2014 Action Films: What's on the Horizon?

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The Marvel Web-slinger returns.
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
December 18th, 2013

2014 Action Films: What's on the Horizon?

Action films are a staple of Hollywood, and every year sees the release of a number of great new films. However, 2014 stands to become one of the best years for action flicks with a number of highly anticipated sequels and adaptations due to hit the big screen. Here are some of the great action films movie fans can look forward to in 2014.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is due for release in 2014. The "X-Men" franchise was crucial for relaunching the comic action genre, and the latest iteration should provide additional depth that fans of the comic and movie series are sure to love. A sequel to both "X-Men: Last Stand" and "X-Men: First Class," the film will likely help make the franchise one of the most successful of all time. The film will star both rookies and veterans of the series, including Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Peter Dinklage.

Another comic-book action sequel due for release in 2014 is "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, the film will expand on 2012's franchise reboot. The film will feature a top-notch lineup; the casting of Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, and Martin Sheen shows that the studio is confident enough to pay top dollar for top talent. Along the way, Spider-Man will face off against Electro, a villain first introduced in 1964, while fighting the ever-present OsCorp.

2014 will also see the release of the long-anticipated sequel to 2006's "300." In "300: Rise of an Empire," viewers will watch as a new cast of Greeks again face Xerxes, a fictional interpretation of the Persian leader. While its new cast raises questions, the stunning visual style of the original will remain, and material released from the shooting portrays it as an action-packed war film that's sure to please fans of the original and new viewers as well.

The "300" sequel will not be the only action film set in ancient times; "Pompeii," based on the infamous volcanic eruption, will feature Kit Harington as a gladiator who must fight to get a chance to save his love. Historical information about the event is rare, as nearly everybody near the eruption was killed, which gives filmmakers a considerable amount of latitude. While its plot sounds somewhat similar to that of "Gladiator," the addition of one of the largest volcanic eruptions to ever affect humans will certainly add a captivating twist.

No year's lineup feels truly complete without a Michael Bay film, and 2014 will have one with "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction." Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, and Kelsey Grammar have roles in the film, showing that so-called serious actors are increasingly seeking out and accepting roles in action franchises. The film will also feature action in Hong Kong and China, which will help expand the geographic footprint of the series. The film will have a budget of $165 million, one of the highest budgets of all 2014 releases.

2005's "Sin City" was viewed as a high mark for the action genre, and 2014 action fans will be treated to the long-anticipated sequel, titled "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." A number of actors from the 2005 movie will return, including Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, and Jessica Alba. Like the original, the sequel will feature a series of short stories, all taking place against the sleek, stylized backdrop that helped make the first film so memorable. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez will direct, giving fans of the original graphic novel and film faith that the series is in good hands.

"The Avenger" series will continue to grow in 2014 with the release of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." The classic superhero was reintroduced in 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger," and this new film seeks to duplicate the success of movies featuring other members of S.H.I.E.L.D. Chris Evans will again play to role of Captain America, and other members of the superhero stable will make appearances as well. The ultra-patriotic Captain America has long been considered a difficult character to develop inthe twenty-first century, but his rebooted portrayal in the 2011 "Captain America" movie and "The Avengers" is helping to breed optimism.

Action films have been undergoing a renaissance over the years as comic books, historical events, and graphic novels are increasingly being used as source material. A-list stars are now happy to work in theses franchises, and writing standards have improved considerably over the years. With a number of much-anticipated sequel and a few fresh ideas, 2014 is shaping up to be one of the best years yet for fans of modern action films.