Mission: Impossible is the only movie series that's got the measure of franchise fatigue. Some elements remain omnipresent - the star, the stunts, the self-destruction - but with each new M:I instalment helmed by a new director bringing a fresh flavour, it has Bond beat in terms of shelf-life. Rogue Nation, however, is the first entry in the franchise to play it relatively safe, offering a slick and entertaining adventure but one that doesn't feel different enough from Ghost Protocol - perhaps inevitably, given its predecessor's lofty ambitions, Rogue Nation couldn't ever hope to hit the same heights.
For how much longer can superhero films rule the box office? Everyone's waiting for comic-book movies to implode, and while it probably won't happen with one disastrous misfire that has a big Comic Sans 'Ker-dunk!' hanging overhead, this second Avengers assembly would seem like the logical start of a more gradual decline. After all, genre fatigue is already setting in, and The Avengers' USP - superhero all-stars teaming up for one mega-big movie - is no longer a fresh, never-before-seen idea. Just in terms of living up to the sheer excitement levels of its predecessors, Avengers: Age Of Ultron would already seem like a failure.
American Hustle does not fuck about setting out its stall. Its first glorious image is of a pudgy Christian Bale in a bathroom mirror, his face sheltering beneath a jacked-up haystack of atrocious seventies hair, methodically and painstakingly attempting to sculpt his ludicrous combover into a presentable form. It's immediately hilarious and tragic, and tells us that what we're about to watch is concerned with appearances, deceit, aspiration, unfathomable fashion choices and hair. Lots of hair.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters bears all the hallmarks of a film that knows entirely how silly it is. For starters, it's called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It's produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, the freewheeling comedic spitballers behind Anchorman. Peter Stormare is in it. Crucially, it has a concept so inherently ludicrous – Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are all grown up and hunt witches with hardware that'd shame Seal Team Six – you'd think it impossible for such a film to lack self-awareness. Why, then, does Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters fumble almost every chance it has to be funny?
Despite its lineage, The Bourne Legacy has received a frosty reception from critics thus far and has had an almost completely anonymous marketing presence – rather than dynamically burst into cinemas next week, rolling up its poster and ramming it down audiences' throats, it shuffles in apologetically to be met with highly suspicious glares. This is entirely unnecessary, because while Legacy couldn't ever hope to match the Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon movies for sheer punch and propulsion, it's as close to replicating them as you could expect, and marks another excellent entry into the Bourneography.