So here we are, with just a few days left of 2017 as we draw towards awards season and into a new year, it’s been a pretty eventful, interesting year for many reasons as you may know but for film, it’s been a mixed bag I’d say. anyway there have a been a plethora of interesting films from 2017 that have enthralled, engaged, disappointed and annoyed film audiences and I wanted to rank my personal top 5 and bottom, so here they are.
The top 5
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 8.5/10
The latest and one of the greatest films in the Star Wars saga is just that, great, Rian Johnsons entry is divisive among audiences but nevertheless I found it to be impactful, surprising and importantly – engaging, following on in the vein of The Force Awakens tonally in some ways. But it feels entirely new and fresh in others, breaking down the mysticism around the Jedi, giving us a drastic new take on Luke and the force itself, there’s a major plot arc that could probably have been done without but that aside, the final product is a solid, engaging and thought provoking entry that Star Wars needed.
Baby Driver – 8/10
Edgar Wrights latest and largest cinematic outing is one of the most stylish and stand out films of 2017 by far, with a great soundtrack that matches the action in the film, namely the main character Babys’ getaway drives, Wrights signature humour and witty writing shines through, making for a genuinely funny and levity filled romp, though the drama and high tension is definitely there as well, turned up to 11 at point which makes for pretty thrilling viewing. Everything above said coupled with brilliant cinematography and choreography in the stunt driving which was all practical – which still blows my mind, makes the film a bit special in my books.
Wonder Woman – 7.5/10
The film that had the hopes of the DCEU riding on it turned out to be a hit, with a tight plot, a nice infusion of action, drama and levity (important for a DC film!) and some great performances, Wonder Woman was a nice surprise – a surprise for anyone expecting it to be trash that is but overall it’s a solid and enjoyable outing with re-watch ability, Gal Gadot is the perfect embodiment of the Amazonian princess and she’s fantastic in the role. And she plays off well with Chris Pine (Steve Trevor in the story), the film goes to show that DC can do gripping action and drama with levity, keeping things easy to follow but without dumbing thing down.
Logan – 7.5/10
Hugh Jackmans last outing as Wolverine was an understandably emotional one, with a lot of baggage and memories and wow… it was pretty heavy wasn’t it? Anyway James Mangold did a great job in sending off the character with no holds barred, Logan bloodied, broken and beaten in a post apocalyptic future sans the X-Men, the themes are dark and things look bleak but there’s a nice undertone of hope and optimism in the story that saves it from being completely bleak. And while the film may not get any oscar nods for its performances, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart give some pretty stellar performances, the pair of them bringing sides to characters we’ve never seen before.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle – 7/10
The sequel to the first Kingsman film is sort of a riot and a bit of a sleeper hit in my opinion, even more frenetic and balls to the walls crazy this time around, we get to return to the world of the Kingsman and the threats they face down and stop, with fun, kooky technology and brilliantly done action set pieces. The Statesmen bring a fun new dynamic to the story with their own set of unique characters and the plot tackles some fairly serious, poignant themes like mental illness and drug use, in its own irreverent way of course, it’s over the top but knowingly so and important; it’s entertaining.
And the 5 worst
Darren Arronofskys latest roller coaster drama is an obtuse one, easily one of the most divisive films of the year and in recent memory, the concept is one to be lauded in its ambition but in execution, oh boy… it’s rough, I totally get why some people hate it and I’m not too fond of it either, with some terrible writing and a story that simply tries way too hard. You sort of see where things are going after a while but it takes some time to get going and when it’s in full swing, it may prove a bit too much for some and I understand that, I get what Arronofsky was going for but the film wasn’t insightful or engaging in any real meaningful way, with an ending that adds to the fleeting nature of the story in my opinion.
After all is said and done, it has the impact and weight of a snapchat story.
The Mummy – 5/10
No real surprise with this choice, I saw The Mummy recently, wondering if the criticism against it was really that warranted and well yeah, it was, a barley coherent plot, bad pacing and one too many silly plot point make the film a really odd watch, bringing nothing interesting to the Mummy mythos but instead bringing a tonally jumbled mess with a lack of tension, just watching it you can tell the film was mainly a set up for the coming Dark Universe but at the cost of a decent new Mummy film, which is a shame.
Flatliners – 5/10
Sort of sequel to the 80s film in the same vein, sees a bunch of thrill seeking college students flat line themselves in initial aim of seeing what’s there in the afterlife and yes it is as ridiculous as it sounds, clichés follow, you won’t really care about the plot and characters aaand scene. Yep it’s that generic.
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword – 5.5/10
There’s a bit of a trend with the worst films of this year (and of any year really), bad storytelling, incoherent plots, weird looking action that lacks any real, notable tension, Guy Ritchies take on the legend of King Arthur is just really weird, mixing the vibe of a group of modern day lad best friends who happen to live in the middle ages, parts are entertaining but most of it doesn’t make sense, feels rushed and yeah, what an odd, odd film.
Alien: Covenant – 6/10
Maybe a bit of a controversial choice for one of the worst films of the year but not controversial in my view, Covenant was a real let down, promising to be an intriguing follow up to Prometheus, it touches on literally 2 or 3 plot points from the previous film, devolving into another generic Xenomorphs killing people fest, with added philosophy, maybe I felt a bit disappointed because I enjoyed Prometheus so much but judging this film on its own, it wasn’t up to scratch. Bringing nothing interesting to the franchise and even re-hashing moments from both Alien and Aliens, if Prometheus upset fans of the franchise for having nothing to do with Alien despite it ambitious ideas, Covenant represents the franchise wholly running out of ideas.