This week's biggest global release is G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and critics were on edge at press screenings earlier in the week, hoping against hope that the sequel maintained the entertaining ironic subversiveness of the 2009 original, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Alas, the news isn't good.
The week's other blockbuster is The Host, based on the novel by Twilight author Stephenie Meyers. Saoirse Ronan stars as Melanie, a young woman facing an alien force that's taking over humanity. In fine Twilight style, there are two leading men vying for her affections, played by rising-star hearthrobs Max Irons and Jake Abel. Despite good early word-of-mouth, the studio hasn't shown the film to critics.
Greg Kinnear, Kristin Bell, Logan Lerman and Lilly Collins star in Stuck in Love, a comedy-drama tracing the tumultuous love lives of a writer and his family over the course of a year. The bright young cast includes Nat Wolff, Liana Liberato, Spencer Breslin and Patrick Schwarzenegger, and the new trailer makes it look sexy, funny and rather sweet. It's released in June.
In casting news, word emerged that Michael Angarano will join Jason Statham and Sofia Vergara in Heat, a remake of the 1986 Burt Reynolds thriller. Before that, Angarano stars with Juno Temple in the black comedy The Brass Teapot, as a young couple who find a magical teapot that erupts with cash every time they inflict pain on each other. The film's trailer looks a bit silly, especially as it shifts into a comment on greed, but it also promises to be rather good fun. It opens next week in America.
There's also a new trailer this week for Brad Pitt's zombie epic World War Z, showing us a bit more of the plot and a couple of spectacular set pieces. With an international cast that avoids the usual gang of bland heroes, this looks like an unusually smart action epic, which isn't a surprise since it's produced by Pitt, directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) and written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom). It opens in June.
And finally, there's also a whiff of thoughtful intelligence about the trailer for Hummingbird, the next Jason Statham action thriller, which is the directing debut of writer Steve Knight (Eastern Promises). The role of a shattered ex-Special Forces operative isn't new to Statham, but watching him go undercover in the mob while becoming a kind of avenging angel is rather intriguing. The film opens in May.