Ten action sequels to look forward to in 2012

2011 seemed to be the year of the sequel, with franchise spin-offs dominating the box office in some form or another. But will 2012 be any different? Maybe not, as there are currently no less than two dozen sequels and reboots scheduled to hit the big screen. Most of these are continuations of popular action franchises; so since we’re mere days away from the new year, let’s take a look at ten of the hottest action sequels scheduled to arrive in 2012.

It all gets started with ‘Underworld: Awakening’ in January. If you’re like me, you’re still miffed that the third chapter of the ‘Underworld’ franchise veered into prequel territory instead of continuing Selene’s story, so this fourth film will be a real treat.

In March, ‘Wrath of the Titans’ will give us a hearty dose of swords and sandals action. I’m a little split on this one—Sam Worthington was great in the first, but the 3D was a poor post-production move. This sequel is supposed to be shot in 3D as an improvement, which is welcome news.

From there we’ll have to wait until May to see ‘The Avengers’, which is easily one of the most anticipated action films of the year. It looks like the script will be nothing but action, explosions, and battle scenes, making it the perfect summer movie. Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, all in one place? How could you go wrong?

I realize that Ridley Scott prefers to avoid calling ‘Prometheus’ (opening in June) a prequel to the ‘Alien’ franchise. But since it was originally conceived as a prequel/reboot, I’ll include it. Oh, heck, I’ll admit: this sci-fi thriller boasts the delicious cast of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba, and I can’t wait to see them all rubbing shoulders on screen.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will open in July after months of anticipation. The Internet has been abuzz with theories about the plot, new set pics, and trailer clips for the better part of the year, so by the time the movie actually hits theatres, the excitement should be at a fever pitch. It’s the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s version of the Batman story, and it’s jam-packed with new faces, including Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Buy your tickets in advance.

Writer/director Tony Gilroy insists that ‘The Bourne Legacy’ (opening in August) is not a reboot or sequel, but fans of the franchise will probably consider it as such. Matt Damon is out and Jeremy Renner is in as another assassin trained in the Treadstone program, but beyond that, details about the plot are thin. Still, it’s been several years since we last saw Bourne in action, so I’m eager to see how Gilroy will handle this un-reboot.

August also sees the release of ‘The Expendables 2′. While there are no good plot details to be had, it looks like the original cast is returning, making it a good guys’ night out movie

In September, Milla Jovovich will return in hubby Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest over-the-top action flick, ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’. Seeing as how Anderson kick-started the franchise way back in 2002, it’s nice to see him come full circle ten years later to direct the latest installment.

In October, ‘Taken 2′ is scheduled to hit theatres. Liam Neeson returns and this time, it looks like he’s the one who will be kidnapped during a trip to Istanbul. I loved the first film, partly because I love Liam Neeson, and partly because it was fun to watch someone slightly less James Bond-ish track down the villains for a change. But I do have to wonder whether the story has enough steam to merit a sequel.

In November, the long-awaited 23rd James Bond film will open: ‘Skyfall’ will be Daniel Craig’s third outing as the suave British superspy, and it looks like this script will be an original adventure, rather than a continuation from Ian Fleming’s novels. It’ll be just the thing we need to brighten up the beginning of winter, and after such a long break in the series, I’m dying to see what new things the producers have waiting for us.

Martha Hokenson
If I'm not watching a good movie, it's probably because I'm writing about one. I keep adding new titles to my 'must see' movie list and I hope to watch them all before DVDs become obsolete.

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