We are living in the age of animation, CGI and comic-book movies. Our time is the best time for a geek and we are just delighted that there is more to come in the future.
2016 witnessed some of the best movies inspired by comic books in Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes, and also the Marvel properties owned by Fox. We review them in order of their release dates.
Ryan Reynolds ditched Green Lantern’s animated green suit to feature in Fox’s Deadpool in the X-Men continuity.
The film tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
The movie featured comic book characters such as Colossus (CGI) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Gina Carano. The rest of the cast featured Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin and TJ Miller among others.
The film was appreciated for its satirical nature, R-rated content and healthy dose of gore and action. The constant 4th wall breaking of Wade Wilson and the viral marketing campaign were the highlighting points in this movie.
The film was a commercial success, grossing over $783 million worldwide and breaking numerous box-office records, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of 2016, the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time when unadjusted for inflation, and the highest-grossing X-Men film. A sequel for this movie is in plan which will feature Cable among its ranks.
2. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
The second film in the planned DC Extended Universe pitted Batman and Superman against each other. Directed by Zack Snyder, the movie borrowed the concept from Frank Miller’s iconic The Dark Knight Returns storyline.
The film is set 18 months after the events of Man of Steel, and humanity is yet to accept Superman as one of its own. Veteran vigilante Batman falls for Lex Luthor’s evil plan and Superman has to fight The Bat in order to save his mother. Meanwhile, the demonic Kryptonian Doomsday has been unleashed by Luthor and the DC Trinity featuring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman has to fight him in order to save the day.
The movie was criticized for its humourless, drained and depressed representation and Snyder was panned for his storytelling. Although it received a lowly 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie provided a platform for WB and DCEU’s ambitious project Justice League (2017).
The cast included Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, among others. The movie was a box office success with $873.3 million worldwide collection, after it enjoyed the fourth biggest box office opening ever.
3. X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypse, directed by Bryan Singer, is the ninth installment in the X-Men film series and a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past.
In the movie, the ancient mutant En Sabah Nur awakens in 1983 and plans to wipe out modern civilization and take over the world, leading the X-Men to try to stop him and defeat his team of renegade mutants.
En Sabah Nur takes Magneto, Psylocke, Archangel and Storm as his 4 horsemen and tries to destroy the world, to start all over again. The X-Men, consisting of Professor X and led by Mystique, finally are able to defeat him with the help of Jean Grey (Pheonix Force).
The film was the third highest-grossing film in the X-Men series, with a worldwide total of $543.9 million
The project featured an ensemble cast, led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, and Lucas Till.
4. Captain America: Civil War
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, this film was the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the thirteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), while it was the second movie of Phase Three.
The concept was borrowed from Marvel Comic’s 2006 storyline where the Avengers were divided on the Superheroes’ Registration Act. In the movies, the Sokovia Accords were in the middle of the divide when the Avengers argued in favour and against their inclusion in the UN. The death of Howard and Maria Stark in the hands of the Winter Soldier provided the setting for an epic final showdown between Iron Man and Captain America.
The already introduced Avengers were present in the movie, barring Thor and Hulk. The movie also introduced Black Panther and Spider-Man in its roster. The film had an overall positive review, some saying that it was the best film in the mammoth Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film became a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2016 and the 12th highest-grossing film of all time.
The ensemble cast, including Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl, among others.
5. Suicide Squad
After the disappointing Batman v. Superman, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was a much-needed relief. With Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Will Smith’s Deadshot and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc who had just fourteen dialogues, we got a dark movie with subtle humor.
Viola Davis did justice to her role as ARGUS director Amanda Waller, forming the taskforce out-of former fugitives and called them Suicide Squad. We also see Jared Leto taking up the role of the infamous-maniac Joker.
Following a strong debut that set new box office records, the film grossed over $745 million worldwide, making it the ninth-highest-grossing film of 2016. It received generally negative reviews from critics, who found the plot muddled, the directing choppy and the characters thinly-written, though Margot Robbie’s performance was praised.
6. Doctor Strange
Directed by Scott Derrickson, this film was the fourteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), while it was the third movie of Phase Three.
This movie was about the journey of Stephen Strange, a neurologist, who lost the use of his hands in a freak accident. We follow his story of he regains his confidence into the secrets of KamarTaj. Benedict Cumberbatch was brilliant as the sorcerer, and it seems Marvel’s patience to sign him did pay off. Casting was spot on, with Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejofor as Mordo, Benedict Wong as Wong and Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius doing justice to their roles.
The film has grossed over $657 million worldwide and was met with positive reviews from critics, who particularly praised its visual effects, the score, and the cast’s performances. Marvel, led by Kevin Feige, is creating one hell of an universe with some great movies and Netflix series. Exciting time for fans, with a great 2017 coming up. The possibilities are endless.
Which movie did you like the most? Let us know in the comments.