Underrated/Overrated: Welcoming an escape from summer movie escapism, and someone please help Tom Cruise

UNDERRATED

Summer’s lack of escape: So how are all those “worst year ever” tweets from 2016 aging? With a new national crisis approaching almost every day, popcorn movie season couldn’t arrive fast enough — but in keeping with the rest of this year, there’s no real way to keep the issues of 2017 away for long. Given current affairs, we maybe need grim reminders of the horrors of world war (Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” [July 21]), institutional bigotry (Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit” [Aug. 4]) and the all-consuming rise of technology and social media (“The Circle” [April 28]). They may not be easy to watch, but these movies may be what we’ve earned.

Edgar Wright: There are two things working against this inventive and unconventional auteur, who owes us nothing after providing the wonderful “Cornetto Trilogy” of “Sean of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End.” One, his latest, “Baby Driver” (June 28), sounds unfortunately close to an imaginary sequel to “Boss Baby” and two, the movie evidently does not involve Simon Pegg, Britain or bonkers comic romance à la “Scott Pilgrim.” That said, the trailer still looks like a fizzy blast of summer thrills about a young getaway driver working with Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx, so let’s just be grateful anyway.

OVERRATED

The ’90s reboot cycle: After weathering a reconvened “Power Rangers” this spring, this summer brings the slow-motion antics of “Baywatch” (May 26), which taken with the questionable (and still oddly Dwayne Johnson-centered) quasi-sequel to “Jumanji” due later this year points to a surging revival of ’90s favorites at the box office. While the mind reels at the possibilities already in the works for the summers ahead — “The Craft, “Flatliners” and Stephen King’s “It” are on their way — we probably should fly the flannel and just accept remake fever eventually producing another “Forrest Gump” versus “Pulp Fiction” best picture race.

Tom Cruise, last action hero: Will somebody remind Tom Cruise it’s 2017 and he doesn’t have to fling himself around various action-packed CG settings any longer? By now we’ve come to expect that a studio will have to remove Ethan Hunt and his never-ending impossible missions from Cruise’s cold, dead hands, but there’s really no reason for him to run around filling what amounts to Brendan Fraser’s shoes for a “Mummy” reboot no one asked for (June 9). Could someone please pass along Cruise’s number to Paul Thomas Anderson so he might create another outsized character role that may help him ease into his thespian golden years? Please?

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chris.barton@latimes.com

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