This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on January 24, 2017.
In the traditional model of movies in America, we receive films in waves or seasons. There’s the blockbuster rush of summer and the Oscar rush of mid-winter, and plenty of dead space in between. Typically, February has been the absolute worst of a set of bad months, but that’s starting to change. As blockbusters have become a year-round phenomenon, so have other types of movies. That’s a change for the best and it’s starting to show this year.
Rather than having only one or two movies worth considering, this February has plenty of films we can’t wait to see. They run the gamut, covering action, animation, comedy, and horror. Taken as a whole, there’s plenty of incentive to brave the cold weather and head for the theater this February. With offerings like these, it feels like spring might have come early, even if it’s only for two hours at a time.
The Lego Batman Movie
Directed by Chris McKay
Starring Will Arnett, Michael Cera, and Rosario Dawson
Release Date: February 10
We’re putting these February releases in chronological order, but The Lego Batman Movie would still come first if we were using level of excitement instead. It’s still a little hard to believe that Batman could be considered the breakout star of any film, but that’s exactly what he was in The Lego Movie. Will Arnett’s portrayal of Gotham’s protector was ridiculous, smart, and utterly charming. Rather than just poking fun at Batman, Arnett ribbed the character in a loving way, and now he’s getting his own movie.
This movie is set to be a love letter to the entire Batman franchise. It includes the widest array of heroes and villains on the big screen yet, including beloved D-listers like Kite-Man. The trailers are offering plenty of great jokes, but this movie also looks to have as much heart as its predecessor. Between the “clown snakes” and selfishness, there’s a story about finding family that has always been a key component of the Batman saga. We can’t wait to see this version of the Bat-family form, hopefully for many more movies to come.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Directed by Chad Stahelski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Common, and Laurence Fishburne
Release Date: February 10
In terms of excitement, John Wick: Chapter 2 takes a very, very close second. The first John Wick took action lovers and cinephiles alike by storm. It’s a movie incredibly simple in its concept, but absolutely flawless in its execution. Each new moment of violence and one-liner landed like a note from a concert pianist, but with a bit more of a bang.
The return of director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves promises that the second installment shouldn’t be a quick cash-in either. This pair cares about the world they’ve created and want to deliver more of it. There were so many hints of a much bigger association of assassins, and it ought to be a delight to discover their bizarre traditions and methods. No matter what is revealed, as long as John Wick is given another excuse to cut loose there’s no way this movie can be anything less than a success.
Directed by Richie Keen
Starring Ice Cube, Charlie Day, and Tracy Morgan
Release Date: February 17
Comedies live and die by their stars these days. No matter how funny a script is or how well versed a director, without someone truly funny on screen the whole affair will go up in smoke. That’s why seeing Ice Cube and Charlie Day together is such a relief. When you combine those two with the basic premise of two teachers having a schoolyard throwdown on the final day of school, things are bound to kick off.
Ice Cube has one mode, but he’s an absolute master of it. His deadpan deliveries and intimidating glare can make almost anything funny. Playing off of Charlie Day’s frantic mannerisms and slight build, it’s bound to be a fantastic matching. The supporting cast for the film offers plenty of more reasons to get excited, as any chance to see Tracy Morgan post-30 Rock should. However the fist fight goes down, Fist Fight should be a laugh machine next month.
Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky
Starring Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, and Clive Standen
Release Date: February 17
Patient Zero is another movie that sells itself based on its cast, but for an entirely different set of reasons. This film is structured around a mix of relative newcomers and true veterans, putting them together in a suspenseful scenario. Stanley Tucci has been cast in a mysterious role that is bound to undermine the affable and warm character many comics fans associate with Captain America: The First Avenger.
Matt Smith and Natalie Dormer continue to make their transition from television to film as two scientists seeking a cure for a pandemic. Their taut relationship and stressful jobs may provide some interesting chemistry, in addition to two potentially great roles. Patient Zero is set to provide a new spin on the “outbreak” sub-genre of thrillers and has all of the tools it needs to do so. It will be entertaining at the very least, but could be a whole lot more.
Directed by Jordan Peele
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and Catherine Keener
Release Date: February 24
We expect The Lego Batman Movie and John Wick: Chapter Two to be great; they’re proven quantities. The surprise hit of February will likely turn out to be Get Out. Directed and written by Jordan Peele, it sees the beloved comedian turn his sights onto the horror genre. Peele helped to write the very funny Keanu, but this will be his directorial debut in a feature film. The early buzz surrounding the film has been very positive, and that’s no surprise.
Get Out tells the story of a young black man who is invited to meet his white girlfriend’s family over the weekend. He quickly realizes something is amiss in a place that is eerily like that of The Stepford Wives and almost entirely white. Peele is combining a thrilling story with societal commentary to create a horror story that delivers more than jump scares. This is a movie striving to match or exceed recent greats like It Follows and The Babadook. We hope to see it succeed next month.