2016 promised to be the year of geek movies as Marvel, DC and Fox released superhero adaptations galore and Disney/Lucasfilm launched the first Star Wars standalone film. Geek blockbusters were once again thrown into the mix as young adult franchises were initiated. Let’s try to make sense of it all, alright?
BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
We are very much in the minority here but for us, this was the best of the geek movies that the year dumped on us. Director Zack Snyder helmed the Watchmen adaptation and since then both his DC universe works (including Man of Steel) have attempted a realistic interpretation, eschewing the light-hearted route adopted by DC’s perennial rivals, Marvel. This was the perfect setup for the two potential winners to come in 2017 viz. Wonder Woman and Justice League. We cannot wait!
Overall, an enjoyable movie with all the typical Marvel tropes intact. Sure, there were glaring flaws in it viz. Tilda Swinton’s casting, Benedict Cumberbatch’s accent, but at least the ending made some sense. The cast were excellent throughout and the special effects were, erm, magical and certainly, the character opened up a whole new dimension in which Marvel could play with. The movie’s strong box office demonstrates that superhero fatigue is not quite a thing yet. Not for Marvel superheroes, in any case.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
Well put together as a standalone movie but it’s not quite that is it? Especially at the end, when it tries so hard to connect with the first Star Wars movie and it all falls apart. It would have been appropriate if the movie ended with the Rebel spies managing to transmit the plans before sacrificing their lives, without that final sequence with Darth Vader and Princess Leia but well, you know, fan service is paramount! That said, expect Disney/Lucasfilm to now expand the Star Wars anthology series significantly in the light of the box office success. A movie focused on the Jedi Knights would be welcomed.
THE REST OF THE MESS
Marvel’s other entry Captain America: Civil War was disappointing and served more as an introduction to the new Spider-Man (the THIRD incarnation in 14 years!), DC’s Suicide Squad was a flawed concept and badly executed at that, AND Fox had a mixed year with the over-achieving Deadpool and the disastrous X-Men: Apocalypse.
Star Trek Beyond was an average space opera flick but looked like a masterpiece compared to Independence Day: Resurgence! Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them were cynical attempts to corner the Harry Potter fanbase, with the latter succeeding only because of JK Rowling’s involvement, of course.
Not a great year for geek movies as you can see. We did not get a chance to watch Arrival this year so that will have to wait for 2017. Speaking of which, next year does promise much more with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II, Wonder Woman, Justice League, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Dark Tower and of course, Star Wars Episode VIII to come.
… still there’s more …