2016 is shaping up to be even bigger than last year in terms of blockbuster releases during the summer. And with the first true summer release opening in only a scant few weeks (if a “summer movie” opens in march can it be truly called a summer movie?). It’s time once again for me to give my list of most anticipated summer films of 2016…you know, for anyone who cares.
#1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
And starting at the prime spot is the very movie I just alluded to. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is THE movie for every and any true comic book geek. For the first time (that I know of) two of DC’s, and pretty much all of comicdom’s, most popular characters are squaring off, before inevitably teaming up, on the big screen. There’s also Wonder woman, and an alleged Aquaman cameo, too. Some say DC is rushing to get their own Avengers flagship venture off the ground since Marvel is leaps and bounds ahead of them with their movies and two all star team ups (Avengers and Avengers Age of Ultron) already done. While I wholeheartedly agree, I also believe DC doesn’t necessarily have to do a lot of world building that Marvel did with their MCU (marvel cinematic universe). Marvel had the luxury of not having a massive superhero rollout to build their world around like DC does, therefore they could take their sweet time.
You say that’s not true? Okay. Quickly, before Iron Man, how many marvel characters, actually owned by Marvel studios at the time, could the average movie goer, who wasn’t into comics, name at the drop of a hat? Yeah, exactly. DC, on the other hand, has Superman AND Batman, comic icons known across the world. Since they’re the two biggest draws and the most important characters in DC’s arsenal, why not use a movie featuring the two to reveal the world around them and bring in other heroes. If done right, Dawn of Justice could be the home run that DC needs to make things interesting with Marvel. Their television branch clearly gets the idea and is doing a wonderful job with all their shows, the question remains can DC’s movie division deliver. Dawn of Justice is the make or breaker that will answer that question.
#2. Captain America: Civil War
Speaking of Marvel, they’re definitely in the mix of anticipated movies with the civil war storyline jumping to live action. The Winter Soldier was the best of all the phase two Marvel films for my money. The Captain America movies have become the more adult oriented of the all the Marvel films, not afraid to be suspenseful and dark, while staying true to comic book material it came from. I’m really looking forward to seeing just how dark things will get. If Marvel has the guts to hold true to the storyline of the comics, this will probably be the best and most serious, if not the most gut wrenching, of all the Marvel movies thus far.
#3. Suicide Squad
Do you see a pattern forming? That whole world building thing I was talking about with DC, well this is a massive addition to it. Suicide Squad is a late summer release, and I totally get it. Outside of the Joker, and maybe Harley Quinn, I’m betting most people (who aren’t comic heads) have never heard of the rest of this group of villains. But from the footage they’ve shown, this films looks to be a fun one. Something different from the more serious and brooding tone of Dawn of Justice. Most people will come to see Jared Leto’s interpretation of the Joker on the big screen, something no one has done since Heath Ledger so masterfully portrayed the Clown Prince of Crime in The Dark Knight, and Will Smith, because Will Smith. Hopefully the audience, and I will get something more and DC is hoping that it can have something to build off of if this does well.
#4. Now You See Me 2
Let’s switch it up a bit. I never saw the first movie in theaters because I felt it looked boring and forgettable. I rented it on a whim and was pleasantly surprised at how good the story was and how likable a bunch of crooks posing as magicians (or is it magicians as crooks?). Filled with a cast who each played their part well, the movie was smart with more action than you’d think and even gave a nice little twist at the end. This new movie has most of the original cast back, though Isla Fisher is no where to be found in the trailer for this one. But there is Harry P…I mean Daniel Radcliffe in a bit of stunt casting. Come on, you put the guy who played Harry Potter in a movie about magicians and it’s not stunt casting? The good news, for me, is that Now You See Me 2 looks to keep all the charm the first film had.
#5. Independence Day 2
The first ID4 film was the first film outside of Star Wars that had a definite atmosphere of something you needed to be a part of while it was in theaters. It was light on plot but heavy on fan pleasing. People want to see stuff get blowed up. So stuff got blowed up. It was good ol’ fashion movie going fun. ID4 2 looks about the same but on a bigger scale. Sometimes it’s good to not think and just watch. I’m definitely in for that.
#6. X-Men: Apocalypse
With Bryan Singer’s rewriting and sorta rebooting of X history with Days of Future Past out the way, he now tackles one of the most iconic villains of the X-Men as younger versions of Jean, Cyclops and other mutants take on Apocalypse, an immortal Mutant who’s unlike anything they’ve ever faced before. Oscar Issac, fresh off his fan favorite, lovable, Po Dameron role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now doing the villain thing. I’m interested if Issac can pull off the larger than life (and I mean that both figuratively and literally) role of Apocalypse. For my money, next to Jean Grey’s Phoenix, Apocalypse is probably the most formidable enemy the X-Men has ever faced.
#7. Star Trek: Beyond
Admittedly, I’m having serious reservations about the latest installment of this new Trek series. The first trailer while visually interesting, didn’t really do anything that made me sit up and take notice. I’m hoping later footage will put a better taste in my mouth. One of the things I am looking for is how Justin Lin (the director of a few of the Fast and Furious movies) will capture the crew of the enterprise and the galaxy they’ll explore. One thing I know this movie will have plenty of is action, and I know Lin is very capable of capturing that. But, as every trek fan knows, Star Trek is not just about that, something I believe J.J. Abrams lost along the way while making the last trek film. We’ll see if Lin’s interpretation of trek will put back what Abrams took out, which was the sense of adventure and excitement of space exploration.
There you have it. My most anticipated list. During the course of the summer, I hope to come across a few low budget gems that will be buried beneath the mountains of blockbuster movies. Like Last year’s Dope and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl. There’s also that little film that popped up out of nowhere, a prerequisite, if you will, for the summer, that goes by the name of 10 Cloverfield Lane. That should be…interesting.