The show has become one of my favorites. I admit this isn’t a movie that’s worthy of high praise nor is it for everyone. Most of the enjoyment came from the physics-defying tank battles. And if they at least deliver on that, I can’t complain as that’s what a lot of people like about the franchise. Unlike the show, this movie doesn’t have a lot of character moments (not that the show had many either) and the plot is exactly the same thing as the show. They have to do what they already did again because… what else can they do for a 2-hour movie? The first half hour is an exhibition tank battle with nothing at stake. The next half hour is everyone moping around because their efforts in the show were invalidated. The last hour is the tank battle where they revalidate their efforts. The most exciting parts are the tank battles where you have to accept certain things that don’t make sense, physics is ignored, and there’s bad logic to make things work, but it’s still logic I can get behind. I give this a pass on such things because they are done on purpose to enhance the tank battles and make them more entertaining whereas in other media, lack of logic is just bad writing. About three scenes in the hour-long tank battle I can watch all day because they’re so awesome.
To close, I’m disappointed that the relationship between Miho and her mother hasn’t changed though I do like how much her relationship with her sister has changed. Some of the new characters are memorable as many of the others are despite the lack of screentime/development. This is a fun movie if you can at least get into the tank battles. This isn’t a hard recommend, but I would really like more people to try the series out.
4. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders –
We went from The Killing Joke to this? I was surprised at how good and fun this was. I’ve only seen a few episodes of the Adam West show, but I can tell this movie embraces the silliness of its source material and runs with it. Some of these lines and things that happen are sooooo lame… Yet I can’t help but like them here because the movie’s self-aware in the best way. Adam West and Burt Ward are in top form here as they reprise their roles. There were a few of Julie Newmar’s lines that could’ve used better delivery, but she did fine considering she’s not a voice actor. While those three are the only ones to come back as much of the ’66 cast has passed away, the remaining villain voices were replicated fantastically as they sound very much like the originals.
If you’re a fan of the ’66 Batman show, I highly recommend this as it captures the spirit quite well. You can tell those working on this were fans themselves and knew what they were doing. For the general Batman fan, there’s enough here to check out at least once especially with the amount of references to other Batman media. It’s very smartly put together and I can clearly see the effort. I was surprised they planned ahead to do two of these without seeing how the first one did, but they’ll have my monies. Easily the best Batman-related movie in 2016.
3. Zootopia –
This may not be one I’ll be watching over and over, but I really appreciate it. I liked the characters and how they interacted. It’s funny, creative, well-written, and a departure from the generic “journey” movie I’m so used to these days when it comes to animated movies. Seriously, Storks, Finding Dory, Inside Out, The Secret Life of Pets… Getting pretty tired of this formula. They went to places here, but at least I got a buddy cop mystery with great characters to follow. The message may be as old as time, but it was expressed well and they didn’t shove it in my face. I’d say more, but unlike most of the movies on this list, I actually wrote a review on this one and I feel like that covers the film well enough where I can save space here for others. Definitely check this one out.
2. Captain America: Civil War –
Batman v Superman made my worst movies of 2016 list. Civil War took the same premise of two heroes fighting each other and absolutely destroyed Batman v Superman. It didn’t even stand a chance. Really the only major problem is the villain’s plan. Otherwise, lots of fun character interactions, humor, and action. It was a clash of ideals instead of just a clash. It really showed that a bunch of things can be shoved into one movie and still be done well. Not that more should attempt this, but it’s quite an accomplishment when others have failed miserably. There are so many characters but despite a large cast, the focus was never not on the main characters. They got their priorities straight. It worked. The film just worked. Go see it if you haven’t.
1. Deadpool –
I admit Civil War’s the better movie, but I’ll give Mr. Pool the number one spot just because. The fact that this movie came to be is a miracle. It’s nice to see passion and (maximum) effort rewarded. It even got the X-Men “right” between big, Russian Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead wearing the yellow suit. I think what I respect the most is that these guys set out to make a Deadpool movie and we got a Deadpool movie. It didn’t look like there were any notes or corporate meddling. Deadpool looks like Deadpool and acts like Deadpool. It’s not that hard… The action was insanely fun, exciting, and well choreographed. The humor was smart, clever, and on point with the Deadpool character. The R-rated stuff beyond the swearing and Deadpool’s regenerations I didn’t care for. I don’t think anybody walked out of this thinking the “inappropriate” scenes were the best ones. The only thing I can knock the movie for is the villain, but he might’ve been poorly done on purpose because Deadpool himself was done so well. I suppose if there’s one comic book movie I can forgive for a poor villain, it’s this one.
That does it for 2016. Feel free to tell me what some of your favorite movies are or what I may have missed. I think the first movie I’ll see in 2017 is The Lego Batman Movie which wouldn’t be a bad start as it’s the movie I have the most faith in. Take care!