Taking a gaze into the upcoming features that will be hitting cinemas this year, it is hard not to get just a little bit excited. 2016 brought us some awesome action flicks. Ranging from Doctor Strange to Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Magnificent Seven and The Accountant.
As the billions rolled into the big studios, plans were already underway to ensure 2017 can surpass those movies for quality and overall appeal. Marvel and DC will be providing us with some sequels and spinoffs that reunite a number of our favorite characters. All while we also see the return of Keanu Reeves as the most bad ass assassin on the big screen.
February and March are promised to be box office gold, the question is whether the big players like Warner Brothers, Legendary Pictures, Fox, Columbia, MGM, Paramount, Universal and co. can sustain the anticipation right up until December. Regardless, these are the 17 action movies you have to watch in 2017.
17. The Fate of the Furious
There is trouble in paradise. F. Gary Gray brings us the 8th installment in the Fast & Furious franchise that builds on the fallout of Vin Diesel's character Dominic Toretto being coerced by Cipher (Charlize Theron). The April 14 release will have the crowds flocking, complete with an ensemble cast that boasts Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell - the list goes on.
The previous film Furious 7 broke records, not only for a heist movie but for an action sequel of any description. The James Wan picture broke the $1.5b barrier and, while that mark will be difficult to beat, the trailers and teasers suggest the fans can feast on more cars, babes and guns than ever before.
16. The Dark Tower
Adapted from the Stephen King novel, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are set to go toe to toe in the movie The Dark Tower. A possibly-huge franchise that has yet to garner much excitement. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel with Ron Howard as producer, the story centers on a search around time and space that is sure to pack a punch.
The Columbia Pictures title will hit cinemas on July 28th and with a budget of $60m. Though we don't have a trailer yet, the signs are promising for the studio to deliver something a little unique and unusual. The two stars have never worked side-by-side before, so look out for a movie that is set to pre-date a 2018 television series.
15. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Not the first action movie Charlie Hunnam will take part in for 2017, seeing a reboot of the classic English tale with the Sons of Anarchy star in the lead role. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Guy Ritchie. The same Englishman of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Sherlock Holmes fame. The fantasy actioner will debut on May 12th in 3D.
Arthur's legend has evolved ever since he died in early 6th Century AD, paving the way for a number of interpretations. Jude Law and Eric Bana are part of the cast and, cashed up with $102m to play with, there are high expectations that Ritchie can produce an Arthur tale suited to a 2017 audience. At least, we can only hope.
14. Justice League
DC has a lot of work ahead of them, letting us all down with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, the latter of which was so bad the director penned an open letter to apologize! The bottom line is that Justice League simply must work. Because if all the heroes packed into one ensemble flatters to deceive, there is no turning back.
Directed by Zack Snyder, the filmmaker gets a shot at redemption on November 17 and it will be intriguing to see how the likes of Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams and Jeremy Irons all mesh together. Likewise for new additions Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard, Ray Fisher and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, a part perfected by Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan's series.
13. Kong: Skull Island
The second installment of the MonsterVerse is set to be a blockbuster of epic proportions. Starting the giant gorilla off with a new reboot via an all-star cast. Kong: Skull Island sees Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly traveling the Pacific Ocean island during the 1970s, only to encounter the legend himself.
The March 10 release will see the character appear for the first time on the big screen since Peter Jackson's 2005 title King Kong. A movie that amassed a whopping $550.5m at the box office. Leading into a showdown with Godzilla by 2020, with some crossover potential for Pacific Rim as well, this might be the beginning of a memorable franchise.
12. Alien: Covenant
The sequel to a prequel sees Alien: Covenant attempt to close the gap between the events that led to the original 1979 title Alien. Alongside Michael Fassbender and Billy Crudup is Danny McBride, Demain Bichir and Katherine Waterson as Daniels, a protagonist that is said to be the new Ripley.
Ridley Scott pictures are rarely disappointing. And, with a sizeable budget from 20th Century Fox, the May 19 debut will be hotly anticipated for fans of the franchise or those that started with 2012's Prometheus. Perhaps this film doesn't fit neatly into the action genre to revolve more around the science fiction and horror departments of cinema, but be sure to see plenty of intense moments on screen that will have you on edge.
11. Spider-Man: Homecoming
A sign of hope for those Marvel faithful that want a Spider-Man that sticks around for the duration comes in the form of director Jon Watts. Spider-Man: Homecoming is the third reboot of the character in quick succession. And, although we got a taste of Tom Holland's portrayal in Captain America: Civil War, this July 7 release will be the true test as the director comes aboard the superhero genre with no baggage.
The cast is sure to be worth the price of admission alone. From Robert Downey Jr. to Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover and Michael Keaton as the villain Vulture. The next three years of the fourth phase of MCU titles will build upon old faces and introduce new ones. And, while we have seen Spidey a lot before, the young Englishman could be the best we've seen yet.
10. John Wick: Chapter 2
As pure unadulterated action goes, John Wick: Chapter 2 might very well be the best of the lot. February 10 has already been marked in the diary for some months, as the feature sees Keanu Reeves return to the character that kicks ass from start to finish. The franchise is bringing back a retro feel to the genre when action stars were unashamedly one dimensional and ruthless.
The names jump off the page as well, with Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne linking up with Ruby Rose, Common, Ian McShane and John Leguizamo. David Leitch might have left the director's co-chair to head off for Deadpool 2, but with a new setting in Rome and Chad Stahelski still calling the shots behind the camera, it cannot let the fans down.
9. The Lost City of Z
Another 2017 production, another role for Charlie Hunnam. The Lost City of Z initially wanted producer Brad Pitt to star in the lead role. But, following some scheduling conflict, it would be the Pacific Rim lead that took the opportunity with both hands.
Being released in movie theaters April 21st, this book adaptation from James Gray won't have anything close to the fanfare as the competing flicks. But early reviewers are already glowing about it's depiction of the adventure title that explores ancient cultures in 1925 Brazil. While Percy Fawcett's disappearance in the Amazon remains a mystery, the events that led to the Englishman's trail will be fascinating viewing.
8. Thor: Ragnarok
It has been a while since we last saw Thor go it alone in 2013's Thor: The Dark World and this time he will feature Doctor Strange himself. A clue that was outlined in the credits scene following the Benedict Cumberbatch 2016 movie. Coming out November 3rd in regular format and IMAX, the spectacle should go up a level for the 17th title in the MCU.
New faces Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum and Hulk's Mark Ruffalo will also feature to beef up the cast for the third in the God of Thunder series. This could very well be the first time we see a truly vulnerable Thor, missing his hammer and forced to fight for his freedom against his Avengers ally in Hulk. A prospect that is exciting and partially terrifying all at the same time.
Christopher Nolan does not make a half-baked production, going all out to bring the best possible product to the cinemas. And he usually goes above and beyond the call of duty. Whether it was for Inception, Memento or his incredible Dark Knight franchise that perfected the caped crusader's story, the Englishman is one of the greatest artists in the movie industry. Period.
With Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and pop star Harry Styles aboard this war epic, the July 21 flick could be the best action movie cinematically speaking of the entire year. Possibly challenging Saving Private Ryan for scale and intensity, Dunkirk might go down as a World War II classic.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
With a title that sounds more like a B-side of a cassette than a movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 should bring the fun back to the MCU, a franchise that does take itself a bit too seriously in moments. The 2014 original broke the barrier for initial expectations. And, with James Gunn and Kevin Feige reuniting for the sequel, there is hope the follow up won't be a let down.
Vin Diesel suggested earlier this month that Groot and Rocket might have a spinoff in store. Better yet, this installment might act as a precursor to the franchise. Yet the pure joy that Star-Lord, Drax and the gang brought last time was absolutely brilliant to watch. Given the returning players and additional cast members like Kurt Russell coming into the fold, GotG 2 should be everything we expect it to be, and more.
5. Wonder Woman
2017 is a make or break year for DC films. There is no two ways about it. On June 2nd, it will be up to Gal Gadot to deliver the goods by herself, eliminating the Y chromosomes and hopefully the doubters all in the one hit for Wonder Woman.
Her glorified cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the few redeeming features of a title that fell flat on it's face with critics. From the shorts that have been released to date, there is every hope WW can be a tremendous spectacle. Naturally there will be crossovers and winks and nods to the rest of Justice League, but if Gadot is allowed to breathe in the role and showcase her talents, then this could be the savior of the franchise.
4. War for the Planet of the Apes
Apes, war and Woody Harrelson. If you need more of a reason to go out and purchase a ticket at the movies, then we won't be able to convince you. War for the Planet of the Apes comes out July 14 and with Caesar growing his army to control power of the world and the human race at large, this has the hallmarks of being a show-stopper.
The rebooted franchise has been an unequivocal success. A sentence that can rarely be said in Hollywood these days. Building on Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014, it would probably be best advised to catch up on those features before bracing for the event this coming summer.
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Now the name of the Force Awakens sequel is out of the bag, there will be a million and one reasons to go out and see this blockbuster prior to Christmas on December 15. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will expand on the mystery of Luke Skywalker, follow upon the death of Han Solo, see the further rise of Kylo Ren and witness the final movie of the late Carrie Fisher.
Far be it for anyone to require convincing to see this movie. It is Star Wars after all. But unless the studio decides to tap into that 3D animation technology, this will be a genuine goodbye to one of the great actresses and true characters of the film industry.
2. Blade Runner 2049
Only just managing to qualify as an action film, Blade Runner 2049 already has so much going for it. From the cast in Ryan Gosling to the returning Harrison Ford, as well as the work of director Denis Villeneueve. Few could doubt the validity of following on from the 1982 cult classic with these ingredients thrown into the mix.
The original contained so much mystery and subtext, complete with a haunting soundtrack that complimented the cinematography to perfection. If this fresh installment comes halfway close to that achievement, it will be worth every penny.
The wait is almost over. March 3rd has been circled in the diary for months now as Logan sees the close of Hugh Jackman portraying the character that is beloved in the Marvel EU. Not only have the trailers given a taste of what is to come, but the introduction of an R rating is sure to deliver new levels of violence and drama that a PG rating couldn't match.
There are small hints and suggestions from the likes of Ryan Reynolds that a crossover/spinoff with Wolverine in the future could come to pass. But the Australian seems at peace with the closure of his time as an X-Men. If any action movie surpasses the quality of Logan, they can retire happy.
What do you think of the list? Did we miss anything?