Action Movies 2011 – Guide17.12.10 # Action Movies # 50 Comments
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Rene Russo
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Release Date: 6 May 2011
With the mighty Thor hitting theatres, we are one step closer to The Avengers, which we’ve been impatiently waiting for since a badass-in-an-eyepatch broke into Tony Stark’s house. But more than just a stepping stone to a bigger picture, Thor is a different breed of Superhero movie. Sure, there’s a cape or two, and people punch things in the name of truth and justice, but the mythic side of Thor is pretty much unprecedented in the world of superhero movies, and now that we’ve seen stills and that leaked Comic-Con trailer, I’m pretty excited to see what the god of thunder has in store for us.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Starring: Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush
Director: Rob Marshall
Release Date: 20 May 2011
Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are out. Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush are in. Good call. The story sees Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard (McShane) and his daughter (Cruz) are after it too. There’s a new director, Rob Marshall, whose only non-musical was Memoirs of a Geisha. Hopefully they’ll keep the running time down and won’t let the plot get too bloated.
X-Men: First Class
Starring: James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Release Date: 3 June 2011
The X-Men franchise wasn’t on the boil for long. Bryan Singer’s semi-good X-Men was the movie that kicked off the superhero boom at the turn of the century, its sequel remains one of the best superhero movies ever made, but the third movie was weak and spinoff Wolverine fared no better. But wait, here comes Matthew Vaughn, the director of the excellent Kick-Ass, to tackle an X-Men prequel. And Kevin Bacon is the villain. Ok they started shooting without a finished script. And the 60s set images look a bit Austin Powers. It’s hard to know how this will turn out, but there are more positives than negatives and I have a lot of faith in Vaughn.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong
Director: Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Edge Of Darkness)
Release Date: 17 June 2011
Green Lantern is the first major DC hero to hit the big screen that isn’t a bat, cat, or Kryptonian refugee. Coming from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell, Green Lantern, much like Thor, promises to show a different side to superheroics and take us on a cosmic adventure. The story follows a test pilot who is given a ring by a dying alien which turns him into the Green Lantern, part of a collective who protect the galaxy from similarly powered villains. There have been a few voices of dissent about the casting of Ryan Reynolds – ignore them, he’s perfect for the role of Hal Jordan. The treatment for the sequel has already been ordered.
Rise Of The Apes
Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis, Tom Felton, Brian Cox, John Lithgow
Director: Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist)
Release Date: 24 June 2011
It’s the prequel/reboot that nobody asked for. Rise is an origin story set in present day San Francisco, where experiments with genetic engineering create intelligent apes and trigger a war for supremacy. It’s primarily about the relationship between Dr. Rodman (Franco), who’s trying to find the cure for his father’s Alzheimer, and the most developed ape, Caesar. Sounds like a mega budget Monkey Shines. It will be interesting to see Tom Felton in a large non-Draco role, although he is still playing a evil son, this time his evil daddy is Brian Cox. I didn’t think much of Burton’s Planet Of The Apes, but this is a different kind of movie. Andy Serkis is playing a monkey, of course.