2020 wasn’t a good year for building trust. All the events canceled, movies postponed — it’s as if calendars just stopped functioning. Well, fortunately, we’ve replaced them with new ones now and that should mean that everything’s going right back to normal. To start off with, here are some days you’ll want to clear out for the movies.
Top Gun: Maverick
Release Date: July 2, 2021
Tom Cruise is set to appear in two potential blockbusters this year — the first one: an impossible mission to follow up a beloved classic with a worthy sequel; and the second one: Mission: Impossible 7.
The original Top Gun was, and still remains, nothing short of a spectacle. A quintessential action movie with a charming protagonist, an enviable love interest, and fighter jets — it didn’t leave much else to be desired. Consider that alongside Hollywood’s miserable track record at revisiting old ideas, and the prospect of a sequel begins to incite more anxiety than excitement.
Nevertheless, I’d be lying if I said I won’t be first in line to see Cruise suit up for another adventure through the skies. If nothing else, a potential reprise to cinema’s most iconic beach volleyball scene might just make the whole experience worth it.
Predicted Rating: 6/10
The French Dispatch
Release Date: 28 January, 2021
A highly anticipated release from a man who can do no wrong — The French Dispatch is all set to be a stellar addition to Wes Anderson’s visually distinct filmography. And I confidently say that based off a three minute long trailer which doesn’t really give away much at all.
Expect unconventional film ratios, surreal shots, and vibrant colour grading. With three distinct storylines featuring a star-studded ensemble cast, this 103 minute-long feature is sure to be packed to the brim with drama and romance.
Predicted Rating: 9/10
No Time To Die
Release Date: 2 April 2021
Over the course of Daniel Craig’s escapades under the 007 moniker, we’ve seen the Bond franchise venture into all new territories. It’s been found that the man of mystery can bleed, and his gadgets are now, indeed, subject to the laws of physics.
However, as Craig looks to close curtains on his time as a secret agent, it seems a return to the old ways was in order. Judging by the trailer, No Time To Die rejects the very notion of subtlety, instead opting in for over-the-top action sequences, and car chases that cause dismay to many a fruit vendor.
Now, that may come across as a slight, but it truly isn’t. I believe there’s a right time and place for mindless destruction of property, and a James Bond film seems just the right fit.
Predicted Rating: 6/10
Coming 2 America
5 March 2021
“Why bother coming up with new ideas when the old ones sell just as well?” — I imagine these words were met with relentless applause in a boardroom meeting among hollywood executives, sometime in the last five years. And since then, their only criteria for greenlighting a project has been conditioned on the fact that it be a reboot, sequel, or spin-off of a pre-2000s classic.
Now, I sincerely hope I’m wrong here, but when I say Coming 2 America is a film to watch out for, it’s simply so you can steer far clear of it upon release. The original 80s hit was largely carried by a brand of dicey humour which would not translate well in today’s social climate. And a sequel that strays far from its roots has historically been a recipe for disaster. Son Of The Mask, Jaws: The Revenge, Beverly Hills Cop III — need I say more?
There’s just too little room to expect anything more than a cash-grab here.
Predicted Rating: 3/10
Space Jam 2: A New Legacy
16 July 2021
Speaking of revisiting old ideas, here’s one which actually shows some promise. The original collaboration between Looney Tunes and the NBA featured Bugs Bunny enlisting basketball legend Michael Jordan to defeat a team of ill-willed aliens in a game of exorbitant stakes.
Today, in the real world, we find Lebron James furthering his claim to Jordan’s G.O.A.T title with each passing season. Thus, it only seems fair that he too gets the opportunity to showcase his talents alongside the likes of Daffy Duck and Pepe Le Pew.
Featuring a supporting cast of NBA talents such as Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard, Space Jam 2: A New Legacy could very well follow in the footsteps of the original and become a cult classic for a whole new generation of basketball fans.
Predicted Rating: 8/10
The Matrix 4
22 December 2021
A return to The Matrix franchise is a curious case. There’s no real pressure to live up to a legacy. After all, the first two sequels may as well have been deliberate attempts at tarnishing it.
It is possible though, that a third time turns out to be the charm. With Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their original roles, and digital technology far better equipped to visualize a dystopian future, all that’s left to be seen is if a captivating storyline can string all the pieces together.
Details have been kept under close wraps, but a hint of cautious excitement may not be all unwarranted.
Predicted Rating: 7/10
Godzilla vs. Kong
20 May 2021
You don’t go into a movie titled Godzilla vs. Kong expecting cinematic brilliance or a groundbreaking narrative. I mean, let’s be honest, the most coherent part of this film is likely to be the dialogue. And by dialogue, I’m referring to the oversized gorilla growling back and forth with the lizard who could pass for a mountain. Perhaps, an occasional grunt thrown in every now and then too.
I’m fairly sure that the writers will attempt to catch us off guard with twists and turns. Unless one of them happens to be a disclaimer that the movie is, in fact, a documentary, we'll probably see these aforementioned twists and turns coming a mile away.
So, that begs the question: Why include this in a list of movies to watch out for? Well, imagine 12 year-old you found out that present-day you passed up the opportunity to watch a movie called Godzilla vs. Kong. Would they ever recover from the heartbreak?
Predicted Rating: 3/10