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Trailer Round-Up – December 10, 2016

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Wall, Baywatch"

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will once again feature the adventures of the ragtag group of losers and misfits, who banded together to protect the galaxy. Writer and director James Gunn returns for the sequel of the 2014 Marvel hit, as do original cast members Chris Pratt (Jurassic World), Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek), Dave Bautista (Spectre), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Sniper), Vin Diesel (The Fast and the Furious series), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who). They are joined by newcomers Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Kurt Russel.

The first official teaser trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy is everything fans wanted. More awesome retro music (‘Fox on the Run’ by The Sweet), more spectacular visuals, hilarious hijinks in space and best of all, the adorable threat of Baby Groot. I was initially worried that Vol. 2 wouldn’t be able to replicate the original’s success and quality because the original was so unexpected and weird – but this teaser makes it clear that the sequel may very well end up even better than the first movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is set for a May 5, 2017 release.

The Mummy

Directed by Alex Kurtzman and written by Jon Spaihts, The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible, Tropic Thunder), is a reboot of the classic horror icon franchise. The first in Universal’s planned Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe, The Mummy features Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Star Trek: Beyond) as an ancient queen resurrected in the present day.

While the idea of the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe is certainly the most promising out of all the planned upcoming Cinematic Universe projects, the first trailer for The Mummy doesn’t really hit the mark. It spends too much of its time on a single sequence and fails to pack enough of a punch to win over those that still fondly remember the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies from the early ’00s. It doesn’t look like a bad movie necessarily, but the trailer is not very good.

The Mummy is scheduled for a June 9, 2017 release.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Michael Bay returns to direct The Last Knight, the fifth installment in the Transformers live-action movie franchise, which will also see Mark Wahlberg (Deepwater Horizon, The Departed) reprise his role of Cade Yeager from Age of Extinction. Series veterans Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson also return. Sir Anthony Hopkins has also joined the cast.

Even by the low standards of the Transformers franchise, The Last Knight looks like an incoherent, unfocused mess. It’s a franchise that still looks like it’s on the cutting edge of visual effects technology and the box office clearly shows it has an audience, but if you’re like me and gave up on the series a long time ago, this doesn’t seem to have anything that will entice you to go back.

Transformers: The Last Knight is set for a June 23, 2017 release.

Baywatch

Directed by Seth Gordon, Baywatch is based on the hit NBC TV show of the same name, which originally premiered in 1989. The live-action movie stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (Moana, The Fast and the Furious series), Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas), Zac Effron (Neighbors, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Priyanka Chopra and Hannibal Buress.

Parts of the Baywatch trailer carry a hint the live-action 21 Jump Street franchise’s mocking self-awareness, but they don’t quite hit the mark – Jump Street‘s brand of humor works as well as it does because of its rapid-fire, straight face delivery, while Baywatch seems to linger on the jokes, increasing the risk of them falling flat. That being said, comedy is not easy to convey in trailers and the lack of laughs could come down to the editing here – the talent involved in Baywatch means the movie at least has the potential to be a pretty fun time.

Baywatch is scheduled for a May 26, 2017 release.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Directed by Jon Watts and written by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Jon Watts & Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, Spider-Man: Homecoming will be the first Spider-Man feature length movie as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Homecoming stars Tom Holland, who made his debut as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in this year’s Captain America: Civil War, as well as Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Michael Keaton (Birdman, Spotlight) as the villain The Vulture. Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover and Tyne Daly are also part of the cast.

Spider-Man is my favorite superhero of all time, so I came into this trailer with some mighty high expectations – perhaps too high. My initial reaction was very negative, but after rewatching it, I don’t think the movie looks bad. At worst, it looks like it may be playing it a little too safe, once again relying on the tried-and-true Marvel formula (shirtless shots of the male lead are mandatory), which might be disappointing to hardcore fans like me, but I doubt general audiences will mind too much. Homecoming looks fun and capable, and in the shadow of five live-action Spider-Man movies in the last fifteen years, that may turn out to not be enough – but then again, Tom Holland already proved he was a great Peter/Spidey in Civil War, and having Tony Stark even in a minor supporting role already sets the movie quite apart from its predecessors, in a very good way. Just please don’t let Michael Keaton’s Vulture be another underwhelming Marvel villain – I don’t think I can handle that.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is set for a July 7, 2017 release.

The Wall

The Wall, directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow), stars John Cena (Trainwreck) and Aaron-Taylor Johnson (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron) as two soldiers pinned down by an Iraqi sniper, with nothing but a crumbling concrete wall between them.

The Wall has a simple premise with a lot of potential. As always, a movie that sticks so closely to a single location with a limited cast runs the risk of being stagent but Liman is a capable director, so this could very well be a really good, gripping movie. The trailer does a great job of selling the movie.

The Wall is scheduled for a March 10, 2017 release.

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