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Film preview: Upcoming spring flicks find adventure at every turn

(Ingrid Leng/Daily Bruin)

By Natalie Agnew, Yuna Choi, Gavin Meichelbock, Reid Sperisen, and Sydney Gaw

April 9, 2024 11:20 a.m.

This post was updated April 9 at 9:16 p.m.

Spectacular films will be springing onto screens this season.

As the flowers begin to bloom, a fresh slate of movies will be budding alongside them. With unexpected romances and riveting action, this spring’s upcoming titles will have audiences jumping for joy.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s picks to liven up the blissful season.

[Related: TV preview: Four spring shows to spice up your quarter]

(Courtesy of A24)
Kirsten Dunst plays war photographer Lee in A24’s “Civil War.” Premiering in theaters April 12, the sci-fi feature was written and directed by Alex Garland. (Courtesy of A24)

“Civil War” (A24)

It’s 2024, and there’s a civil war in Alex Garland’s dystopian thriller.

A24’s “Civil War” marches into wide theatrical release April 12, following its South by Southwest premiere last month. Written and directed by Garland, the film helicopters into the imminent future, imagining a group of war photographers engulfed in the second United States Civil War on a treacherous trip to the capital. The newest harrowing sci-fi inquiry from the mind behind “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation” stars Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny and Nick Offerman.

Setting the stage, a poster for the film delineates the borders between the rival factions: the Western Forces of California and Texas, the Florida Alliance encompassing the surrounding southeast, the New People’s Army in the northwest and the Loyalist States forming the rest. The second trailer opens with the authoritarian president (Offerman) calling for the end of the “illegal secessionist government,” prompting a descent into militaristic chaos backed by a sorrowful whistle of “America The Beautiful.” Shadowing Lee’s (Dunst) camera lens, the viewer is horrifyingly immersed in the dead center as the crew of journalists sprint toward the clash of America’s collapse.

“You don’t know what side they are fighting for?” Enemy lines are drawn, and the battle is on.

– Natalie Agnew

(Courtesy of Prime)
Nicholas Galitzine (left) and Anne Hathaway (right) play the romantic leads in “The Idea of You.” Based on a novel of the same name, the Amazon Prime film depicts the love story between a 40-year-old mother and the lead singer of a boy band. (Courtesy of Prime)

“The Idea of You” (Amazon Studios)

Rom-coms are making a comeback this season.

Directed by Michael Showalter, “The Idea of You” hits Amazon Prime on May 2 and ventures into the uncharted territories of age, fame and societal norms within Hollywood love stories. Starring Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway and rising star Nicholas Galitzine, the film serves as another highlight to Hathaway’s legacy of paving the genre. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Robinne Lee and was adapted for the screen by Showalter and co-writer Jennifer Westfeldt.

The story centers around Solène (Hathaway), a 40-year-old single mother, and Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), a 24-year-old lead singer of a boy band, who engage in a passionate romance. Battling issues ranging from social taboos to crazed fans, trailers hint at the tantalizing tension that results from the secretive nature of their relationship. With its blend of strong chemistry, wit and introspection, “The Idea of You” stands out as a bold addition to the genre.

One thing is for sure – the idea of romance is in the air.

– Yuna Choi

(Courtesy of Universal Pictures)
Ryan Gosling (left) and Emily Blunt (right) play ex-partners Colt Seavers and Jody Moreno in “The Fall Guy.” Directed by David Leitch, the action romance will release in theaters May 3. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“The Fall Guy” (Universal Pictures)

It is Ryan Gosling’s world, and viewers are just living in it.

Releasing May 3, “The Fall Guy” directed by David Leitch is a love letter to old-school Hollywood stunt work. Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) is an ex-stuntman who must spring back into action when the lead of his ex-girlfriend Jody Moreno’s (Emily Blunt) film goes missing. When it is revealed that the missing actor, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), is involved with a dangerous underworld, Seavers must use his “Jason Bourne-esque” stuntman skills to save not only Moreno’s movie, but their relationship as well.

After directing films such as “John Wick,” “Deadpool 2” and “Bullet Train,” Leitch is likely to impress audiences with great action – the film is already breaking records for its stunt work. The chemistry between Gosling and Blunt will likely be electric, as it has already entertained viewers of the 2024 Academy Awards. Although he is playing a smaller role, “Kick-Ass” star Aaron Taylor-Johnson is also sure to deliver a fun performance in the movie.

For big stunts, action and romance, make sure to watch “The Fall Guy” when it falls into theaters this spring.

– Gavin Meichelbock

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)
Anya Taylor-Joy plays the titular role of Furiosa in “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.” The prequel to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” premieres May 24. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Even the survivors at the end of the world have an origin story.

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” the fifth installment in George Miller’s ongoing “Mad Max” franchise, will be released in theaters May 24. The film will serve as a prequel to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which grossed more than $379 million at the global box office and won six Academy Awards, in addition to receiving Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Directing. Set in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland, the “Mad Max” movies deliver political commentary by blending dystopian sci-fi elements with the structure of a nonstop action thriller.

Golden Globe winner Anya Taylor-Joy will assume the titular role of Imperator Furiosa, the protagonist played by Charlize Theron in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Born in a vegetated paradise called the Green Place of Many Mothers, Furiosa was kidnapped by Dr. Dementus, a biker warlord played by Chris Hemsworth. The new film promises to reveal how Furiosa became the fiercest warrior of villain Immortan Joe, whom she later betrayed in “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

The knowledge that Furiosa will survive the perils ahead need not deter viewers from enjoying another electrifying chase across the endless sandy horizon.

– Reid Sperisen

[Related: Film Review: Dev Patel’s ‘Monkey Man’ blends stunning style with core action]

(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)
The emotions Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Fear and Anger (left to right) look at a button in shock. The animated characters will return to the big screen in “Inside Out 2,” premiering in theaters June 14. (Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

“Inside Out 2” (Pixar Animation Studios)

“Inside Out 2” is bringing new emotions to the big screen.

After nearly a decade since “Inside Out” took viewers on a wild adventure through the mind of 11-year-old Riley Andersen, the Academy Award-winning animated film’s sequel will be released June 14. Alongside the iconic emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Liza Lapira), Fear (Tony Hale) and Anger (Lewis Black), newcomers Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) will be taking over Emotion Headquarters as 13-year-old Riley navigates adolescence.

The trailer details an epic journey through the mind and memory with a particular focus on the consequences of suppressing one’s feelings. After being ousted by the new emotions, Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger must find their way back to Headquarters and learn to work in tandem with the newcomers. As Riley learns to cope with all of her emotions, this sequel might just remind viewers of their own memories of teenage angst and awkwardness. “Inside Out 2” promises an emotional and comically relatable joyride through the ups and downs of the teenage experience.

This spring, “Inside Out 2” is sure to take audience members on an emotional roller coaster ride.

– Sydney Gaw

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Natalie Agnew
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