Yes, we have to wait until 2017 for Star Wars: Episode VIII, but, thankfully, there are some pretty fun movies to look forward to in 2016. There’s a new Star Trek installment by the director of Fast Five, who might be my favorite person on the planet. Liam Neeson is starring in a Martin Scorsese film, so we’ll see if he’s still capable of ever making a movie where nobody gets taken, because it’s debatable at this point. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is doing a comedy called Central Intelligence with Kevin Hart, which has the chance to be either really stupid or incredibly stupid. For some reason, someone thought it was a good idea to have a live-action Jungle Book and a live-action Tarzan come out within three months of each other. As promising as these seem, however, none of them made the cut for my most anticipated movies of this summer, listed below in order of increasing anticipation.
The Nice Guys
Synopsis: In 1970s Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck private eye and his tough partner investigate the disappearance of a girl.
Genre: Crime, Comedy
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling
Release Date: May 20, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: How did Ryan Gosling become a perfect human being? It’s not fair! The only other thing as perfect as Ryan Gosling is Kevin Spacey’s pronunciation of “w” on House of Cards.
My only concern is: They wasted all the good jokes in the trailer.
Synopsis: Apocalypse recruits the disheartened Magneto and other mutants to create a new world order. Professor X and Raven lead a team of young X-Men to stop their seemingly invincible nemesis from destroying mankind.
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac
Release Date: May 27, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: They are going to give the Terminator franchise a run for its money in the race for franchise with the most confusing timeline.
My only concern is: Too many cooks in the kitchen will spoil the broth. In addition to the original gang of mutants, director Bryan Singer has to work Jean Grey back into the mix, remind everyone how cool Quicksilver is, and explain Apocalypse’s backstory (which seems interesting, even though they’re wasting one of the best young actors of our generation on a computer-generated character who looks like a smurf). These “end of the world” stories are also always way too over the top.
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant.
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Starring: Mark Rylance, Bill Hader
Release Date – July 1, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: Perfection.
My only concern is: Nothing. My favorite children’s book of all-time is in the hands of Steven Spielberg, the man who directed ET. It’s the biggest sure thing since SNL chose Larry David to impersonate Bernie Sanders.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Synopsis: Mankind faces a new threat as Batman embarks on a personal vendetta against Superman.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg
Release Date: March 25, 2016
From the five thousand different trailers, it looks like: This movie refers back to Man of Steel a lot, which is highly unfortunate, because I’ve spent the last three years of my life trying to erase Man of Steel from my memory. If we get another finale of CGI explosion mumbo-jumbo I am actually going to leave the theater and vomit.
My only concern is: Literally everything. In no particular order, Henry Cavill’s acting is slightly more energetic than a block of wood; director Zack Snyder is basically just a moderately wealthy man’s Michael Bay and has done absolutely nothing to deserve being entrusted with the entire DC universe; one of the villains looks like the child of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and a volcano; the scenes from the trailer are so dark you’d think this movie was shot inside a black hole; I find it pretentious that the title uses “v” instead of “vs” — it’s a comic book flick, not a Supreme Court case.
Synopsis: With help from Nemo and Marlin, Dory the forgetful fish embarks on a quest to reunite with her mother and father.
Genre: Comedy, Animation
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks
Release Date: June 17, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: Hold on a second, I’m still crying from Inside Out.
My only concern is: We need to retroactively award Ellen DeGeneres a Nobel Prize for her work on Finding Nemo. I have no clue how the Nobel Prizes work but someone needs to make this happen.
Synopsis: I don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter.
Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones
Release Date: July 29, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: Thank goodness there will be no more Matt Damon-less Bourne movies. A Bourne movie without Matt Damon is like RPCC brunch without the the pancake bar. Sure, I guess technically you could still call it RPCC brunch, but is it even worth going at that point?
My only concern is: The pancake bar won’t have strawberries this weekend. No, I have absolutely no concerns about the actual movie.
Captain America: Civil War
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team.
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie
Release Date: May 6, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: They actually wrote a story for this movie, as opposed to just copying and pasting the Avengers script into Microsoft Word and replacing a few names, and it strikes the perfect balance between thoughtful and fun.
My only concern is: Maybe the reason Avengers: Age of Ultron was so decent wasn’t that we’re getting tired of the same old story, but that we’re getting tired of these characters. When we first saw Nick Fury, we were like, “Woah! Samuel L. Jackson is wearing an eyepatch! That’s so cool,” and now we’re like, “Okay, let’s just get the obligatory Nick Fury pep talk out of the way so they can fight already.” When we first saw Hawkeye, we were like, “Woah! It’s Legolas, but played by a good actor instead of Orlando Bloom,” and now we’re like, “Is Hawkeye my seventh favorite Avenger or my eighth favorite?” Spiderman and Black Panther will hopefully inject the universe with some new life.
Synopsis: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous missions in exchange for clemency.
Starring: Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie
Release Date: August 5, 2016
From the trailer, it looks like: This movie contains a dude in a panda costume firing a machine gun, a human crocodile and Jared Leto playing the Joker.
My only concern is: This movie contains a dude in a panda costume firing a machine gun, a human crocodile, and Jared Leto playing the Joker.
Lev Akabas is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org