Movie review: The summer of sequels and three-quels


When the air gets warm and my nose drips like a garden hose from all of the pollen flying around, you know that the season of summer is upon us. The best way to escape the pollen and your unrelenting allergies? A trip the local movie theater.

This summer is shaping up to be full of action films. Usually not my cup of tea but if it means respite from the unrelenting pain of being outdoors, I can manage through one. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens May 1 nationwide and stars the loveable Robert Downey Jr. Apparently this sequel deals with a peacekeeping mission gone awry and the Avengers have to, you guessed it, “avenge” this misdeed. Dubbed “entertaining nonsense” in early reviews by the Guardian, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is sure to draw in huge crowds with its strong fan following despite my lackluster enthusiasm.

Action sequel seems to be the movie trend of this summer: The Mad Max car-action series that once included “The Road Warrior” gets an addition this May 15 entitled “Mad Max: Road Fury.” Not one to miss out on the trend of the summer, Arnold Schwarzeneg – ger reprises his role as the Terminator in 3D. The Terminator sequel, opening July 1, picks up at the end of the first Terminator timeline, where the robot-man is protecting a young Sarah Connor, mother to future resistance leader John Connor. One thing the terminator and I have in common? The red eyes, only mine are from the high pollen index. But if you’re like me and find robots incredibly uninteresting in film, you’ll go see a far higher caliber of film: “Magic Mike XXL”. A stunning cinematic masterpiece featuring the struggle of a young male stripper by the name of “Magic Mike” Lane… who are we kidding? We just want to see Channing Tatum take his shirt off in yet another movie. Tatum’s finely chiseled abdominals will be coming to a big screen near you July 1.

“Pitch Perfect 2” is poised to be the comedy of the summer in that it is one of the only comedies coming out this summer. On May 15, acapella fans will see the return of the quirky yet loveable Anna Kendrick as the Acabellas enter a worldwide singing competition. What has me the most excited? Actress Elizabeth Banks, who played an incredibly inappropriate but comical commentator in the first film, is directing the sequel.

Speaking of sequels, it’s been 22 years since the original “Jurassic Park”, and the fourth film based on that original plot line opens June 12. “Jurassic World”, starring my eternal #ManCrushMonday Chris Pratt, embarks on a journey with dinosaurs and, you guessed it, someone starts fiddling with DNA again. You would think it wouldn’t take four mov – ies for them to figure out that they probably shouldn’t be messing with dinosaur DNA. While “Jurassic Park” tacks on a fourth film this summer, it is beat out in number by the fifth Mission Impossible film entitled “Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation.” We get it. We, the art-hungry and critical masses, don’t need five films of Ethan Hunt narrowly escaping death to know he’s a pretty badass guy.

If you think that’s excessive, you haven’t heard the worst: There’s another Sherlock spin-off film coming out this summer starring Sir Ian McKellan. As if we actually needed another interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved novels after the many films, documentaries, and television series, both full-length and mini, inspired by the criminal investigator. The film “Gods and Monsters” opens in theaters July 17.

Marvel is coming out with a revamp of “The Fantastic Four” with an all-new cast. Didn’t they just do that movie with Scarlet Johansson? I’m not kidding; the Fantastic Four series was just re-done in 1994 and more recently in 2005. I suppose the Fantastic Four is under a decennial contract of some sort, as all great cinematic masterpieces are. Ms. Johansson has been replaced with the up-and-coming Kate Mara, as the old cast makes way for newer, hotter stars. Ah, the film industry – willing to bring in new stars, but no new ideas.

Is Hollywood kidding us right now? Everything coming out this summer is a sequel or based off of other movies, and it’s clear movie executives are just fishing for high revenue blockbusters. I think comedian Bo Burnham said it best when he said “Art is a lie. Noth – ing is real.”

Where is the source of original thought anymore? Leave it to Hollywood to teach us the most important lesson of all this summer despite the fact that school is out for the season: If you try something and it almost kind of works, keep doing it until everyone has seen the movie before they even enter the theatre.

Campus Chronicle
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