Summer movie rundown: The best and worst

September 05, 2016

Kyle Guthrie

kguthri2@uccs.edu

 

Films this summer have seen their highs and lows, but with new digital and on demand releases, it can be hard to figure out what you should buy, or avoid like a plague. But fear not, here is a take on the big summer films:

 

The Best

 

“Captain America: Civil War”

Rotten Tomato Score: 90 %

“Captain America: Civil War” is the 13th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the third entry for the Captain America franchise. The film pits team leaders Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) against each other as they battle over custody of international fugitive James “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan).

The film has occasional issues with tonal shifts, but due to its stellar action pieces, well-paced story and tight direction from directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the film proves to be a worthy addition into an already stellar saga.

“Pete’s Dragon”

Rotten Tomato Score: 87 %

One of the best surprises this summer, “Pete’s Dragon” is a re-imagining of the classic Disney mixed-animation film of the same name. The film focuses on an orphan and his friendship to a mystical dragon that protects him from danger.

In the spirit of the recent “Jungle Book” film, “Pete’s Dragon” does an excellent job of channeling the heart and sweetness of the original while telling the story from a new, refreshing perspective.

“Star Trek: Beyond”

Rotten Tomato Score: 83 %

The third film in the recent revival of the Star Trek series, “Star Trek: Beyond” finds Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine), Bones McCoy (Karl Urban) and Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) marooned on a distant planet and forced to battle against an alien race.

The film is exciting; with excellent set pieces supporting strong writing and character focus from actor/writer Simon Pegg, who returns to his role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott.

It should also be mentioned that this film is the closest the new trilogy of films has come to capturing the spirit and heart of the original series.

 

The Worst

 

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27 %

The latest attempt from DC to create its own cinematic universe tells the story of two comic book legends, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill), clashing heads over ideologies and methods.

The film is a muddled mess of bad writing and often forgets to use even the most basic of cinematic storytelling devices such as establishing character motivations.

Affleck is the one bright spot of the film. Affleck’s Batman delivered a well-developed and refreshing take on the dark character with motivations that are not only well-established, but interesting and complex.

His interpretation is solid enough to arguably go down in history as one of the best cinematic incarnations of the Dark Knight.

“Suicide Squad”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26 %

“Suicide Squad” has the makings of what could have been an interesting film, but the meddling of Warner Bros. turns these scenes into a muddled nightmare of editing in an attempt to copy the recent success of “Deadpool.”

DC’s second entry of the summer does not perform any better than its first, and fails to properly explore the interesting concept of super-villains banding together to fight a greater evil.

Margot Robbie does a good job stealing the show as DC legend Harley Quinn, even if her story is butchered by the new interpretation of the character and the spastic editing of Warner Bros executives.

“Ghostbusters”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73 %

The 2016 remake of “Ghostbusters” fails as both a comedy and a film.

The idea of remaking this classic movie with a female cast is both interesting and original, but the film does away with the well-written and witty comedy in favor of awful improvisational comedy centering on topics such as female hygiene.

Leslie Jones is surprisingly likeable and charismatic, but the film suffers from a lack of good writing and original ideas.

While the Tomato Meter score is relatively high, this is due to a trade embargo enacted by Sony in an attempt to only bring in critics who were paid off or praised the film before it was even released, a fact revealed in Sony’s recent hacked emails.