As Hollywood is still in the midst of releasing films that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a huge rollover in 2022. The year will see the arrival of recently produced movies as well as the final batch of films that have long been delayed.
Several of those films are some of the most highly anticipated action movies ever. Between gun-fu-riddled fourquels, a blue hedgehog at war with an evil doctor, and potentially the first great video game movie, 2022 is going to be a huge year for explosive action movies. Of course, release dates are always subject to change, more than ever these days.
The Expendables 4
An action team-up movie that stars almost every ’80s action hero was a novel idea when The Expendables was released in 2010. And the sequels expanded on that, building on the macho cast with each consecutive release.
The series is like an unofficial action star hall of fame, but as it has been eight years since the last movie, there are a few more stars that need to be inducted. It isn’t just the movie stars that audiences tune in for though, as Expendables is known for its action scenes too, and the fourth film will undoubtedly be full of giant set pieces.
Director Guy Ritchie has been on a winning streak lately. Along with 2019’s The Gentlemen and this year’s Wrath of Man, Operation Fortune is another action crime movie that will no doubt be full of that typical idiot-bad-guy-type humor the director is known for.
The movie follows a super spy who recruits a Hollywood movie star to help them stop a billionaire arms broker. It sees Ritchie reunite with Hugh Grant, and, naturally, the movie stars Jason Statham. And Statham and Ritchie are one of the best director-actor combos.
Ever since the first major video game movie, Super Mario Bros, in 1993, most gamers and audiences believe that there still hasn’t been a great video game adaptation. However, Uncharted has the potential to change that in 2022.
There’s so much potential in the source material, as all four games follow treasure hunter Nathan Drake, and they are all well researched and soaked in history. The best outcome will be that the film kickstarts a modern-day Indiana Jones franchise. And even if the movie isn’t completely mind-blowing, it still seems like it’ll be full of incredible set pieces, as the trailer plays like a greatest hits of the video game series’ best action moments.
Director Michael Bay doesn’t have the best batting average, as critics believe that his Transformers movies had gotten worse and worse and that his movies are full of overplayed tropes. But there’s no denying that the director’s films are absolute audience-pleasers.
Nobody makes popcorn flicks better than him, and his newest release, Ambulance, could become one of Bay’s best movies. The film follows two bank robbers who carjack an ambulance to get away, only they hold the paramedic and a police officer in critical condition hostage. While it still has the typical grandiose shots of LA and flashy cars, it looks much more on the serious side of Bay’s work.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Despite all of the controversy surrounding the character design of sonic leading up to the movie’s release, Sonic The Hedgehog was a huge success. And though it isn’t a movie that’ll exactly scoop in countless awards, it’s endlessly entertaining, and the blue speedster will return in 2022.
It looks like Sonic The Hedgehog 2 will delve deeper into the world, as it’ll introduce both Tails and Knuckles, and Dr. Robotnik is now the recognizable Egg Man that gamers know him as. It’s impressive how the sequel was made in such quick succession, as the first movie was released just before the pandemic started, and the follow-up is coming almost exactly two years after.
Mission: Impossible 7
No other action movie series has been able to last more than 20 years and still uphold the same level of quality as when it very first started. That’s mostly thanks to Christopher McQuarrie, who spearheaded the series with Rogue Nation and formed a more serialized narrative.
McQuarrie created Solomon Lane, Mission: Impossible’s most terrifying villain who made Ethan Hunt’s life hell for two whole movies. That was one of the best things the filmmaker brought to the series, as the villains had mostly been so underwhelming and underwritten in the franchise up to that point. So finding out who Hunt’s next nemesis will be is enough to be excited, but the big appeal of the series is all of the stunts, and Mission: Impossible 7 will be full of them.
John Wick completely changed the landscape of Hollywood action movies, as so many films in the genre have leaned into the gun-fu aspect that the 2014 movie pioneered. It has become so influential that the co-director David Leitch was even inspired by himself, as he directed Atomic Blonde, produced last year’s Nobody, and in 2022, the Leitch-directed Bullet Train will be released.
The movie is a cross between John Wick and Snowpiecer, as it follows five expert assassins on a Japanese bullet train. It’ll see Brad Pitt in the John Wick-type role, and it could be another impressive action movie to kickstart a franchise.
Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise is going to have a huge 2022, as not only will the year see the release of Mission: Impossible 7, but it’ll also see the reunion between Maverick and Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick. It might be another movie that was just made as an excuse for Cruise to seemingly fulfill his death wish, as it sees him again take flight, but aviation has never been depicted like this in a movie before.
When it comes to all the countless delays that movies suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maverick has arguably suffered the most. By the time the movie is released, it will have been more than two years since it was initially supposed to hit theatres.
John Wick: Chapter 4
As exciting as Bullet Train sounds, nothing tops the original, and in 2022, Wick will return for Chapter 4. Amazingly, the John Wick series has become so successful that the franchise is now four movies in, as there hasn’t been an original movie character that has had this much of an impact in years. Most iconic movie characters today are adaptations or decades-old, and that’s why the John Wick series should keep going forever.
As each consecutive movie in the series massively expands on the lore of the world, it’ll be fascinating to see how the fourth movie builds on the High Table. On top of that, fans have been patient enough to find out what happens following Parabellum’s cliffhanger for three years now, so excitement couldn’t be higher.
It’s wild to think that Avatar 2 (and its three sequels) have been in development for 12 years now, and given the fact that the original is the highest-grossing movie of all time, there’s a lot of anticipation surrounding the film. With director James Cameron being both an absolute perfectionist and a pioneer of advanced technology in cinema, it’s no wonder why the sci-fi movie has taken so long to get made, but that also means that the wait will be worth it.
The movie will even feature underwater motion capture, which will surely be another groundbreaking moment in cinema. The series will undoubtedly become one of the greatest sci-fi sagas in cinema, but at this rate, it’ll be 50 years before it’s concluded.
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