2) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Three years after Chris Pratt got us hooked on a feeling and propelled himself into A list status, James Gunn, Baby Groot and the rest of the Guardians are back to protect the galaxy from whatever Kurt Russell and the mystery character Sylvester Stallone is playing can throw at them.
There’s no big need to sell this one. The first GoG was a smash hit because it was light, funny and had more charm than any one film has any right to have. With the same team coming back around to reprise their respective roles, it’s safe to assume that this one will be just as amazing as the first. The only real question about this one is can the soundtrack possibly be as terrific as the first one?
1) Star Wars Episode VIII
As Rogue One continues to run amok at the box office, it’s safe to assume that December will belong to Star Wars for the foreseeable future. Episode VIII will continue the journey as Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and Chewbacca are directed by the assured hand of Rian Johnson.
There are two added bonuses to the most anticipated film of the year. One, Luke Skywalker takes a prominent role, something that was sorely lacking from The Force Awakens. What that means for Rey’s development as a Jedi or for Kylo Ren’s continuing development as a Sith remains to be seen, but it does promise to be amazing. The second bonus is a much, much sadder one. This will be Carrie Fisher’s last leading role as Leia also takes on a major role in Episode VIII. It’s going to be hard to watch, but it’ll be worth it to see Fisher reprise her iconic role, one last time.
With those two thoughts in mind, seeing the next chapter of the Skywalker saga unfold is going to be worth it. Will we find out who Rey’s parents are? Do we get to see more of Snoke? Are we going to get to see Ren fight Skywalker? Is Snoke the other Sith? Or is there a surprise lying in wait for us?
With all of this in mind and the absolute explosion of box office receipts every time a Star Wars hits the theatre, it’s pretty safe to say that Episode VIII is the most anticipated movie of 2017.
John Wick 2
Much like XxX on the previous list, John Wick 2 doesn’t really belong on this list. However, if there’s going to be one action film to see this year, it’s got to be John Wick 2. The first Wick was simple in premise and was executed masterfully in violent and gory fashion. Obviously, sequels to such an action driven film tend to get overblown and lose what made the first one appealing in the first place. However, there’s something about a deadpan Keanu racking up a massive death count that just appeals to me…