Two thousand and seventeen was quite a lackluster year for movies for me at least. I missed most of the ones said to be great ones, and ended up watching quite a disappointing collection of movies, thus the list doesn’t really look amazing at the end of the year.
Ridley Scott made it to my list twice, as it seems to be the trend every year, but this year it seems the only action films populating the top choices. The reason isn’t really because there wasn’t any, I just didn’t see them. I’ve been traveling the big part of the year in festivals and since August, I’ve been in China quite busy working on Iron Sky: The Ark, so I just didn’t have an access to the theatres that much.
But enough talking, here’s my top-10 movies of 2017!
To be honest, the story of the film is a bit of a blur to me, but I can’t help but love Ridley Scott’s pull when he’s doing a film. Alien: Covenant is doing the wrong thing in theory, explaining in detail the origins of the Monster – the more mysterious it remains, the more interesting it is – but he does it through pulling in mythologies and bringing it all together in a big, epic scale that just works for me.
The Fate of the Furious
The biggest, dumbest action film of the year is definitely The Fate of the Furious, which floats freely away from the origins of the series, going closer to the action franchises like Mission: Impossible, but does it bravely enough that you never have time to stop to think too much about what’s really going on. It’s The Rock derailing missiles with his bare hands, Vin Diesel yapping about family values and a lot of car crashes. It makes no sense, but it’s a fun ride. There’s value in that, too.
While a spectacular visually, Dunkirk really lacks interesting characters that would pop out amidst all the war stuff going on around them. Somehow Christopher Nolan has always had this problem for me: although the writing is good, the characters remain always distant and cold in his films, and especially in a war movie, you need the humanity to balance the rest.
War of the Planet of the Apes
A promising start of the movie in its’ post-apocalyptic coldness starts to fade out as the film progresses and shows that it lacks an interesting script. The world is nicely fleshed out, and probably for the first time ever I can say that the visual effects have reached a state where I’m really fooled by them, but in the end the film is just two major set pieces – the beginning and the end, but the journey in between isn’t really an interesting one.
Baby Driver is a film that sucks you right in and keeps a tight grip, until halfway through, when the movie just runs out of ideas, or the production out of budget or something. Then we keep on repeating the same locations and characters, and stumble into the fact that the backstory of the main character is not as interesting as the beginning would have promised.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
…Or Salazar Revenge, or whatever it is they wanted to localize the movie with, it’s an atttempt to kickstart a fading franchise, and does it perfectly acceptably. Whatever the story is about I have no clue, I mean yeah there’s a bad guy and Guybrush Threepwood or whatever Bloom’s character is called, and Johnny Depp on autopilot, but it’s not really the point. You get the big ships crashing into big ships and sinking, you get some mystery stuff going on and big visual effect set pieces and then it’s the end.
Blade Runner 2049
Somehow, the first thing that came to my mind watching Blade Runner 2049 was that I was watching a lengthy episode of Netflix TV series based on Blade Runner. So strongly stylized, but suffering from some kind of a TV-series -style scale issue: massive matte painting exteriors, but when you cut inside, you’re in a relatively small sets, so the world feels very artificial. Nothing, actually, feels very alive in the movie, it’s like reading a concept art book – beautiful pictures but the story is nowhere to be found.
Superhero movies rarely make my list, but Logan was a rare one which didn’t make me want to leave the theatre during the first ten minutes. Well, technically I was watching the film in an airplane, so that would’ve been a tragic mistake anyways. Logan’s promise was that it’s a superhero movie for the grownups. Well, I’m not sure if that’s the case, I mean it still has all the problems a regular superhero film has
Despicable Me 3
Despicable series has never really moved me, but I must admit they get to be clever sometimes in writing. It’s always good to present a hero to the kids that isn’t the most standard white handsome young under 30’s idol and the little yellow shits (whatever they are called) can be occasionally entertaining. Extra points for some great tracks in the film.
The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Movie was a promising start for the new franchise, and Batman was definitely the funniest character in it, so when the trailers started to pop up, I was really looking forward for something really great. The film itself, though, is a one-trick pony which stops being inventive in the first act and then keeps kicking the dead horse through the last two acts. Still, something new and fun to go watch with your kids.