14 May 2012 5:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

If Brave doesn't hit the target, a reborn Bourne just might. Here we look at this year's big-budget crowd-pleasers

Absorbed at a glance, the list of coming summer blockbusters always seems exciting. That's the point: these are not the year's subtlest or most profound films but they're the loudest, brashest, costliest pulse-quickeners on the annual programme. Trouble is, despite a level of anticipation carefully nurtured by the big studios during winter and spring (posters, billboards, teasers, trailers, tie-ins, tweets, featurettes, adverts, apps – everything but Will Smith himself coming round to scream taglines through the letterbox) the end result is so rarely a good summer's cinema.

There have been magical years. Oh, to go back to '96, with its headlining Independence Day and Mission: Impossible, backed by serviceable romps Twister and The Rock. Or to resummon 1982, when filmgoers must have wandered, happy and bewildered and increasingly hungry, in a never-ending circuit of screens showing E.T., »

- Tom Lamont

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