Like last year’s article, the selection is limited to the movies I’ve actually seen. However, given that there weren’t that many superhero movies this time around, I’ll be waiving my usual “sans superheroes” rule, not that it entirely matters because the superhero well was dry, and the quality of the major contenders doesn’t really net any of them a spot on this year’s list.
While its heavy-handed commentary on immigration and healthcare may have been a bit overboard, it at least was honest about itself and didn’t hold anything back. The film’s overall mise-en-scene made it clear what kind of story the film was trying to tell. While the acting wasn’t all that memorable, the other elements were in the right place to make the film bearable. It’s a decent piece of social science fiction with a modicum of mainstream appeal that doesn’t try to cater to the lowest common denominator.
#2. “Pacific Rim”
Like it said in the headline of my review of the film, this is American anime done right. While other filmmakers would’ve tried to turn it into some sort of hard-boiled war film comprised mostly of angst, this movie wholeheartedly embraced its concept and went full steam ahead in terms of passion and enthusiasm. It doesn’t try to make the story any more grim than it needs to be, nor does it go about its story ironically like a hipster driving a Prius who buys macaroni and cheese with a jar of pennies.
It’s unapologetic fun in every sense of the word, even if the story was lacking in a few places, which is why I place it at number two.
#1. “2 Guns”
Speaking of unapologetic fun, that pretty much summarizes the entire runtime of “2 Guns.” This is an example of a film where the casting of the two main leads had to be spot on, or it wouldn’t have worked. Thankfully, we got Denzel Washington, who’s been smart with how he’s chooses the films he stars in and maintains the brand he’s created; and Mark Wahlberg, who’s successfully re-branded himself as an action-comedy actor.
Without the chemistry these two actors had, as well as the presence they each carry on screen, the film wouldn’t have been as enjoyable. Out of all the movies I’ve seen this summer, this is the one I had the most fun watching, and that’s really what counts when it comes to the summer movie season, which is why I place this film at number one.
Honorable Mentions: “White House Down”, “The Conjuring” and “The Wolverine”