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25 Most Anticipated Action Movies of 2018

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As 2017 comes to a close it is time to look forward to 2018. So far, the box office looks to be stacked all year long. Marvel looks to continue their reign of dominance with the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp and the much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. Meanwhile, DC Entertainment looks to rebound from Justice League with the very first Aquaman movie. We also see the return of beloved franchises with the release tentpole films such as Pacific Rim: Uprising, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission: Impossible 6. For those with a bit of franchise fatigue original movies like Proud Mary and Annihilation look to be some of the most interesting films of the year. So, before the beginning of the new year here’s a look at some of the biggest action movies heading to theaters in 2018.

 

1. ‘The Commuter’

Release Date: January 12, 2018
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Since the success of Taken Liam Neeson has been known less for critically acclaimed dramas and more for his hyper kinetic action-thrillers. Looking to settle down Neeson has announced that The Commuter will be his last action movie. Even though it looks like typical Neeson action on its surface what makes it stand out is director Jaume Collet-Serra. The director of Run All Night and Unknown his movies with Neeson have a bit more to them. Add a surprisingly star-studded cast and you have a hell of a way for Liam Neeson to end his reign as the king of old man action.

 

2. ‘Proud Mary’

Release Date: January 12, 2018
Director: Babak Najafi
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Danny Glover
Since her first major role in Baby Boy actress Taraji P. Henson has been one of the most reliable stars in Hollywood. After the success of Empire and Hidden Figures she gets her first lead action role in Proud Mary. Portraying the successful hitwoman Mary, her character starts to have a change of heart when confronted by a child she has orphaned. Looking to be a mix of Leon: the Professional and the Blaxploitation films of old it could be the surprise hit of the year.

 

3. ‘Black Panther’

Release Date: February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chardwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
When it comes to their movies Marvel does best when they don’t try to be superhero movies. For example, the Captain America movies came into their own when they turned CA: The Winter Soldier into a spy movie. Similarly, the Thor movies found their footing when they took a more comedic turn in Thor: Ragnarok. The latest to follow the trend will be February’s Black Panther. First introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is looking to be a mix of capes and political intrigue when T’Challa has to protect the throne after returning to Wakanda. It’s an interesting concept and with Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) handling the directing and such an amazing cast I have complete faith in their vision.

 

4. ‘Annihilation’

Release Date: February 23, 2018
Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson
Since his directorial debut with 2014’s Ex Machina, Alex Garland has kept a low profile. He has been quietly working on what looks to be one of the most interesting sci-fi movies in quite a while. Set in the distant future Lena, a biologist, travels into the mysterious Area X after her husband comes back with a mysterious disease. Mixing science fiction, horror and action, Annihilation looks to be one of the most unique films of the year.

 

5. ‘Triple Threat’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceW7onOfmho

Release Date: N/A
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa
When it comes to putting together a genre movie the “Put all the big stars together” strategy has worked surprisingly well. Whether it’s classic cinema like 1960’s The Magnificent Seven to more modern fare like The Expendables a solid ensemble film can be a blast to watch. The latest to do this will be Triple Threat. Directed by Jesse V. Johnson (Savage Dog) Triple Threat will be bring together some of the biggest names in modern martial arts cinema. With stars from around the world it stars everyone from dependable hands like Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White to foreign favorites such as Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Celina Jade. While it doesn’t have a release date yet Triple Threat is sure to be at the top of any action movie lover’s Must-See list.

 

6. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey
Based on the classic science fiction novel, A Wrinkle in Time looks to be one of the most creative movies in quite some time. When her scientist father mysteriously disappears, Meg discovers the he is on a distant planet and held by mysterious forces. With the help of her friends and a trio of astral beings Meg travels across the galaxy to save her father.

 

7. ‘Tomb Raider’

Release Date: March 16, 2018
Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Daniel Wu
Based on the 2013 reboot of the same name Tomb Raider tells the story of Lara Croft and her first expedition. Less the globe-trotting adventures seen a decade ago this Tomb Raider is looking to pair a bit more character based drama with its major action set pieces. If done correctly Tomb Raider could make Lara Croft a household name all over again.

 

8. ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’

Release Date: March 23, 2018
Director: Steven S. DeKnight
Stars: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny
10 years since the “Battle of the Breach” the jaegers have been modified to become an elite defense force. As a new generation of pilots are trained, ex-pilot Jake Pentecost is recruited to take on a whole new breed of kaiju. With Guillermo del Toro writing and producing it looks to become a cult classic just like its predecessor.

 

9. ‘Ready Player One’

Release Date: March 30, 2018
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
In a dystopian future where the world has succumbed to perils like overpopulation humanity escapes by travelling into a virtual reality known as the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, passes away humans are given the chance to find the Easter Egg; ownership of the OASIS and Halliday’s vast fortune. As the world looks for this hidden treasure teenager Wade and his friends defy the odds fighting for it both in and out of the OASIS.

 

10. ‘Rampage’

Release Date: April 20, 2018
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Joe Manganiello
The Undertaker, Kane, Brock Lesnar, The Rock has faced against some of the biggest and baddest monsters the wrestling world has ever seen. And yet, somehow, he has generally avoided them on the big screen. That changes with Rampage. Based on the video game it stars The Rock as primatologist Davis Okoye. When a genetic experiment goes awry it transforms an albino ape, a wolf and a lizard into larger than life monsters. Big, loud and a bit silly, Rampage looks like the kind of fun The Rock excels at.

 

11. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Release Date: May 4, 2018
Director: The Russo Brothers
Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson
This is it, the main event. Since being introduced during a mid-credits scene in The Avengers, Thanos has been the one slowly been built as the biggest threat the Avengers will ever face. And if the trailer is anything to go by Avengers: Infinity War will be just as big. From the return of Captain America to the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting Thor, Avengers: Infinity War looks to be the biggest and best Marvel movie yet.

 

12. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

 

Release Date: May 25, 2018
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke
After the success of The Last Jedi Disney and Lucasfilms are heading back to the past with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Going back to a space western theme Solo: A Star Wars Story is about one of Han Solo’s earliest adventures with Chewbacca and an encounter with Lando Calrissian. While plot details are still scarce it sounds like a must-see for any Star Wars fan.

 

13. ‘Deadpool 2’

Release Date: June 1, 2018
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz
Since Disney bought out 21st Century Fox there has been question on everyone’s minds, what about the R-Rated superhero movies? It looks like we’ll find out on June 1st when Deadpool 2 arrives. A sequel to 2016’s surprise hit Deadpool 2 looks to expand on the original with the inclusion of his comic book companions Cable and Domino. With John Wick‘s David Leitch behind the camera expect the action to finally catch up with the humor.

 

14. ‘The Incredibles 2’

Release Date: June 15, 2018
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Holly Hunter
With Pixar pumping out more sequels in recent years one question has been asked, what about The Incredibles? One of Pixar’s biggest hits the original was a loving tribute to superheroics and old school spy movies. While we don’t know much about the plot the return of Brad Bird is more than enough reason to be excited for this long-awaited sequel.

 

15. ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

Release Date: June 22, 2018
Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum
In the years since the destruction of Jurassic World the dinosaurs have taken over the island. With a volcanic eruption imminent Claire and Owen are sent to save some of these remaining prehistoric beasts. But as Claire and Owen start settings things right they quickly learn about a conspiracy deeper than they could have imagined.

 

16. ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’

Release Date: July 6, 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Walton Goggins
Following Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man is considered a fugitive after escaping from the superhero prison known as The Raft. Struggling to balance his superheroics with his responsibilities as a father he is once again approached by Dr. Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne with an important mission.

 

17. ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

Release Date: July 20, 2017
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
Based on the popular manga Alita: Battle Angel follows Alita, a deactivated female cyborg. Found at a local dump by Dr. Dyson Ido she is revived with her only memories being the ancient martial art of Panzer Kunst. In need of a purpose and an identity Alita becomes a hunter-warrior in a dystopian town known as the Scrapyard.

 

18. ‘Mission: Impossible 6’

Release Date: July 27, 2018
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg
Few franchises have aged as well as Mission: Impossible. Starting as an alternative to James Bond this Tom Cruise-led series has been home to some of the most exciting action set-pieces ever put to film. Not much is known plot wise but with Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuairre returning fans know they’re in for a treat.

 

19. ‘The Predator’

Release Date: August 3, 2018
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes
Few names get excited as much as Shane Black does. The writer of Lethal Weapon, The Monster Squad and Iron Man 3 he is one of the most talented creators in Hollywood today. Naturally, Predator fans were stoked to hear he would not only be returning to a series he has been a part of (playing Hawkins in the 1987 original) but that he has also been brought on as writer and producer. With a cast including Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane and Olivia Munn it’s looking to be another great entry in the Predator franchise.

 

20. ‘The Meg’

Release Date: August 10, 2018
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Li Bingbing
A former Naval captain, Jonas Taylor barely escapes with his life after being attacked by a 70-foot shark; the megalodon. Years later he is forced to confront his fears when he is hired for a deep-sea rescue mission. The Meg might not be the most original movie but it sounds like the perfect breather after a summer of tentpole films.

 

21. ‘Venom’

Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams
After years in development hell Sony is finally putting out a Venom movie. Aiming for an R-rating Venom is looking to establish itself as its own franchise before crossing over with Spider-Man or the MCU although there are plans for it in the future. Currently in production the plot remains unknown.

 

 

22. ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

Release Date: November 2, 2018
Director: Simon Kinberg
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult
Set a decade after X-Men: Apocalypse the X-men are a known group of superheroes. And while mutants are more accepted than ever the X-Men are called into space by a mysterious shape-shifting alien. An adaption of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline it will also feature Jean Grey losing control of her powers with the X-Men forced to take her on. The last of the X-Men films before they join the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s truly the end of an era.

 

23. ‘Widows’

Release Date: November 16, 2018
Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
After his Academy Award-winning turn with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen will go in a completely different direction with Widows. Four armed robbers, including Liam Neeson and Jon Bernthal, are killed in a failed heist attempt. With a debt left behind by their husbands the four widows are forced together to finish the job.

 

24. ‘Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse’

Release Date: December 14, 2018
Director: Bob Perscichetti and Peter Ramsey
Stars: Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali
Spider-Man has always had potential to go beyond New York City. The source material has a wealth of storylines involving clones, monsters and interdimensional travel. It looks like Sony will finally take advantage of this. Focusing on Miles Morales, a Spider-Man from an alternate reality, taking up the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker dies in battle. Combining computer animation with hand-drawn techniques it looks to be one of the best superhero movies of the year.

 

25. ‘Aquaman’

Release Date: December 21, 2018
Director: James Wan
Stars: Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson
After defeating Steppenwolf with the Justice League Arthur Curry returns to the sea. Reluctantly taking the throne as king of Atlantis, Aquaman struggles maintaining peace between the surface world and an Atlantis ready for war. With his own half-brother plotting against him, the king of Atlantis may find the solution diving into his past.

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Action

Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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Action

Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: Po and Co are Back to Pack Hilarious Punches.

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I’ve seen too many great animation franchises deliver diminishing returns with more and more sequels. To name some recent examples one could include How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Cars, etc. Kung Fu Panda is another franchise that unfortunately falls in this category. The threequel that released in 2016, was most people’s choice for the weakest entry in the beloved franchise. So that made me pretty skeptical whether the world was ready for this franchise to return and gave us good cause not to have expectations set too high, especially given the weak marketing campaign and smaller production budget. To make things worse, it was being reported that the furious five would not be a part of the story.

So I went in with my expectations in check but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been 8 years since the last Kung Fu Panda movie, but the characters are somehow still fresh and fun. One of the best things that the makers are able to do is remind the viewers what makes Po such a darling and why we love him so much. Jack Black is such a natural fit for his voice and makes this character special with his wit and wisdom in this latest entry. 

This entry is notably structured in a very different way from the other 3 entries. This one focuses on Po’s search for a successor and his ascension to the Master of Peace. The main characters are split up pretty early in the movie and are sent on separate adventures in a sort of buddy-cop-style scenario. On one side we have Po and Awkwafina’s Zhen, and on the other, we have Bryan Cranston and James Hong as Po’s dads. These two duos are a lot of fun in their own ways.

(from left) Po (Jack Black) and Zhen (Awkwafina) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Po and Xen have more of a good boy-bad boy dynamic, while the dads have more of a light-hearted brotherhood between them. Both pairs of misfits deliver a string of humorously entertaining sequences that will have you laughing your heart out. The humor here works for most parts apart from one or two instances and the dialogue in particular is very smartly written. The story, on the other hand, is where the movie is at its weakest.

The structuring is pretty generic with a very cliche twist at the beginning of the second half and the script mostly fails to provide significantly fresh plot points. But credit to it for executing the successor plotline better than a lot of movies that have tried it, especially Cars 3. The writers make sure to put their entire focus on humor and entertainment value, but they do come up with a couple of charming moments and some subplots that come full circle.

The animation here is surprisingly really good, especially given the significantly lower budget. The trailers didn’t get too many people encouraged about the quality of animation, but I can tell you that even though it’s not DreamWorks’ best, it’s still really well done. The background score also hits the right spot where it’s able to compliment the scene and lift it at the same time. The voice work here is also pretty solid. Jack Black is amazing as always and Awkwafina Ke Huy Quan are welcome additions.

(Center) Chameleon (Viola Davis) in Kung Fu Panda 4 directed by Mike Mitchell.

Apart from Po, the best part of the movie is Li and Ping. They are the heart of this movie. The two of them have incredible chemistry and Mike Mitchell finds a way to bring out the best from the both of them. They play off of each other in the most silly, but whimsical manner which is just a joy to watch. We could do with a spin-off of them. Ian McShane’s return as Tai Lung is another highlight here. He is nicely integrated and fits well into the story being told. On the other hand, Viola Davis’ Chameleon is somewhat of a disappointment. For a villain that has the powers of all the previous villains, she was a rather tame antagonist.

Overall, Kung Fu Panda 4 is a return to form for the beloved franchise. It has a lot of elements that made the franchise successful and is a much-needed reminder of how much we love these characters and in particular, Po. Jack Black knocks it out of the park with Bryan Cranston and James Hong emerging as surprise standouts. It lacks the emotional depth of the first two entries and has a disappointingly tame villain. But it is a major improvement from the last entry and unsurprisingly very very entertaining.

Kung Fu Panda 4 releases in cinemas on March 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_inKs4eeHiI&pp=ygUXa3VuZyBmdSBwYW5kYSA0IHRyYWlsZXI%3D

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Action

One More Shot: Scott Adkins Returns in This Kick Ass Sequel Seemingly Shot in One Take.

With many immersing and kick ass action sequences, One More Shot is another technically impressive action film from director James Nunn.

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Scott Adkins One More Shot

Bigger, better, and more kick-ass than the first, One More Shot is another impressive one-take action film full of tension, stakes, and adrenaline fuelled action sequences. Much like the first, One More Shot is another action film shot in one-continuous take. With hidden cuts of course. This one-take style adds a greater level of intensity to the film by immersing audiences deeper into the action, and connecting audiences closer to it’s characters. James Nunn’s work behind the camera is even more precise than his previous effort. Blending excellent camera work, explicit framing, and fluid editing Nunn leave audiences with punchy (no pun intented), smooth, and enthralling action movie experience.

Scott Adkins once again kicks ass as Jake Harris, delivering another exhausting performance as he takes out waves of bad guys with guns, knives, and of course, his infamous high kicks. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was pretty underwhelming with Alexis Knapp being the worst offender. Likewise, as exciting as it was to have Michael Jai White star alongside Scott Adkins again, he certainly doesn’t get the screen time he definitely deserved. White should have been the main antagonist. Not a high level bodyguard. With that said however, Michael Jai White’s and Scott Adkins’ brawl was a phenomenal piece of action cinema that action movie fans shouldn’t miss.

One More Shot is an action extravaganza with impressive work both on and off camera, and a brilliant early contender for action movie of the year.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

After the attack on the black site in Poland, Navy SEAL Jake Harris must escort suspect Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi) to Washington DC for interrogation. However, after the two become trapped at an airport in the US by an army of armed mercanaries, Jake Harris must protect Mansur or else the fate of America would be on his head.

Much like its predecessor One More Shot is a very technically impressive action movie. Whilst James Nunn proved himself as a fantastic action movie director with his previous endeavour, it’s One More Shot that truly cements it. The filmmaker nails the tension, pacing, cinematography and framing of every fight. The airport setting is much more immersing setting compared to the previous one, allowing for much more creative, and tight action sequences.

Complementing Nunn’s excellent direction, was the casts breathtaking physicality. Unsurprisingly Adkins steals the show with his efficiently brutal, and fast paced martial arts which add a level of finesse, and polish to every fight scene. Likewise, Michael Jai White was another standout. His large physique, matched with his fast and incredibly precise combat proves a deadly foe. Despite the amount of times we have seen Adkins and White go toe to toe, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Both performers are expert in their craft and give every fight between the two their all. While it would’ve benefitted the film if Michael Jai White had a greater role to play, it was still an unrelenting, and exhilarating brawl. Fingers crossed he’s the big bad in the next one.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

While many have come to see fist fights, shoot outs, and explosions, One More Shot boast’s a surprisingly developed script that’s much deeper than its predecessor. Writers James Nunn, and Jamie Russell provide a well paced and intriguing story full of heart and tension. The characters are far more developed, and introducing audiences to Mansur’s wife, and unborn child greatly elevated the stakes.

The performances where perhaps the films biggest downfall. Adkins was fantastic, White was incredible, and Waleed Elgadi was captivating. As for the rest, their performances just felt lazy. They brought zero nuance to their characters, and seeing them on screen provoked a thought’s of “Damn, I can’t wait to they get killed off”.

One More Shot’s ending is a little abrupt, and while it does have a sweet resolution, the film sort of just ends. We don’t get to see much of the repocussions of the events that unfolding throughout the movie which raises more questions that answers. However, we guarantee that James Nunn and Jamie Russell are working a script for the final film, undoubtedly titled “One Last Shot”. Fingers crossed.

While it may be a little premature, One More Shot is damn great action film that could easily end up on many “Best Action Movie of the Year” lists by the time December roles around. It’s technically impressive, boasting great camera work, and imagery with many adrenaline fuelled action sequences scattered throughout.

One More Shot is available to purchase on demand January 16th

Check out the trailer below:

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