The Biggest Movie Releases Coming Out In This April 2017
April promises to be an exciting month for fans of blockbusters, with both Fast & Furious 8 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 staking claim to box office glory. It’s not just tentpoles dominating the multiplexes though, as the weeks ahead also serve up a slate of exciting indies, such as horror debuts The Transfiguration and A Dark Song, and British neo-noir in the form of City of Tiny Lights. Meanwhile, fans of eastern cinema have the jaw-dropping opulence of Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden to look forward to.
Here’s what you’ll be watching in the weeks ahead.
The Boss Baby
Going in Style
City of Tiny Lights
Directed by Dredd’s Pete Travis and headlined by Star Wars: Rogue One’s Riz Ahmed and Doctor Who’s Billie Piper, City of Tiny Lights may not have spaceships or time travel but it still packs in plenty of genre cred. Built in the style of pulp noir detective thrillers, this British take swaps 1940s America for modern London, with Ahmed as private detective Tommy Akhtar, drawn into a dangerous case filled with femmes fatale and dark secrets.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays somewhat against type in this revenge thriller, inspired by the events of the 2002 Überlingen mid-air collision. When his family dies in an avoidable plane crash, Roman (Schwarzenegger) seeks the truth behind what happened, hunting down the man he sees as responsible.
A Dark Song
Already a hit on the festival circuit, this indie horror blurs the line between the supernatural and psychosis as a desperate woman (Catherine Walker) contacts a damaged occult specialist (Steve Oram) to help resurrect her dead child. This is no quick summoning where things go predictably wrong though – director Liam Gavin presents a slow-burn, claustrophobic horror that’s equal parts haunted house and pot-boiler thriller.
Fast and Furious 8
AKA The Fate of the Furious, the latest installment of the car heist action franchise finds the motley crew exonerated of former crimes but torn apart when Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is coerced into working against his family by the mysterious Cipher (Charlize Theron). Cue another globe-trotting chase packed with ridiculously over-the-top stunts, as Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and rival Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) forced to team up and help them team take down their former ‘leader’. Fast 7 became one of the fastest films to hit $1bn at the box office, and remains the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time, so it’s understandable that it dominates this week’s releases.
Any film from auteur director Park Chan-wook is always worthy of consideration, and The Handmaiden is no exception. Adapted from Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, Park swaps Victorian England for Japanese-occupied Korea, with conman “Count Fujiwara” (Ha Jung-woo) enlisting pickpocket Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) to help swindle heiress Lady Izumi (Kim Min-hee). Sumptuous design and Park’s mesmerising direction make this one to watch.
The Belko Experiment
Written by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and directed by Wolf Creek’s Greg McLean, this gritty horror-thriller is best pitched as “Battle Royale with grown-ups”. Eighty office workers find themselves trapped in their building, and told by a detached voice over the intercom to start killing each other – or the mysterious overseer will do the job for them. A brutal satire on office culture that sees Gunn tapping into his roots at schlock-factory Troma Entertainment.
An SXSW darling, writer/director Michael O’Shea’s dark observation of troubled, vampire-obsessed teen Milo (Eric Ruffin) and his friendship with alienated Sophie (Chloe Levine) blurs the line between horror and psychological thriller. Does Milo’s interest in the undead have any basis in reality, or is just an increasingly dangerous expression of his own damage?
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Not content with just writing The Belko Experiment, director James Gunn rounds out the month with the return of Marvel’s space-bound ne’er-do-wells, back to guard the galaxy once again. Following the events of 2014’s screen debut for the rag-tag group, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Baby Groot are joined by newcomer Mantis and former enemies Yondu and Nebula. A bigger team will be needed to take on Ayesha, a cosmic goddess, and uncover the truth behind Star-Lord’s mysterious father (Kurt Russell). Gunn looks set to deliver another thrilling sci-fi superhero epic, with an appropriately ’80s-infused soundtrack. Possibly the biggest movie of the month – and we’re getting it a week before the US.