Tuesday, 1 August 2017

2017 - The Best Year For Summer Movies Ever?

In the last month, I’ve seen a movie each week that could arguably be film of the year in my opinion. These films were: -

- Baby Driver
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Okja
- War for the Planet of the Apes
- Dunkirk

These are all at least 9/10 films, which is pretty impressive (if not unheard of) for consecutively released summer blockbusters.This got me thinking, has 2017 been the best year for summer blockbuster movies ever?

I then considered the other films I’ve seen this summer and with the exception of the absolute trainwreck Transformers: The Last Knight, none of them have been bad. Wonder Woman was absolutely great, I enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean:Salazar’s Revenge, Alien: Covenant and Fast & Furious 8 and despite being slightly underwhelmed Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 is also pretty good (yet I know some people argue it's better than the first!).

Of the films I’ve mentioned, the below five all have RottenTomato scores of 92% or higher and were all released within 7 weeks of each other.

Wonder Woman – 92%
Baby Driver – 95%
Dunkirk - 93%

That is an absolutely insane level of quality, especially for the summer season that would have historically seen the release of "throwaway pop-corn"movies.

Seriously, each of these films are the type of movies that will last the test of time. Baby Driver has reached modest commercial success, but will be a cult classic for years to come. Spider-Man: Homecoming is regarded by most as the definitive Spider-Man film. Wonder Woman is easily the best DCEU film and historic in its sheer success for featuring a female lead. Dunkirk will be admired and watched for years by people of all ages. Apes is one of the smartest and introverted summer movies ever.

Contrast this with the summer movies of the past decade and it's quite a different picture, yes there are always some stand-outs but not this many in one summer.

Last year (2016), there were arguably 3 great films Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory and Kubo and the Two Strings. However, you also had some seriously terrible movies, such as Suicide Squad, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Legend of Tarzan, and then some mediocre ones including X-Men: Apocalypse, Jason Bourne, Star Trek: Beyond, etc.

Summer 2015, had a better run of it overall with 2 great films - Mad Max: Fury Road and Inside Out, and 4 very good films Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World and Ant-Man. But none of these films would really be considered better than the 5 films of 2017 I’ve just listed.

Summer 2014, is more in line with 2016 with 3 great films Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Day of Futures Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But the rest of the releases all range from ok to good, highlights being Godzilla and How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Summer 2013, really doesn’t fair well at all. Iron Man 3 is highly rated, but all the other summer blockbuster are mostly 3 star type affairs. Even the Pixar film in 2013 (Monster University) is just ok.

Summer 2012, has Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises (which I'm not a huge fan of to be honest), but little else stands out. The Amazing Spider-Man or Brave anyone?

Hopefully, you get the point, in most summers you get 2 or 3 truly great movies, but we just don’t get this volume of movies at this level of quality very often, and I’d argue we’ve never gotten it before. Therefore, we really need to appreciate how great of a summer we’ve had for movies in 2017. It’s really unheard of, and if it ever happened again we’ll be extremely lucky!

In fact 2017 as a whole has been one hell of a year for movies of a high standard, remember we’ve already had Logan, Get Out, The Lego Batman Movie, John Wick 2 and Hacksaw Ridge. Looking forward we’ve still got Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Thor: Ragnorok, Blade Runner 2049, Justice League, Coco and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to name but a few.

So not only could 2017 have the best summer for blockbuster movies, it could also be one of the best years of blockbusters movies of all time.

This article was written by @RossBishop. Follow me on Twitter.

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