Ranking every Comic Book Film of 2016
I was surprised at how high this film was on my list, especially considering how disappointed I was with the webseries and how little hope I had for this entire concept. But while the webseries focused too much on the “girl” and not enough on the “super”, this film had a much better balance. This has a great mix of comedy, action, and a little bit of a lesson without throwing it down your throat. And it’s a cast that’s almost entirely girls, despite having to toss in several villains-as-heroes to fill out their roster. It’s more fun than you would expect.
Whitewashing aside, this was one of the most visually brilliant films I’ve ever seen. Once you get past the visuals, it does follow a lot of the typical Marvel studios tropes: smarmy rich white guy, plenty of comic relief quips, not all that interesting villain. But everyone played their part well and like most cogs in the Marvel Studios machine, it was a lot of fun. Plus it’s hard for me not to love a movie that includes the use of a time loop. I’m a sucker for time loops.
While I had hoped to get around to the extended edition of this film, I felt that the characters and action of this movie more than made up for the lack of a strong villain or a cohesive overall plot. Deadshot and Harley Quinn carry this movie and were worth the price of admission alone for me. And then you throw in Waller, Boomerang, and even Pyro worked for me. Or Diablo. Whatever his name was. The Joker fell somewhere in the middle for me, I’m curious to see more, but I didn’t really love him or hate him.
This series as a whole has just been a complete breath of fresh air for me. And it’s even more disappointing because most people who have seen it are only able to watch with the very mediocre English dub rather than the original Danish language (all three are currently available on Netflix US, default is English dub but Danish is available in the settings). This is Max Steel done right. It has a great mix of teen drama, especially considering that this has two films worth of relationships to work from, superhero action, and a bit of comedy. There are also plenty of great themes worked in throughout the film of forgiveness, trust, and moving into the next stage of life.
This is the second Lego movie on this list but it was my favorite. It had better comedy, more involvement of female superheroes, and it just worked better for me. It was great to see Superman’s confidence in being able to take on Gotham City’s criminals completely shot down by the Joker and Spoony. Plus, this version of the Bat-family just worked so well. The home video Lego Batman has plenty of shades of Will Arnett’s movie Lego Batman, but it’s still different enough to be its own thing. Plus, Lego always makes things better.
We’re down to the top five, and while this film does seem to cash in on the running theme this year of heroes fighting other heroes, I really liked the direction this film took. This is the only one where there’s a level of the very comic-book-inspired mind control aspect rather than just differing ideologies. Plus, there was a great relationship that developed between Damian Wayne and Raven that didn’t devolve into teen romance (despite the introduction of a pop-rock-scored amusement park montage). It had action, it had fun, it had drama. I liked it.
While I’m sure some people would have this film as their number 1, it just didn’t quite make it there for me. There are plenty of amazing moments throughout this film, and it does give the best version of Spider-Man on film to date, but the airport scene didn’t quite do it for me as much as it did for other people. It felt a little too forced even though there were several moments that still worked. The rift between the two factions of the Avengers was set up well and it did a great job of making neither side completely right.
This is the only documentary released this year, and while it follows a similar thread as last year’s doc on the unmade Nic Cage Superman movie, this not only does nearly everything much better, but it’s a more fascinating story to begin with. It’s great to see the passion that many of the people involved in this little movie still have and it’s a shame that the only way to watch it is a poor quality bootleg on YouTube that may get taken down every so often. It’s not a good movie by any means, but it’s still worth it to be available in an official capacity.
This is one of the surprise stories of this year. In fact, I just recently read a comment I wrote a couple years ago that compared this movie to the Red Sonya remake, neither of which I thought would ever actually get made. This treats the character of Deadpool with the respect that he deserves, which is the complete and total lack of respect. It takes the spirit of the character and translates it to film as closely as possible without having to follow any specific story arcs. The humor might not be for everyone, but I thought it was hilarious and enjoyed it from start to finish.
And at number one was the first animated DC film that I was actually able to see in theaters, despite the fact that Killing Joke also appeared in theaters, it reminds me of the fact that my car broke down that day and was very expensive to fix. But this was a much brighter point in time, despite the fact that seated in the theater was only two other people – a couple seated all the way in the back. I still haven’t revisited the Adam West Batman TV show, but this seems to really capture the spirit of that show, but also updates it just enough to remind audiences today that it always was a comedy rather than a campy version of a serious show. The only downside at all is that both Adam West and Julie Newmar’s voices show their age despite the perpetual youth of their animated characters. And yet Burt Ward is still able to sound like the 20 year old teenager
And there you have it, how was your 2016? If I were to draw a line between the films that I liked vs the films that I didn’t like, it would be all the way down just below Spaghettiman. But considering that I’m someone who voluntarily started seeking out and watching every superhero and comic book movie ever made, I suppose my taste in movies can be called into question. So, what was your favorite comic book film of 2016, and is there any on my list that you might end up seeking out? Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.