As we head into June, summer blockbuster season is well underway. The season began with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in early May, followed by Fast X and The Little Mermaid. The next three months will provide some of the year’s biggest hits in both streaming and at the box office.
Though superheroes and animated stories are integral to the upcoming release schedule, the action blockbuster is what piques our interest. This summer, Indiana Jones and Ethan Hunt return for more globetrotting adventures, a giant shark escapes the trench, a new group of Transformers enter the fray, and the best action movie on Netflix gets a sequel. Here are the five action movies you need to watch this summer.
After the fifth Transformers movie flopped at the box office, the franchise took a different approach for its next iteration. 2018’s Bumblebee went to the 1980s for the next Transformers film, taking a quieter, coming-of-age approach instead of all-out Bay madness with loud explosions. The gamble worked as Bumblebee became a critical and box office success, grossing over $468 million against a $100 million budget.
Transformers is increasing the action while sticking to the Bumblebee approach for the next film, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. It’s 1994 Brooklyn, and the Autobots must join forces with the Maximals to take on a planet-sized Transformer known as Unicron (Colman Domingo) and his Terrorcons. At the center are an ex-military electronics expert, Noah (Anthony Ramos), and Mirage (Pete Davidson), Noah’s silver-blue Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8 that serves under Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen). This adaptation of the Beast Wars storyline promises to feature an epic battle that should kick off a new Transformers trilogy.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is scheduled to be released in theaters on June 9.
In the early months of the pandemic, April 2020 to be exact, when we were learning TikTok dances and rewatching The Sopranos, Netflix released the action thriller Extraction. The film starred Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, an elite black ops mercenary tasked with protecting the son of an international crime lord. Directed by Sam Hargrove and produced by The Russo Brothers, Extraction became an instant hit thanks to its high-octane action sequences. It’s currently the seventh most popular English film ever on Netflix.
Despite being shot in the neck and falling into a river at the end of Extraction, Rake somehow survives those injuries and returns in Extraction 2. Now, Rake must infiltrate a prison and rescue the family of a merciless Georgian gangster. While it’s a fairly routine action picture, Extraction is known somewhat for its memorable 12-minute one-take sequence. Sequels are always bigger so Extraction 2 is set to include a 21-minute one-take action scene. Need I say more?
Extraction 2 arrives on June 16 on Netflix.
It’s been 42 years since Harrison Ford first donned his trademark hat and whip as Dr. Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, all good things must end as Ford will play the world’s most famous archaeologist one final time in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Directed by James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari), The Dial of Destiny picks up in the late 1960s as the pressure for America to defeat Russia in the space race is at an all-time high.
Because of the surmounting pressure, the United States recruits Nazis to help against Russia, which does not sit well with Jones, considering his many battles with Hitler’s followers in the 1930s. To make matters worse, Jürgen Voller, an ex-Nazi and Jones’s former enemy, now works for NASA. Voller has his eyes set on a powerful dial that can alter the course of history. With the help of his goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Jones sets out on one last adventure to retrieve the dial before Voller uses it for his gain.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is scheduled to be released theatrically on June 30.
In 2022, Tom Cruise saved the box office with Top Gun: Maverick. In 2023, Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt to save the world in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Like most Mission Impossible films, there’s a powerful weapon that threatens humanity in Dead Reckoning Part One, and it’s up to Ethan and his IMF team to retrieve the weapons before it gets into the wrong hands.
The easy-to-digest plot is not a knock against the series. The simple story allows the Mission Impossible franchise to put the spotlight on the action and the jaw-dropping sequences and set pieces. In each film, Cruise continues to one-up himself, whether it’s scaling the Burj Khalifa, completing a HALO jump at dusk, or hijacking a helicopter. For Dead Reckoning Part One, Cruise is driving a motorcycle off the side of a mountain, ditching the bike in mid-air, and parachuting to safety. Please never stop entertaining us, Mr. Cruise.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is scheduled to be released theatrically on July 12.
In 2018, the world was introduced to a 75-foot-long (23 m) megalodon shark in The Meg. This behemoth of an animal escaped from the deepest part of the ocean floor and wreaked havoc on the people on the surface. The giant shark also took a $530 million-dollar-size bite out of the box. The Meg‘s ending hinted the presence of more megalodons, and that teaser serves as the premise for the sequel, Meg 2: The Trench.
Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham, still the best Fast & Furious villain ever) returns to the bottom of the ocean for the sequel, leading a research team on an exploratory mission 25,000 feet deep in the trench. Jonas’s team finds “the biggest meg anyone has ever seen.” But this Meg is not alone, as multiple megalodons breach the surface, sending the nearby towns into complete chaos. Once again, Jonas and his team must pull off insane maneuvers to rid the world of these creatures. Meg 2: The Trench is the perfect amount of horror and fun to end the summer on a high note.
Meg 2: The Trench is scheduled to release in theaters on August 4.
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