Grab the popcorn for these new releases.
PAW PATROL: MIGHTY PUPS (U)
Canadian animated TV series PAW Patrol, a top dog for pre-schoolers on the Nick Jr channel, bounds excitedly onto the big screen in a super-powered instalment directed by Charles E Bastien.
Parents of little ones frothing with excitement at the prospect of 70 action-packed minutes of canine misadventure should be forewarned that the film is a compendium of three programmes.
Alongside a turbo-charged main feature, there is an episode of Top Wing in which Rod encourages his scaredy-chick little brother Romeo to have self-confidence – ‘When the time comes, I know you'll find your inner rooster!’ – as they cock-a-doodle-do their best to stop their family's runaway truck.
Completing the compilation is an instalment of Butterbean's Cafe, which centres on young fairy Cricket as she practices her skills with a piping bag and comes to the rescue when older sister Butterbean forgets to add coloured frosting to a batch of cupcakes ordered by Professor Cosmos for his stargazing club.
If your litter is only interested in PAW Patrol then you'll be treated to approximately 45 minutes of well-groomed entertainment for your money, which hammers home valuable life lessons about perseverance and resilience in the face of failure.
Mighty Pups opens with 10-year-old Ryder (voiced by Jaxon Mercey) and his doggy crew responding to an emergency at Moo Juice Dairy Farm where farmer Al (Ron Pardo) has foolishly decided to clean the top of a grain silo by tying a giant helium balloon around his waist.
Police dog Chase (Justin Kelly), snow rescue dog Everest (Berkley Silverman), firefighter dog Marshall (Drew Davis), recycling dog Rocky (Samuel Faraci), construction dog Rubble (Devan Cohen), air rescue dog Skye (Kallan Holley) and aquatic rescue dog Zuma (Carter Thorne) combine their skills to return the farmer to terra firma.
Soon after, Harold Humdinger (Chance Hurstfield), inventor nephew of power-hungry Mayor Humdinger (Pardo again) from Foggy Bottom, accidentally diverts a meteor towards Adventure Bay.
The flaming rock impacts close to town and imbues the dogs with special powers including lightning speed, increased strength and the ability to conjure an ice storm with a well-timed bark.
Harold is also blessed with new powers and he abuses this otherworldly gift for personal gain.
The fate of the community hangs in the balance as Ryder and co race to the rescue.
PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups is essentially two episodes of the TV series neatly sandwiched together.
Released May 17.
POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU (PG)
A son unravels the mystery of his father's murder in Pokemon Detective Pikachu, a rollicking fantasy adventure which milks every drop of delicious deadpan humour from Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular rodent-like critter.
A script credited to four writers including director Rob Letterman crackles with energy as a perplexing case of corporate corruption unfolds in breathless action set-pieces including one jaw-dropping race for survival through a collapsing woodland.
‘At this point, how can you NOT believe in climate change?!’ shrieks Pikachu with tongued wedged firmly in furry yellow cheek.
As a convoluted crime caper, Letterman's fast-paced, family-oriented film breathes deeply of an air of preposterousness that would instantly pique the curiosity of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the rest of the Mystery Inc gang.
Some of Reynolds' risque asides will fly comfortably over the heads of the young target audience and land squarely with amused parents and teenagers, for whom Letterman's film should be – whisper it – a guilty pleasure.
JOHN WICK - CHAPTER 3: PARABELLUM (15)
It has been four years since Keanu Reeves revitalised his post-Matrix career with John Wick, a blood-soaked action thriller about a hit man who exacts eye-watering revenge for the senseless slaughter of his beloved beagle.
Chad Stahelski's brutal and balletic film was a giddy delight and the 2017 sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, continued the breathless hand-to-hand combat and running gun battles, culminating in John being excommunicated from the Continental Hotel in New York – a membership-only haven for the criminal underworld – by its owner Winston (Ian Shane).
Stahelski returns to the director's chair for the third instalment of the series, which finds John on the run for his life after the guild of assassins takes out a 14 million US dollar contract on his life.
Hit men and women from around the world including marksman Zero (Mark Dacascos) descend on the city for the pleasure of taking John's life.
He cannot trust anyone, not even his good friend Sofia (Halle Berry) or underground kingpin the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), who presides over a vast network of homeless spies on the city streets.