will provide much opportunity for some sweet, sweet escapism. Oh, and before I get to it, I’ll only be covering trailers for movies coming out in 2017 here. So sorry Assassins Creed, you have no power here!

The Fate of the Furious

  • UK Release Date: 14/04/17
  • Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Excitement Level: 8/10 empty Corona bottles

Well that was unexpected. I mean that on multiple levels too. For one, the Fast and Furious franchise has experienced probably the most radical transformation of ANY blockbuster series. I remember in the days of yore, when Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel and his extended family, were little more than charming car thieves. Those days are long gone, and now the Fast and Furious crew are fighting against international terrorists and James Bond style super villains. That brings me to the second unexpected thing – it looks like Dominic Toretto is turning on his family?! I guess that explains the feud he and Dwayne Johnson had in the summer. After half a dozen films of barbecues, machismo and bonding over fast cars, Toretto has apparently been won over by a cyber terrorist, played by Charlize Theron. Finally, the third unexpected thing. It looks like Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, and the big baddie from the last film, will be helping Toretto’s crew in his ‘absence’.  Awkward, considering that he killed one of their best friends in Tokyo Drift.

What follows look stupendous. I for one, appreciate how ridiculous these films have gotten, and they’ve been getting progressively more so; I mean, here, we’ve got tanks, Arctic chase scenes, and nuclear submarines! One of my favourite parts was when the entire crew tries to hold down Toretto with car mounted harpoons and he just sends them flying. With the over the top action in mind, not to mention the charming cast and the mystery of Toretto’s betrayal, you can count me in on this one.

Transformers: The Last Knight

  • UK Release Date: 23/06/17
  • Action Adventure, Sci-Fi
  • Excitement Level: 3/10 CGI Explosions

On the topic of well known characters turning bad, what is happening with Optimus Prime?! I’ve never liked Michael Bay’s brain-dead adaptations of the Hasbro toy-line, and I never liked the cartoons from the 1980’s, but evil Optimus Prime has me a teeny tiny bit interested. Just barely.

The trailer starts out promisingly enough, with cool voice over and imagery, and yet the epicness of Anthony Hopkins’ narration is immediately undercut by the words ‘from director Michael Bay’. Sure, he does the best looking explosions in the biz, but that does not a film make. Other ‘positive’ signs come from the return of Tyreese Gibson and Josh Duhamel from the Shia LaBeouf led films of yesteryear, and from Mark Wahlberg’s reprisal of his role from 2014’s abysmal Age of Extinction – but I’m grasping at straws here aren’t I? Its likely to be yet another excuse to blow stuff up, and its certainly not going to be the last of its ilk. *Sigh*. I give it some props for the Optimus Prime twist, but that probably won’t lead to anything interesting anyway.  Overall: Meh. Whatever.

Despicable Me 3

  • UK Release Date: 30/06/17
  • Animation, Comedy, Action Adventure
  • Excitement Level: 8.5/10 Irritating Corporate Mascots

I hate Minions. Sorry, had to get that one out, but yeah, I really do – they’re derivative, annoying and not all that funny. That said, I do generally like the Despicable Me movies, and not just because I’m a millennial with arrested development – though that is a part of it. They’re genuinely charming, and the lively animation in these films is bound to elicit at least a smile from even the most cynical cinema goer. Steve Carell’s super villain, Gru, who I always thought resembled a New Wave ‘hipster’ Uncle Fester, is back. This time, he’s fighting against a 1980’s themed villain, named Balthazar Bratt, voiced, bizarrely enough, by Trey Parker of South Park fame. What makes that even weirder is how this trailer makes a big deal of the fact Trey Parker is in it at all. Unless you are an irony loving teen, or were born in the mid 90’s at the latest, he’s not someone that is easily recognisable, certainly not amongst the children that these films are made for. This may be an indication by Illumination Entertainment that they know that people my age watch their movies. That is weird and unsettling to me.

In any case, the charming animation, and the very off-beat casting choice of the man behind South Park, Team America and The Book of Mormon certainly has my attention.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

  • UK Release Date: 07/07/17
  • Action Adventure, Superhero
  • Excitement Level: 9/10 screaming fan-girls

Like everyone else, I loved Spider-Man’s introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this year’s Captain America: Civil War. Tom Holland was great as both Peter Parker, and as Spider-Man – and unlike previous portrayals, can actually pass as a high school student. Add to that the fact that Marvel Studios appear to be the only people who know what they’re doing with superhero films – seriously, DC burnt me twice this year – and an interesting cast that includes Michael Keaton as a bird based super villain (reverse Birdman?) and Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark, and we appear to have a sure fire winner on our hands. Anyway, I’ll just pop to the bank now to cash in my Disney check.

P.S. Was I the only one that picked up on a Breakfast Club/John Hughes-y vibe in this trailer? I’d call that a good sign.

War for the Planet of the Apes

  • UK Release Date: 14/07/17
  • Action Adventure, Drama
  • Excitement Level: 7.5/10 Gun-toting primates

War for the Planet of the Apes, (awkward title, I know) is the latest entry in the rebooted ‘Planet of the Apes’ series, and see’s the return of Caesar, played in motion capture by Andy Serkis, as he leads his band of super intelligent apes against the remnants of the U.S. Military. With a shaven headed Woody Harrelson as the bad guy, it looks like this is going to be more a brutal film than its predecessors, yet other than that, there’s not much to go by in this trailer other than a cool visual callback to the original Planet of the Apes in the beach scene as the trailer opens. I enjoyed the last two films very much, and as the same Director/Writer team behind this also made 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, this definitely captures my interest.

Dunkirk

  • UK Release Date: 21/07/17
  • War, Action, Drama, Historical
  • Excitement Level: 9.5/10 Academy Award Nominations

Christopher Nolan? Check. Historical War film? Check. Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy? Quadruple Check. Harry Styles? *Record Scratch* Well, it can’t all be perfect can it?

In all seriousness, between a veteran director known for his great cinematography, and a dramatic historical setting, this seems like its going to be fantastic. We can’t really tell much from this trailer, but it appears to be an ensemble piece, with Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles (*sighs*) as regular soldiers, Tom Hardy as an RAF pilot presumably, and Kenneth Branagh as a high ranking officer of some kind. Its nice to see Mark Rylance too, as one of the civilians who helped ferry the British soldiers from Dunkirk back to England. As such we will be getting a wide selection of perspectives of the people involved in the Dunkirk evacuations, which I respect. There’s also something to be said about a war film, in which the ‘victory’, is in essence, still a defeat – it’s much closer to reality, and not something you see in typical Hollywood fare. If you can’t already tell, I’m a little bit excited for this.

 

All in all, seems like a pretty good haul for just one week!