For a start I anticipated that ‘Age of Ultron’ would be the undisputed box office king by the end of the summer, flattening all opposition. But then Chris Pratt and his Indominus Rex came along and proved everyone wrong. Looking back I don’t think anyone saw ‘Jurassic World’ coming, we suspected it would be successful, probably amongst the top three highest grossing films of the summer, but I never anticipated that it would not only top the list of the summer, not only break the all-time record for highest opening weekend, not only over take Marvel’s original (and still most successful) juggernaut ‘Avengers Assemble’, but keep going to reach a staggering third position on the all-time highest grossing movie table, only stopped by the two films to cross the threshold of $2 Billion ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’. It is remarkable as ‘Jurassic World’ is most definitely not the best of that franchise, far from a flawless film and certainly not the best film of the summer. It’s fun but we have had a few truly remarkable movies over the past few months.
What is the most remarkable? Well I’ll get to that later, for now what is the worst film of the summer? ‘Big Game’ was probably the worst excuse for an action film and certainly had no appeal to anyone as it was too dark for teenagers but at the same time too stupid for adults. Then you have ‘Fant4stic’ that, if anything, only made me appreciate the Marvel Studios films more and made me wish that Fox would just pull a Sony and give them the rights back, maybe in exchange for greenlighting an X-Men TV series because that’s a compromise where everyone wins. But anyway you also have the dismal ‘Terminator 5’ that does its best to undo all of the good work done by James Cameron in ‘The Terminator’ and if there is a sequel I’m sure that will do the same to ‘Judgement Day’ luckily from that point on the franchise doesn’t have anything left to ruin so maybe they’ll just give up. That about covers it, because ‘Accidental Love’ was not a film, it was a new form of torture.
As far as disappointing films go then you could point to ‘Southpaw’ but Gyllenhaal’s performance was definitely worth the price of admission, my criticisms came from its fairly generic story. Honestly maybe this is my own fault but with ‘Tomorrowland’ I was expecting a family masterpiece, I mean Brad Bird turned down ‘Star Wars’ for this, but instead we got a rather convoluted and heavy handed story that ultimately bombed. Some have pointed out that ‘Tomorrowland’s’ commercial failure proves that there’s no room for original ideas any more, but then again if the film was good enough to set the word on fire one would think its profits would show it, so that leads you to point out that maybe it isn’t.
Marvel came out with some very strong contenders, but not quite as strong as 2014. ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Age of Ultron’ were both deeply impressive, but one needs to remember that this time last year we were still raving about the amazing direction of the Russo Brothers for ‘The Winter Soldier’, or how awesome Groot was, not instantly looking toward the next instalment.
But as I said, two films stand alone as being the best of the summer. Actually in this contest there is one runner up in the form of ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ turning this into arguably the best modern action franchise in the world (the only other real contestant is ‘Fast and Furious’). But the two best films of the summer are two completely different forms of entertainment, at different ends of the scale. One is animated, one is all real, one is heart-warming and family friendly, the other is sadistic and features multiple people being hit by cars at full speed. The two best films of the summer (and the year so far with only ‘Ex-Machina’ to challenge them for that position) are ‘Inside Out and ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. 'Inside Out' was the epitome of how films can create an emotional response, and 'Fury Road' was just amazing in very way. Of course this is just my opinion so what are your favourite movies of the summer season? Leave a comment below and while you’re at it let me know what you’re most looking forward to for the rest of the year (as if I don’t know the answer).