May is the unofficial start to summer at the movie theater. With the major studios beginning to roll out their big budget tent-poles, it’s always a fun time. But even with all the varying titles, May is Marvel’s month. Since 2006, movies adapted from Marvel comics have been the top grossing movie of May six out of nine times according to Box Office Mojo. In those other three years, the comic icon’s characters finished in the top three spots of the month. So let’s summarize: Marvel owns May. Here’s your May movie preview.
Starts With A Bang, Ends With The Rock
May 1st– Avengers: Age of Ultron
By now we’ve seen a lot of great actors play Marvel heroes and villains, but James Spader’s motion-capture performance of Ultron might be the most intense enactment yet. The full complement of heroes are back from the previous Avengers. But we also get to meet Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and The Vision this time. The plot has the team combating Ultron, who is an AI built by Tony Stark for good. Needless to say, Ultron isn’t the Boy Scout Stark had hoped for.
May 8th– Hot Pursuit
I wouldn’t say this is a comedy team up anyone was really asking for, but it could be good I suppose. Hot Pursuit stars Reese Witherspoon as an uptight cop attempting to protect the widow of a drug dealer, played by Sofia Vergara. Both actresses are quite popular, so we’ll see if the fans turn out for this. Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t the original title for the film, Don’t Mess With Texas, seem like way more fun than Hot Pursuit? But I digress.
May 15th– Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2
Now here’s the type of weekend we’ve come to expect in May. We have two sequels competing for box office dollars. First is the long awaited Mad Max sequel/reboot subtitled Fury Road. Tom Hardy replaces Mel Gibson in the lead role. Since it has been 30 years since the last installment, that move definitely makes sense. The plot has Max attempting to help Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, cross the desert with a group of former prisoners. For the record, this movie looks insane.
Pitch Perfect 2 is slightly different tonally from Mad Max. The Barden Bellas return with their brand of Acappella comedy. After Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) accidentally exposes herself in a performance for the President of the United States, the group gets banned from competition. So they enter a prestigious worldwide contest to try and win their way back in. I’m expecting some quality beat boxing. Don’t let me down, Pitch Perfect 2.
May 22nd– Poltergeist, Tommorowland
It’s a really good thing they’re remaking the 1982 horror classic, Poltergeist. The evil possessed clown doll wasn’t nearly scary enough the first time around. (#Sarcasm) Sam Rockwell stars in the remake that modernizes the supernatural screamer. We’ve seen great remakes and horrible ones, but no matter which one this is, even the poster terrifies me. So I guess their job is done.
Tomorrowland is an uncharacteristically mysterious project for Disney. But I guess that’s what you get when Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof writes and produces your movie. The project stars George Clooney and Britt Robertson, who travel to a mysterious place called Tomorrowland. It’s described in the trailer as, “A secret place where nothing was impossible.” Cool sci-fi concept or one big promotion for Disney’s Tommorowland theme park? You decide.
May 29th– Aloha, San Andreas
Writer/director extraordinaire Cameron Crowe sure knows how to get the stars to roll out in force. His new “dramedy” romance, Aloha, stars Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin and a whole bunch of other well known actors. That’s an impressive list. After that, is the plot really important? Well I’ll mention it anyway. Cooper plays a military contractor, who returns to his old home of Hawaii for a job. Once there, he reconnects with an old flame (McAdams) and also begins to fall for the Air Force pilot (Stone) assigned to watch him.
Unfortunately San Andreas isn’t a Grand Theft Auto movie like I originally thought. It’s actually a disaster film starring Dwayne Johnson. Apparently The Rock didn’t get enough property damage in his previous project, Furious 7. After a ridiculously huge earthquake hits California, a rescue pilot (Johnson) attempts to find his daughter amongst the chaos. I expect many buildings will fall down in the process.
So that’s that. Just like the rest of the world I’m excited to see Avengers: Age of Ultron first and foremost. Marvel very rarely missteps and I don’t see this being one. I’m also thinking Mad Max: Fury Road could be quite the spectacle to behold visually. So dust off your movie theater rewards card. May movies are upon us and we should expect big things!