Superheroes, Dinosaurs and Cockney Spies
Well, it’s the end of the year and so we thought we would give our visitors the films of 2015. This year has been a little bit of a strange one (they often are) but there have been some highlights out there at the cinema. I am going to go through some of the more notable films of the year, splitting this into two parts.
2015 began in terms of genre films with Kingsman: The Secret Service, an adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ Image comic of the same name. While it channeled the sense of fun from the comic and Colin Firth was entertaining as Harry Hart, it was let down by the fact it felt like a pastiche of the worst Roger Moore James Bond films in places.
The end of the month saw the UK release of Disney’s Big Hero 6, an animated film about a group of high-tech heroes in a fictional city that is a amalgam of San Francisco and Tokyo. Visually it was pretty impressive but it did feel like a very manipulative attempt to create a US animated feature that would appeal to the Far East market.
February saw Jupiter Ascending, the latest effort from the Wachowski siblings. This sci fi disaster, which was like Star Wars directed by Liberace, had an abysmal script and some truly awful dialogue.
April had the UK release of John Wick, the action film with Keanu Reeves which was stylish and entertaining, the best thing that Reeves has done in a long time. The same month also saw The Salvation, a well-made old-school western starring Mads Mikkelsen with Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the villain. The second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, was also released at the cinema. The first Avengers was enjoyable enough but this was a dull fight-fest which was too long with an over-reliance on CGI and a tedious payoff.
In May we were treated to Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller’s return to the post-apocalyptic character this time with Tom Hardy instead of Mel Gibson was a welcome relief from the artificiality of Age of Ultron. It felt like Miller knew how to make a proper film and while it wasn’t perfect, it was very enjoyable indeed. In the same month, we had San Andreas, with The Rock battling against natural disaster in LA. It was stupid but strangely mesmerising at the same time.
June was dominated by another huge box office draw: Jurassic World. The fourth film in the dinosaur franchise was very silly but thanks to the always likeable Chris Pratt and some nifty special effects, it delivered exactly what you were expect a film with killer dinosaurs on the rampage to deliver. It broke box office records around the world until the release of Star Wars in December.
Come back tomorrow to read our analysis of July to December and our pick of the films of the year and the stinkers…