If March is the warm up, then April is the positioning in the starting blocks for the Summer movie season. We’re not quite there yet, but April is always a brilliant precursor to what we can expect over the next four months. For this coming month, it seems that we have something for everyone; horror, action, humour, heart and, above all, pure excitement and movie magic. With a mix of hugely anticipated mega movie events and potential sleeper hits, April 2018 reflects the cinema sphere at its most balanced, hitting every sweet spot we could hope for and surprising us along the way. Anyway, without further adieu…
A Quiet Place, dir. by John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds.
Release date: April 5th.
Over the past two years, the horror genre has begun to take on a new form, with several films diverting away from the traditional and over-saturated jump scare, torture porn format of the 21st century. Films like The Babadook, It Follows, The Witch, Don’t Breathe, It and the Oscar winning Get Out have breathed new life into the genre, providing terror through psychological torment, unbearable tension and subversive themes, all whilst raking in mightily impressive box office earnings. 2018 looks to be no different and John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is hoping to be the latest addition into an ever strengthening market. Krasinski directs, writes and stars in the film, playing Lee, the father of a family who must live their lives in silence in order to avoid being hunted by terrifying creatures that prey by sound. Alongside Krasinski, his real life wife Emily Blunt also leads the film as his on screen wife Evelyn (n’awwww), with Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds playing their children Marcus and Regan. I don’t know about you, but to me, the premise of A Quiet Place simply screams tension (as much as it may pray for silence); a family having to live in silence through fear of death in a 90 minute movie? Expect these to be 90 of the most unbearably uncomfortable minutes of you life, as the early word on A Quiet Place is that Krasinski’s sophomore directorial effort is an instant horror hit, earning every jump, fright and bump along the way. Krasinski himself continues to further shed his now rather iconic Jim Halpert skin as the leading man here, with Blunt looking to further cement herself as one of the greatest talents in the world today. The best high concept films are always the ones that make good on their premises and it would seem that A Quiet Place does just that. And to think that John Krasinski charmed us for years as the adorkable Jim on The Office, all whilst sitting on a terrifying bundle of nightmares, insanely high heart rates and sweaty palms.
Love, Simon, dir. by Greg Berlanti
Starring: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Miles Heizer, Tony Hale.
Release date: April 6th.
I write this next bit with the benefit of having seen the film in question, Greg Berlanti’s Love, Simon, and it’s with great delight that I can confirm that it more than lives up to the hype and expectations surrounding it. To provide some context on Love, Simon as to why it’s such a momentous movie, this is the first EVER major studio release to be focused on a gay teenage love story. Think about that for a second: the first EVER. Yes, we’ve had movies like Brokeback Mountain, Moonlight and, most recently, Call Me By Your Name, but these are independent features, as a number of LGBT movies are, so for a major studio like Fox to commission a film like Love, Simon is of huge importance to the issue of representation in film. Love, Simon is the perfect film to break this barrier and usher in a new era in film. It’s earnest, heartfelt and totally understated, telling the story of the titular Simon (Nick Robinson) in a simple and realistic way. There’s no agenda being pushed, no overt message being forced on the audience, it’s simply a teenage love story which just happens to be about a gay person. Which is the way it should be, trivialising ones sexuality in film isn’t the way to move forward, nor should it be in real life, which is why Love, Simon is both great and important. But don’t take my word for it, the film has captured the hearts of many across the pond, earning glowing reviews and public reception, and a rare A+ cinemascore. On top of this, a number of actors and actresses have bought out local cinemas for free screenings for any who wish to attend in a bid to get as many people to see the film as possible. Love, Simon is doing exactly what we need it to; uniting audiences and changing the zeitgeist. Please, go see this movie.
Read The Edge’s first love review of Love, Simon here!
Rampage, dir. by Brad Peyton
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy.
Release Date: April 11th.
In 2015, Dwayne Johnson took out a military drone with an ambulance before referring to himself as the cavalry and using said drone’s gun to shoot down a helicopter. Last year, he stepped out of a jeep driving across ice and pushed a missile into some bad guys. This year, he’s going to save his family from a massive fire in June’s titular Skyscraper, but before that, he’s going to fight a giant wolf and crocodile in Rampage, and I can’t wait. Whilst the world’s biggest action star may not star in movies that prioritise substance over style, you can’t deny that Dwayne Johnson doesn’t deliver in the entertainment department in every one of his movies, with his most recent output – the much better than it had any right to be Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – arguably being one of his most complete blockbusters forays yet. This April, he’s back on our screens, alongside veterans Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and frequent directorial collaborator Brad Peyton with Rampage, the big screen adaptation of the popular arcade/console franchise of the same name. Featuring genetically mutated animals on a – you guessed it – rampage in super sized form, the film focuses on Johnson’s primatologist who is thrust into the mayhem in a bid to save his gorilla friend George, a victim of said mutation, from destroying half of America and being destroyed himself, all whilst counteracting the threat of the giant wolf and crocodile too. It’s classic Dwayne Johnson material, and, as such, it’s fair to cap expectations for the project. But still keep an open mind, if this can surprise us as much as Jumanji did, then expect another exciting, entertaining, sleeper hit from the action man.
EDITOR’S PICK: Avengers: Infinity War, dir. by Joe & Anthony Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Antony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio del Toro.
Release date: April 26th.
Spoilers for all Marvel Cinematic Universe films to follow.
I mean, how could it not be?
This is the movie a generation has been waiting for ever since Nick Fury appeared at the end of 2008’s Iron Man and told Tony Stark that he was a part of something bigger: much alike 2015’s enormously hyped Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Infinity War is a true event movie of our time. This is the movie that every Easter-egg, name drop, recurring theme, mysterious artefact, character and post-credits scene has been building to, the culmination of 10 years of movies in one mega mash-up throwdown. The heroes we’ve come to love and whose journeys we’ve followed over the course of 18 movies, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy, are convening on Earth for the long awaited and heavily anticipated battle with the titan Thanos. He arrives wielding the all powerful Infinity Gauntlet, a glove which requires each of the mysterious Infinity Stones to work at its full potential, potential that has the power to wipe out half of the universe with the click of a finger. In a twist revealed in full in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the Infinity Stones, ancient artefacts of immense power, are the thread that power this grand story arc, from the Tesseract of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger to the Eye of Agamotto in 2016’s Doctor Strange, these artefacts come in varying forms and are what Thanos ultimately seeks to complete his victory. Five of the six stones have come into the fold in the MCU; the Space Stone (the aforementioned Tesseract), the Mind Stone (which powers Loki’s sceptre from The Avengers and Age of Ultron), the Reality Stone (the Aether from Thor: The Dark World), the Power Stone (held inside the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy), and the Time Stone (the aforementioned Eye of Agamotto). It is this sixth Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, that will likely motivate Thanos in Infinity War upon his arrival on Earth, it is as much of a mystery to audiences as it is to those on screen. Where is the Soul Stone, the one Stone needed to finish the Infinity Gauntlet? Popular speculation places it in the newest battleground of the MCU – Wakanda. Infinity War‘s trailers have been dominated by footage of an epic battle and prolonged sequence set in Black Panther’s home nation, the one, as of yet, untapped part of this universe, housing many a mystical secret that we are yet to fully delve into. Surely, surely, this is where the final Infinity Stone is held? But whilst this last Stone may be needed, Thanos will need to obtain all others first, a task which would entail the destruction of the Nova Corp, meetings with The Collector, the Nepalese sanctuary of Kamar-Taj and a certain trickster God, and, perhaps most dramatically, a clash of heads with Vision. Directors Joe & Anthony Russo have revealed that Infinity War will take us into Thanos’ origins as well, giving us the backstory of the Titan and revealing what is motivating him in his universe conquest, likely showing him flexing his all-powerful muscles in the process as he forcefully takes the Stones. Because it’s going to happen – we can speculate til the cows come home as to what will happen from here on out, but it’s inevitable that Thanos will get his Stones, and it’s going to be terrifying, thrilling and awe-inspiring to see. Everything has led to this, everyone is along for the ride and everyone on planet Earth is going to see this film. The movie event of the year, no, the next decade, is here and the anticipation is unparalleled.