OK movie fans. Have you had enough of indie art-house seriousness? Even if you still need to see Lincoln and Argo to win big in your company Oscar pool, I know and you know that what you’re really jazzed about are the slew of action movies hitting the big screen in 2013.
And the first of this year’s impressive slate – the “big, LOUD and stupid” Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – hits screens this weekend (to read the review, head on over to the Toronto Sun). So, if action is your thing, let’s take a look at some other flicks that’ll get your adrenaline pumping over the next 12 months.
The Old Guys
If you have a soft spot for aging heroes, vintage action stars will be all over the screen in 2013. Arnie and Sly are back for two solo adventures, before teaming up in their first full-length shoot ‘em up. Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand is in theatres now, with Stallone’s Bullet to the Head due out on Feb. 1. The pair will then join forces in The Tomb (Sept. 27). 50 Cent also stars so, hey, bring the kids.
If those two are a little too leathery for you, Bruce Willis will be back as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard. It opens on Valentine’s, so fellas start strategizing now. It’s the fifth instalment in Willis’ long-running McClane series and they never disappoint.
Bruce will also star in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Red 2, so I’m just going to go ahead and crown him action star of the year.
Comics and graphic novels are always a great source for action aficionados, and this year a whole slew of costumed heroes will be vying for your cash. After letting Marvel rule the celluloid hero-verse (The Dark Knight notwithstanding), DC Comics is flying into action in a big way with Man of Steel (July 14). Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot will not only try to resuscitate the moribund franchise, it will be setting up a future all-star Justice League film skedded for 2015.
But Marvel doesn’t back down from a film fight, and they have Iron Man 3 (May 3), Kick-Ass 2 (June 28) and The Wolverine (July 24) due this summer. Thor: The Dark World will also be smashing into theatres Nov. 8.
Still, I’m betting on Superman to top them all. After 2006’s Superman Returns underperformed, DC knows they can’t miss and they’ve scored a visual virtuoso in Snyder and producer Chris Nolan to boot.
In addition to the ones already mentioned, we will see amped-up sequels to Frank Miller’s Sin City (Oct. 2) and 300 (Aug. 2), Vin Diesel and The Rock will be battling it out in Fast & Furious 6 (May 24) and 3D re-releases for Star Wars Episode II and III will be blasting on to screens this fall.
But the sequel that will be on everyone’s must-see list is Star Trek: Into Darkness. Shrouded in secrecy (we still don’t know who the villain is yet), Kirk, Spock and friends battle an “unstoppable force of terror.” If there’s one director who consistently exceeds expectations, though, it’s J.J. Abrams. Trek 2 will also be hitting theatres in 3D and Imax.
With the recent announcement that Abrams’ will be directing Star Wars Episode VII, the sequel might also end up being the last great Trek movie for a while.
Best of the rest
Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise and Big Willy will also be vying for your popcorn munching time in 2013. In an odd coincidence, two of the three will be starring in sci-fi films. First up is Cruise in Oblivion (April 19), followed by Will Smith in the M. Night Shyamalan-directed After Earth (June 7). Pitt is also going against type in his first foray into the zombie genre, World War Z (June 21).
Thanks to The Walking Dead, the walking dead are all the rage, but Pitt’s film has been plagued by delays (it still looks cool, though).
Johnny Depp will try and regain his mojo with The Lone Ranger (July 3). He’s reteaming with Pirates director Gore Verbinski, so his odds are good.
But predict Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (July 11) will blow all of them out of the water. The shot-in-Toronto sci-fi film is robots versus monsters; humans are attacked and we fight back. Cue the awesomeness.
If none of these tickle your fancy, there’s also R.I.P.D. (July 19), Riddick (Sept. 6), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov. 22), Chris Pine’s Jack Ryan reboot (Dec. 25) and Keanu Reeves’ long-delayed 47 Ronin (Nov. 21).
When it’s all said and done, which do you think will stand head-and-shoulders above the rest? Let us know in the comments.