Another year, another bunch of great action movies. From the rip roaring adventures of The Magnificent 7 to the space faring heroes in Rogue One there was something for everyone. Sadly all good things must come to an end, and with 2016 coming to a close, it is time to look ahead to 2017.
Like 2016 the upcoming year looks like a solid mix of original films, comic adaptions and reboots. We will even see some long rumored movies finally come to light. So as the end of the year comes up lets look at some of the most hotly anticipated action movies of 2017.
1. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
- Release Date: January 20, 2017
- Director: D.J. Caruso
- Stars: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa
It seems like Vin Diesel has been given free reign because we are seeing the return of super spy and extreme sports enthusiast Xander Cage aka xXx. Somehow, some way it looks to be the most ridiculous Vin Diesel movie yet. With an all-star cast and a solid crew behind the scenes this reboot looks like a dark horse for best of the year.
2. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
- Release Date: January 27, 2017
- Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
- Stars: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose
As crazy as it sounds, the polarizing Resident Evil film series is pretty much become a film dynasty going on for more than a decade and making nearly a billion dollars at the box office. That all comes to an end with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. After being betrayed Alice has to return to Raccoon City to take on Albert Wesker and the Umbrella Corporation one last time. Love it or hate it this long running franchise has made an impact and it looks like it is going out with a bang.
3. John Wick: Chapter 2
- Release Date: February 10, 2017
- Director: Chad Stahelski
- Stars: Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishbourne
As Fall 2014 started to set, John Wick was a surprise hit thanks to some high octane action and a good Keanu Reeves performance. After a year off Wick is back after getting involved with a group of assassins from his past. Heading off to Rome the assassin has to take on some of the world's deadliest killers.
- Release Date: February 23, 2017
- Director: Sarik Andreasyan
- Stars: Sebastien Sisak, Sanzhar Madiyev, Anton Pampushnyy
Very rarely does a foreign film make a splash in the US. It has to either be truly exceptional or totally crazy. Guardians seems to be the latter. Set in an alternate future a group of super soldiers band together to protect the country from supernatural threats. Did I mention that one of them is a "Werebear" toting a minigun? If xXx: The Return of Xander Cage has a contender for most ridiculous action movie of the year, this is it.
5. Free Fire
- Release Date: March 31, 2017 (UK)
- Director: Ben Wheatley
- Stars: Brie Larson, Shallot Copley, Cillian Murphy
Proving that he is up for pretty much anything, director Ben Wheatley presents his version of the action comedy with Free Fire. Similar to some of Shane Black's best work it is about two Irish gang leaders that meet for a gun deal negotiated by Justine (Brie Larson). Things go bad when shots are fired and it's everyone for themselves as they try to get out alive. We don't have a US release date yet but it will be worth seeing whenever it drops.
- Release Date: March 3, 2017
- Director: James Mangold
- Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart
With middling box office returns for X-Men: Apocalypse and the success of Deadpool it looks like Fox is going to take the main X-Men universe in a new direction. But before they do Fox seems to be going out with a bang with Logan. Scheduled to be Hugh Jackman's last hurrah as Wolverine this futuristic tale is based on the critically acclaimed Old Man Logan arc and is supposed to close the book on this version of the X-Men.
7. Kong: Skull Island
- Release Date: March 10, 2017
- Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
- Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson
The eighth wonder of the world returns to the big screen in Kong: Skull Island. A reboot of the long running franchise it is about a team of soldiers and scientists that are brought to Skull Island. What seemed like a regular mission goes awry when they discover King Kong. What we have seen in the trailers has been impressive and I can't wait to see what else is in store for audiences.
8. The Belko Experiment
- Release Date: March 17, 2017
- Director: Greg McLean
- Stars: John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Michael Rooker
James Gunn returns to genre films writing the horror-tinged thriller The Belko Experiment. Directed by Greg McLean it is about an office building forced into a deadly social experiment. While more horror and not pure action from the looks of the trailer it seems perfect for fans of cult classics like Battle Royale.
Release Date: March 31, 2017
- Release Date March 31, 2017
- Director: Rupert Sanders
- Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Juliette Binoche, Takeshi Kitano
After being stuck in development hell for two decades an adaption of this anime classic is finally hitting theaters. Despite some controversial casting, director Rupert Sanders has done a great job capturing the cyberpunk aesthetic of the original. Long thought unfilmable it will be interesting to see how Ghost in the Shell turns out.
10. Fate of the Furious
- Release Date: April 14, 2017
- Director: F. Gary Gary
- Stars: Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jason Statham
In Vin Diesel's second movie this year the family is back together for Fate of the Furious. In an interesting twist, Dominic Toretto has seemingly turning his back on his crew. With Dom working for the criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron) the crew has to team up with adversary Derek Shaw (Jason Statham) to confront their former friend.
11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Release Date: May 5, 2017
- Director: James Gunn
- Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell
The Guardians of the Galaxy return in the first Marvel movie of the year. Set two months after the last film the Guardians are exploring the universe to find out who Star Lord's father is. The movie seems like a must see thanks to the debut of Ego the Living Planet and the absolutely adorable Baby Groot.
12. Wonder Woman
- Release Date: June 2, 2017
- Director: Patty Jenkins
- Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
As for DC's output this year their first effort is the much anticipated Wonder Woman. One of the best parts of Batman v. Superman this classic DC superheroine will finally get her own movie in 2017. As the world goes to war the island of Themyscira is discovered by pilot Steve Trevor. With World War I raging, Wonder Woman leaves the island to put an end to The Great War.
13. The Mummy
- Release Date: June 9, 201
- Director: Alex Kurtzman
- Stars: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe
Universal Studios tries to expand their monster shared universe with their latest reboot of The Mummy. After a mysterious airplane accident, an ancient evil is unleashed upon the world. With a Mummy princess wreaking havoc upon the world it is up to Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) to stop her.
Release Date: July 7, 2017g:
- Release Date July 7, 2017
- Director: Jon Watts
- Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
After the lackluster Amazing Spider-Man 2, Marvel's resident web-slinger returns in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Seemingly learning from past mistakes this reboot has a young Peter Parker trying to get the approval of Tony Stark while getting through the war zone known as high school. If the brief preview in Captain America: Civil War is any indication, this may be the best Spidey movie yet.
15.War for the Planet of the Apes
- Release Date: July 14, 2017
- Director: Matt Reeves
- Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn
After nearly five decades of films, we will finally see how the apes take over Earth. At constant war with humans led by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson), ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) is forced to retaliate against the humans.
- Release Date: July 21, 2017
- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stars: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy
After his existential journey into the future in Interstellar director Christopher Nolan returns to Earth with war movie Dunkirk. Starring Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles this World War II film follows group of British and Allied soldiers. Trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, they have to survive as a part of Operation Dynamo.
17. Accident Man
- Release Date: 2017
- Director: Jesse V. Johnson
- Stars: Scott Adkins, Ray Park, Michael Jai White
It seems the Direct to Video Gods will be generous in 2017 because they have given us what could be the Expendables of home video action. Based on the UK comic, Accident Man, the film follows hitman Mike Fallon as he goes on the warpath after his ex-girlfriend is killed. Starring Scott Adkins as Mike Fallon, he is going to go up against straight to video all stars like Ray Stevenson, Ray Park and the always great Michael Jai White. With a cast this good it could easily put mainstream movies to shame.
18. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
- Release Date: July 21, 2017
- Director: Luc Besson
- Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen
Visionary director Luc Besson returns with this sci-fi actioner based on French comic Valérian and Laureline. 28th century special agents Valérian and Laureline travel the cosmos maintaining order. Sent to the intergalactic city of Alpha, the duo must investigate a sinister empire developing.
19. The Dark Tower
- Release Date: July 28, 2017
- Director: Nikolaj Arcel
- Stars: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor
In production since 2007, Stephen King's The Dark Tower finally hits the big screen. A sequel to the books it stars relative newcomer Tom Taylor as 11 year old Jake Chambers who enters an alternate dimension called Mid-World. He meets loner Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) who is on a mission to reach The Dark Tower. It won't be easy for the two with monsters and evil sorcerer Walter Padick (Matthew McConaughey) on their tail.
20. Baby Driver
- Release Date: August 11, 2017
- Director: Edgar Wright
- Stars: Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey
After several years away from the camera Edgar Wright returns to the director's chair with Baby Driver. It is about young getaway driver that suffers from tinnitus who is ready to put his criminal career behind him. With a heavy emphasis on music, don't be surprised to hear some major buzz about this movie as the year goes on.
21. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
- Release Date- October 6, 2017
- Director- Matthew Vaughn
- Stars- Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum
A surprise hit in 2014 director Matthew Vaughn is back for this spy sequel. Having cleared out Kingsman of corruption secret agents, Eggy, Merlin and Roxy head to the United States to help US group, Statesman. After the Statesman HQ is destroyed, the international groups team up to take on criminal mastermind Poppy.
22. Thor: Ragnarok
- Release Date- November 3, 2017
- Director- Taika Waititi
- Stars- Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo
As the MCU changed drastically, thanks to the Sokovia Accords, one of the biggest questions has been where were Thor and The Hulk? It looks like we won't have to wait much longer when Thor: Ragnarok comes out in November. Named after the Norse apocalypse, the story is set to include parts of the Ragnarok story arc and the Planet Hulk event. While plot details aren't known yet it looks to be the biggest Thor film yet.
23. Justice League
- Release Date: November 17, 2017
- Director: Zack Snyder
- Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot
Zack Snyder returns to the DC Extended Universe with late 2017's Justice League. After Superman sacrificed himself to stop Doomsday, faith in humanity is renewed in Batman. Realizing he can't be a hero alone he seeks the help Wonder Woman to look for more people with superpowers. Forming the Justice League they are the only defense against the villainous Steppenwolf and his army of invading Parademons.
- Release Date: 2017
- Director: The Mo Brothers
- Stars: Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle
Becoming a hit on 2016's film festival circuit, Indonesian movie Headshot seems to be the Asia's next big hit in the States. Iko Uwais (from The Raid series) stars as Abdi, a mysterious man who washes up onto the shore of a beach. Suffering amnesia because of a gunshot wound, he doesn't realize that news of his discovery has made it to crime lord Mr. Lee.
25. Star Wars Episode VIII
- Release Date: December 15, 2017
- Director: Rian Johnson
- Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
Like past films in the series the plot for Episode VIII is being heavily guarded. Aside from actors like Adam Driver praising director Rian Johnson, the script details are vague. All we know is that Rey will be trained by Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher finished all of her scenes before passing. That alone is enough reason to see the next chapter in the Star Wars saga.
Whether it's Vin Diesel continuing his streak of ridiculous action set pieces or an space epic in a galaxy far, far away 2017 looks to be a big year for action movies. So clear your calendars because it looks like fans of action will be at the theaters quite a bit.