During the COVID-19 pandemic people all over the world have used films more than ever as a form of escapism, giving themselves a break from day-to-day life to experience the extraordinary, whether that’s to get their pulse racing watching a horror or to be transported to another world in a sci-fi.
While films can straddle multiple genres, films that most comfortably fit within the adventure genre quite often occur in places that we’re familiar with but where something unexpected or out of the ordinary happens.
Take 2004’s National Treasure for instance. Several scenes take place in well-known locations across America – including the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, where hundreds of thousands of people have visited – but suddenly these locations are revealed to hold secret clues to a fabled treasure.
There are two films and one series that come to my mind when thinking about adventure films:
The Indiana Jones series (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008)
Indiana Jones, portrayed by Harrison Ford throughout the series, needs no introduction, but in case you’re unfamiliar with him, he’s an archaeologist and college professor who spends a lot of time ‘out in the field’ searching for lost artifacts.
The first film takes places in the 1930s and throughout the course of the series we follow along as Indiana hunts for the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, as well as taking on Nazis and working alongside his father, Indiana Jones Sr., memorably played by Sean Connery.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Romancing the Stone is a joyful, fun film with likeable characters, plenty of comedic moments and a very Eighties soundtrack. Michael Douglas stars opposite Kathleen Turner as a roguish treasure seeker who begrudgingly chaperones Turner’s romance novelist when she arrives in Colombia on a quest to help her kidnapped sister.
Danny DeVito co-stars and it has all the hallmarks of a great adventure film: our heroes get into plenty of scrapes but always live to tell the tale, and while there is a romantic element, it never gets too schmaltzy.
The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy is another example of opposites attracting, as Brendan Fraser’s American explorer, Richard ‘Rick’ O’Connell, discovers when he meets a beautiful British librarian, Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn ‘Evy’ Carnahan, who has accidentally revived the mummified corpse of an Egyptian priest intent on destroying the world.
Rick O’Connell bares many similarities to Indiana Jones but he’s more of a swashbuckling extrovert rather than Jones’ almost antihero personality. As with elements of the Indiana Jones series, The Mummy takes inspiration from history, referencing ancient texts such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
The future of adventure
A running theme throughout all these films is that while there is always an element of peril, everything ends well. There may be moments that frighten us, and there is usually a love interest, but the focus firmly stays on the adventure.
Someone who is rapidly building their adventure film star credentials is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Johnson has a varied portfolio, frequently appearing in more light-hearted films alongside roles in the Fast & Furious franchise and the upcoming Black Adam from DC Studios.
Walt Disney Studio’s Jungle Cruise, which Johnson stars in opposite Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, is scheduled to be released in July and looks like another fun ride that is firmly set within the adventure genre; Johnson’s riverboat captain Frank Wolff will escort Blunt and Whitehall’s brother-sister duo as they search for the magical Tree of Life.
The rebooted Jumanji series, which stars Johnson opposite Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas, is also another fun-filled adventure series that looks set to continue to thrill audiences for years to come following both critical and audience acclaim for the first two films.
The future looks strong for this always-entertaining genre.
What are some of your favourite adventure films?
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – New Teaser Trailer
You are invited back into the Magic! as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, audiences will be taken back into the familiar and immersive world of magic, fun and excitement, featuring even more compelling and unique magical beasts in an all-new story that truly expands the iconic Wizarding World in surprising and unexpected ways.
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
Dive into the complex, high-stakes relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and unlock the story of these two legendary wizards.And for the first time, audiences will get an inside look at the complicated and enigmatic Dumbledore.
The film is also the ultimate wizard heist as what follows in The Secrets of Dumbledore is an action-packed cat-and-mouse game of secretive plans, mysteries and fun twists and turns. Our unlikely heroes – Newt, Jacob, Kama, Lally, Bunty and Theseus are brought together by Dumbledore in an attempt to defeat Grindelwald.
From the teaser trailer it looks like this film will be magical on the big screen as it’s a richly realised expansion of the story fans have been craving, a transportive cinematic experience for all ages that features familiar connections to Harry Potter, whilst also keeping the classic Magical elements like the whimsy humour as well as the heartwarming moments and heart-stopping action.
The film features an ensemble cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law (“Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” was directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, based upon a screenplay by J.K. Rowling. The film was produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram and Tim Lewis. Neil Blair, Danny Cohen, Josh Berger, Courtenay Valenti and Michael Sharp served as executive producers.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is the newest adventure in the Wizarding World™ created by J.K. Rowling.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in cinemas across the UK & Ireland on 8 April 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Jason Reitman Has Truly Outdone Himself
After more than a year of scheduling delays due to the pandemic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife has finally made it into some theatres across the world. The newest film in this iconic franchise is a direct sequel to the original 1984 Ghostbusters and 1989s Ghostbusters II, which was released more than thirty years ago. Director and co-writer Jason Reitman, is the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed both Ghostbuster films and his legacy to his Father’s Ghostbusting franchise was a nostalgic joyride that features the same heart and soul as the originals and truly took me back to when I first experienced the spiritualistic, scientific wonder.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows Callie (Carrie Coon) and her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Phoebe (McKenna Grace), who after becoming broke and indebted are evicted from their home and are forced to move to a decayed farmhouse in Summerville, Oklahoma, left to them by the children’s late grandfather. A series of unexplained earthquakes are occurring despite not being situated on any fault lines or tetctonic plates. In addition Phoebe discovers strange and ominous ruins in an old mine that is rumoured to have once belonged to the alleged occultist Ivo Shandor.
The children also discover the history of their grandfather with the original Ghostbusters, who have since been largely forgotten by the world beyond their fan base. But when a supernatural phenomena relating to New York City’s Manhattan Crossrip of 1984 occur and threaten the world, the kids along with their family and friends, must solve the decades-old mystery of the relocation of their grandfather and use the equipment of the Ghostbusters and become their successors to save it.
At the heart of the story is the youngest child of the family. Mckenna Grace who is perfect in the role as Phoebe and her character is certainly relatable, she’s a young person trying to find a way in a world where her mum sadly doesn’t encourage her scientific cleverness and she has few but very little friends. Bespectacled and introverted with a dry wit, Afterlife is her journey of discovering the importance of her heritage and embracing her true gifts and talents.
Mckenna Grace personifies the person in this story with the intelligence to see through the paranormal of everything that’s happening, Much like Egon did and certainly would have, had he been part of this spectacle of a movie. she also gives subtle homages to Ramis’s comedic approach.
Afterlife felt like it was built around paying homage to his absence, but he and Egon loom largely over the whole film especially with a touching dedication “For Harold” which truly had me tearing up and speechless, the tribute is just loving. Not only is the movie an energetic ghost-blasting joyride, its filled with beautiful emotion, which I wasn’t emotionally prepared for.
Among the supporting cast Carrie Coon portrays Callie as she comes to grips with the loss of a father she never really knew. She’s a dedicated, yet struggling single mother and doing her best whilst childhood wounds heal. She is also not quite understanding of phoebe’s hobbies. Both her and Mr Grooberson played by Ant-Man and current People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive aka Paul Rudd have great chemistry and comedic moments together.
Stranger things star Finn Wolfhard also seems to be in familiar territory with all the supernatural things going on. His character trevor seems to have a crush on Lucky, a classmate at High School and a forth-generation resident of Summerville. As for Logan Kim, he truly steals every scene he’s in as Podcast. He’s an intrepid kid obsessed with mystery and the supernatural, this mixes well with Phoebe’s science. The 10 year old podcaster also has some great sequences with all the iconic gadgets.
The cast is just so good in this movie, they’re simply terrific and all serve the purpose of this story. The script and dialogue also are so cleaver and truly honours and acknowledges the nostalgia that longtime Ghostheads like myself feel for the original story. moments of fan service occur with iconic imagery scattered throughout the film as the camera pans and lingers on iconic props like the P.K.E. Meter, Twinkie, etc.
The dirt farm is also a fantastic location that also serves as a character. It’s decaying state shows neglect but also that something isn’t quite right. Egon has suddenly left hundreds of tools and paraphernalia for the family to uncover. Reitman creates a film that truly honours the legacy of Ghostbuters, but he also creates a phenomenal new film to introduce to new generations. It’s an expansion of the universe in which these kids are finding where they fit into the world whilst it passes the torch onto the next generation of Ghostbusting heroes.
If you’ve watched the trailers then you’ll be aware of Muncher, Mini-Pufts and the return of the terror dogs, every Ghostbusters fan will have a favourite. The Mini-Puts were absolutely hilarious and mischievous, they’re small humanoid marshmallow men that are somewhat the same shape as the mascot on the Stay Put Marshmallows packaging. And though they may look cute at first sight, they are quite a destructive bunch and tend to not think before acting, and don’t care about their or others of their kind’s well-being.
Muncher surprisingly voiced by Josh Gad loves to chew down on anything metal it can get its hands on. He’s somewhat smart, but more of a pest than an actual threat.
The action sequences are done brilliantly especially with ghosts flying about everywhere. And seeing the Ecto-1 drifting through a wheat field and then driving through Smallville chasing after Muncher with all the proton blasting was thrilling and energetic.
The music and score by Rob Simonsen is phenomenal and truly nostalgic as he uses many of the late Elmer Bernstein’s iconic themes from the original film which truly gave me goosebumps.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife truly left me wanting more, especially with the new mythology and characters. It’s perfectly a story about a father’s forgiveness and a young girl on a journey to discover herself and her grandfather’s legacy. That relationship really resonated with me as my own grandfather introduced me to this franchise growing up on VHS, so I really wished he’d have been here to watch this, even though I felt his presence whilst watching the film. And whilst the film still honours the original in an emotionally incredible satisfying way, writer-director Jason Reitman and co-writer Gil Kenan have truly crafted a phenomenal, engaging and an emotional story about lineage. Jason Reitman has truly outdone himself and pays tribute to his father’s greatest work.
So Who you gonna call?
The Book of Boba Fett | Disney + | Star Wars – Official Trailer
On the sands of Tatoonie, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy’s underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt’s old territory.
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
December 29, 2021
Jon Favreau; Dave Filoni; Robert Rodriguez; Kathleen Kennedy
Tamuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen
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