Beyond The Avengers, What’s Worth Watching During the Summer Blockbuster Season?

By | April 26, 2018

The Summer Blockbuster season kicks off Friday with the debut of Avengers: Infinity War and quite a number of sci fi and fantasy entries will follow over the coming months (you can see our full guide with trailers at this link). But after a somewhat disappointing Summer season in 2017, which of this year’s movies will be worth shelling out the ever-inflated price of admission? We see the expected sequels, prequels, and spin-offs on the schedule, but this Summer does have its share of original entries as well. And amidst all of those, there are definitely some films that are worth a look. These are the ones that I currently have on my must-watch list.

Avengers: Infinity War (April 27th): Of course, this is a must see film. It is set to deliver a geek-gasm of superheroes fighting a cosmic villain to save the universe.  What’s not to like about that? And while early reviews of the film have not been as high in praise as for Black Panther, the Marvel movies have rarely disappointed. I’ve enjoyed pretty much all of them including The Incredible Hulk (the 2008 film that was officially part of the MCU) and Iron Man 2. I’m not calling them all classics, but these films have done a great job of bringing the comic book characters to life. And I expect that to continue with the latest Avengers installment.

Deadpool 2 (May 18th): Is an explanation even necessary on this one? The first movie was a ton of fun and this looks like it will pick up where that one left off. Count me in.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25th): This one has been getting a fair amount of negative buzz, but I don’t get that. The trailers make it look like plenty of fun (okay, that’s what they are supposed to do), and I think the casting choices for the characters are decent enough. Plus, it has Woody Harrelson in it. That alone makes it worth checking out.

Upgrade (June 1st): This one just looks nuts.  John Wick meets Saw (it comes from the latter films’ producers) and it may just be crazy enough to work. I don’t think it’s going to be considered a classic, but it sure looks like fun.  It is currently scheduled for a limited release, though, so I may have to wait until it hits VOD.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6th): Back to my comments above about MCU films not disappointing, and I really liked the first Ant-Man film (that character was always a favorite of mine in the comics).  I don’t expect this one to match up to Avengers: Infinity War or Black Panther, but it should be plenty of fun in its own right.

Replicas (August 24th): Keanu Reeves does Blade Runner with a bit of John Wick thrown in.  This is one of the non-sequel, non-prequel, non-reboot films of the summer that could potentially be a complete mess or that could deliver a decent sci fi entry.  I’m a fan of Reeves’ deadpan style, so count me in on checking this one out.

A few more comments on the Summer entries:  Bad Samaritan, which stars David Tennant and is directed by Stargate‘s Dean Devlin, looks somewhat interesting, though I don’t know if it really counts as a genre entry.  I’ll probably check out The Incredibles 2 at some point, though I don’t count myself as a big fan of the first film (much prefer the vastly under-rated Mystery Men as far as superhero parodies go).  The Jurassic World/Park films just keep recycling the same basic story amidst CGI overload, so I may pass on the latest entry in that franchise.  Nor am I too thrilled with the arrival of the sixth Mission Impossible yarn.  I kept looking to see if August’s The Darkest Minds was just the subtitle to The New Mutants movie and if its release date was moved up, but apparently not.  I’ll just wait for the latter film to arrive next year.  The Meg may deliver some popcorn-munching fun, though mostly because of the presence of Jason Statham.  Captive State could be interesting, but haven’t seen enough about that one to make a judgement.  Still it looks like there are plenty of films to draw me to the theaters this Summer (in between trying to catch up on all the sci fi TV shows), and I’d say we are on track for a better year than 2017.