Next 3 Unexpected Comic Thrillers: 'The Spy Who Dumped Me,' 'Goosebumps 2,' 'Holmes and Watson'
The Marvel sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp earned an estimated $76 million this past weekend, per Box Office Mojo, easily surpassing the total made by the original adventure on its opening dates in 2015. What also distinguishes the new film from its predecessor is a greater reliance on comedy to liven up the action-movie formula.
The primary characters are already well-established, which allows for more self-referential humor, especially as the other players poke fun at Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). This also frees up Hope Van Dyne, a.k.a. The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to take on more of the action and dramatic duties as the true protagonist of the piece, another unexpected and very welcome development. In addition, the basic thrust of the story — the need to rescue Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) within a very limited time frame — introduces still another layer, making the film a true thriller.
Of course, every movie must follow its own path to be successful. Here are three good, upcoming prospects for delivering unexpected comic thrills.
The Spy Who Dumped Me
The title sounds like a play on the James Bond classic The Spy Who Loved Me, but that’s just the starting point. Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon star as best friends who head to Europe after Kunis is dumped by her boyfriend. They are quickly caught up in an international criminal conspiracy because the ex-boyfriend was a spy.
Per the trailer, however, Kunis just as quickly shows that she has good instincts for being a spy, while McKinnon is up for anything. The two display good comic chemistry and we can already see evidence that the film will happily ridicule some of the creaky male stereotypes of espionage movies. The Spy Who Dumped Me will open in theaters on August 3.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
— Goosebumps (@GoosebumpsMovie) April 24, 2018
Back in 2015, Goosebumps brought R.L. Stine’s young-adult horror series to life with a very entertaining tale that married monsters, mayhem and the macabre. The big-screen adventure danced lightly around the potentially disturbing horror elements to keep the emphasis on family fun, which made the movie unexpectedly entertaining and appealing to adults as well as children. The young lead characters also drew in a young-adult audience.
The sequel faces the challenge of replicating the success of the first film. No details have been revealed about the plot yet; the Goosebumps series of books includes dozens of titles, so the field is quite open. It’s expected that Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee will be reprising their roles from the original; they all deftly handled the comic tones that brightened up what could have been a very dark premise, so we trust they’ll do likewise in the sequel. Ari Sandel (The DUFF) is directing. Look for the movie in theaters on October 12.
Holmes and Watson
We’ve seen a lot of screen depictions of the famed private detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick Dr. John Watson in recent years, but we’ve never seen Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in those roles, which immediately sparked our attention when the film was announced. Add to that, it will be a “full out comic version of the super sleuths,” according to Deadline. Thus, we’re expecting a very unexpected twist on the usual mystery-thriller formula.
Ferrell and Reilly have appeared together in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, both extremely silly and very funny films, and we expect no less from their next collaboration. Supporting players include Ralph Fiennes as arch-enemy Moriarty, plus Rebecca Hall, Hugh Laurie, Lauren Lapkus and Kelly Macdonald. Etan Cohen (Get Hard) wrote the script and directed. Holmes and Watson will be revealed in theaters on December 21.