2016 has certainly been hit-and-miss at the theaters, but we still had a full slate of comic-book films. We got a clash of epic heroes, a story of heroes divided, and an R-Rated comic-book film, so it’s been a busy year for the genre. Now, without any further delay let’s get into my ‘Top-5 Superhero Flicks of the Year’.
5. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)
To say this film received mixed reviews would be an understatement. The ‘Ultimate Edition’ changed some minds but while many may have thought it was okay, I haven’t heard anyone say they thought it was great. I thought it had its moments, the story was extremely drawn out and on the fatiguing side but I can appreciate the story being different at least from the common script many of these comic-book movies get.
Ben Affleck as Batman was the one common thread people liked about this movie. His performance was awesome, as were his violent action sequences. But the film missed with Henry Cavill’s impression on this story, Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor, and the overall look of Doomsday.
This film just felt surprisingly rushed, its set-up of the ‘Justice League’ as well as the inclusion of Wonder Woman felt tacked on, and the ultimate meeting of the two most famous characters in the comic-book work was in the end, anti-climactic.
4. Suicide Squad
I think I differ with many on this when I say I enjoyed the “Suicide Squad”. Yes, the third-act was not the best and Enchantress later in the film was a horrible use of CGI. But despite the fragmented story there was still enough for me to enjoy watching this one.
The odd cast of characters were a fun blend in my opinion, and the performances were not bad at all. Margot Robbie brought an entertaining life to the character of Harley Quinn. Will Smith was solid as he basically portrays Will Smith more than he does Deadshot. I guess blended with a somber version of his “Bad Boys” Mike Lowrey character and Jai Courtney was also great as the rough-neck Captain Boomerang.
Viola Davis to me was the star of the film and she created an excellent villain for the story-line. Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker was enjoyable to me as well. Some didn’t like it; it certainly wasn’t my favorite interpretation of the character but he went for it and I can respect his vision for the role.
The film overall definitely had some flaws but the banter between the characters and the performances were enough to keep me interested. I haven’t seen the ‘Extended Cut’ of the film but I haven’t been hearing good things. I’m still interested in checking it out regardless so I can see for myself what these deleted scenes offer the overall film.
3. Doctor Strange
I didn’t love this movie as much as I wanted, but I do think it was a solid introduction to the character. Benedict Cumberbatch shined as Doctor Strange and carried the film on his shoulders. The introduction to the new world of this character was fun, but in the end was hindered by a cut-and-paste story.
The performances from top-to-bottom were excellent and the dialogue was extremely well written. It turned out to be a great origins story locked inside a simple plot in my opinion, but it was still very entertaining.
The special-effects were cutting edge and this film visually was absolutely immersive, and even better in 3D. The layers of the multiple universes were beautifully created and watching Cumberbatch open his eyes to this parallel was compelling. The depth of the 3D was fantastic and all of the settings and locations were captured with vibrant and stunning detail.
The villain Kaecilius played by Mads Mikkelsen was not what I was hoping for. His presence in this story was not nearly as impactful as it should have been, and while his magical prowess was fun to watch, it did little to build any suitable intensity. But the film overall was a fun time and I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of Benedict Cumberbatch in the MCU.
Back in February we finally learned what happened to Van Wilder after his several years spent living it up at Coolidge college. He became a mercenary, went through a radical experiment to try and cure his cancer, the experiment went wrong, and he became everyone favorite new hero, Deadpool.
This film was not the first R-rated comic-book film, but it was the first R-rated comic-book raunch-com and Ryan Reynolds relished in the role, and delivered a knock-out performance. The dialogue in this film was over-the-top, ridiculously crude, relentless, and absolutely amazing.
This movie delivers so many laughs; from memorable one-liners, hilarious jokes, and many other wild scenarios. This movie breaks the fourth-wall throughout and uses it to its advantage to engage the viewer in the story-line effectively. The story and plot were extremely simple, but when a film takes a simple plot and tells its story in a unique, ambitious, and daring way, the result can be fantastic, like this film was.
1. Captain America: Civil War
This was easily the best superhero flick of the year for me. Through the exceptional run of films Marvel has delivered their common weakness had been the villains, and to fix that we get the dividing of heroes, and the joy of watching them fight one another. It was structured into a solid story, one that wove an intriguing saga developing a strong conflict in the group, and it was great.
The additions of a new Spider-Man, and the Black Panther only added more to this layered story. Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman look to have been excellently cast and their performances to me were both shining moments in the film. These two, along with Doctor Strange show that Marvel is still able to add new characters to the group as some of the familiar faces look to fade off into the sunset at some point, while still maintaining box-office retention.
“Captain America: Civil War” was head-and-shoulders the best comic-book film of the year. It was the most ambitious both visually and in the development of the story-line. This film didn’t just slap all these guys in an airport and que the CGI and all that. It developed some reasoning behind it, and resulted in an intriguing film that was loaded with great action, great performances and the best super hero battle seen on film.