2016 has been an interesting summer with cinema. Here we will analyze some of the movies I didn’t get a chance to do a full on review. We will also get at what made some of these films flourish and what comprised failure in the others. It’s the summer movie review of 2016 and we’re starting with May.
Note: The movies covered in the May 2016 article were released in May 2016 in the United States. Some release dates may vary for these films depending on the territory.
Captain America: Civil War: After a lackluster Avengers outing last year, many of Marvel’s main faces returned to face off against one another in this light adaptation of the comic arc of the same name. But is it any good? The short answer is yes, the extended response is it’s a suitable summer film but nothing groundbreaking. Some of the action scenes are absolute spectacles, and though the movie is a little long the pacing makes it bearable and interesting.
It’s a mirror to Batman V Superman but there’s a problem that lies within Civil War and it’s that the movie doesn’t have a heart and that Marvel continues to follow their formula for making superhero movies. It’s by no means a bad movie, in fact it’s great, I’m just starting to grow tired of these movies and I want to see some diversity and the actual tension or something game changing like Winter Soldier. With all that in mind, it’s still one of the better comic book films in recent memory. This is due not only to Marvel’s dedication to their characters but to mediocre competition as well.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising: I really enjoyed the first Neighbors. It had heart, humor, and gave us a fun story about growing. Neighbors 2 continues to pick a moral and nail it but this time around Sorority Rising seems more like an echo of its predecessor than its own movie. Something surprising is that Zack Efron has comedic prowess that makes him really shine in his moments in the movie.
Seth Rogen is likable and goof, he continues to play the same character in most of his movies and I have yet to grow tired of it. This installment of Neighbors often tried too hard to be funny. The comedy in Neighbors was realistic and not too far-fetched. The comedy in Neighbors 2 I could never see actually happening, it’s just too extreme. That said this movie is mostly harmless a few jokes a side. It’s the perfect movie to rent on a day where you’re yearning to have a laugh.
The Nice Guys: Every once in a while something takes you by surprise and reinvigorates your passion into the topic or interest. The Nice Guys did this for me. Thanks to the great script and excellent performance from the three leads (Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, and Angourie Rice). This movie thrives on each character playing off the strengths and weaknesses of the other. The Nice Guys is a buddy cop movie that might be grazed over, but this movie is a riot. It’s full of memorable quotes, a great plot, and enjoyable characters. The balance between serious tone and lighthearted make it even more compelling. It’s one of the best movies of 2016 and I can’t recommend it enough.
X-Men: Apocalypse: If it weren’t for Suicide Squad this movie would be at the bottom of the barrel for 2016 comic movies. This endeavor in the X-men world strips the viewer of the two highlights of the last few X-men movies; Charles and Erik. Their relationship and dynamic were at the heart and forefront of their franchise. It explores ideas like obsession and addiction that made this trilogy exciting and gave it meaning. They briefly share a 50 second scene in a 2 and 1/2 hour movie.
Oscar Isaac plays the lead villain and with such an excellent cast you’d think that this movie should have some redemption in the characters but his villain is mostly one-dimensional. The younger cast shine in this X-men and yet again the Quicksilver scene is one of the high points. Overall this movie is a disappointment because of its dreadful writing. It lacks what made First Class and Days of Future Past so great.
Alice: Through the Looking Glass: This movie is so forgettable that I needed to Google its title. Thankfully I just needed to remember it’s the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland Sequel. The first adventure in this series felt fun, unique, and distinct. This foray not only feels like a filler episode but just doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. Sacha Baron Cohen plays a notable new role to the series and even he can’t fix this mess. The character motivations make no sense, and everything feels so weightless. I have no idea how it snowballed to a closing other than through sloppy writer’s syndrome. Through the Looking Glass proves that the Hollywood formula doesn’t work anymore. This movie lost my attention most of its runtime and I’m sure it would for most other viewers as well.
Angry Birds: The Movie: Coming somewhat out of nowhere when the Angry Birds franchise was well past its prime, Rovio and Columbia Pictures came together to release an animated feature film featuring ‘Red’, a bird on a tropical island who just couldn’t fit in with society.
The movie had some fantastic jokes for both kids and adults to enjoy, however like with most other movie releases, especially in the comedy genre, it felt like you had seen all of its best bits in the trailers ahead of release. With a great lineup of voice actors from Jason Sudeikis, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn and many more, it won’t leave you filled with regret, and you may just find yourself enjoying it. I never played the games, but I certainly enjoyed the flick!