2012 has been an awesome year for the film industry, with blockbuster after blockbuster exploding onto the big screen.
2012 has been an awesome year for the film industry, with blockbuster after blockbuster exploding onto the big screen. We’ve had everything from the conclusion of Twilight (thank heavens) to the remaking of classics like Spiderman. However, five films have stood out as the best of the best, and here they are.
1. Avengers Assemble
For the past couple of years, we’ve been drip-fed a number of films featuring origins stories of favourites like Captain America and Iron Man, but this year saw them assemble into a superhero team like no other. Featuring the Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man and Thor – there’s unlikely to be another film that could match this bunch of badasses.
Avengers Assemble had it all: comedy from the spectacularly socially dysfunctional Hulk, gadgets galore from Tony Stark and, of course, a few choice acrobatics from the Black Widow. Previous films in the last few years from the Marvel universe have all been leading up to this, and the linking of each one’s story in Avengers Assemble has to be applauded as ingenious storytelling. With just the right amount of carnage mixed with hilarity, if Avengers Assemble doesn’t make your Christmas list this year, perhaps you need to reassess your priorities.
2. The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is what you might call a true epic; for one thing, it’s not every film that has the budget to portray the utter annihilation of a city. As ever with the Batman films, their slickness and twists and turns truly do justice to our enigmatic hero.
Although, it wasn’t just the visual spectacle that enthralled us, it had to be the battles between Batman and Bane. With a huge hulking mass of muscle, a very weird mouthpiece and a voice that resonates in our nightmares, Bane has to be one of the all-time scariest villains. The first film, Batman Begins, had the origins story and the second, The Dark Knight, documented the rise to power. However, The Dark Knight Rises saw the destruction and eventual re-making of Batman. In the world of comic book films, has there ever been a more ambitious re-telling of the hero vs. villain story?
Skyfall did exactly what Daniel Craig in Casino Royale should have done: it took Bond back to basics, stripped back the gadgets and the romps in the bedrooms. We saw a gritty Bond, one not at his peak, physically and mentally, who faced an enemy that seemed unstoppable.
The past 22 films have been set in exotic locations complete with barely clothed women (and Daniel Craig, of course), emerging from the sea in orgiastic displays of decadence. Skyfall was so compelling precisely because it was set in the UK and the fact that MI6 was under attack for once. The very thing underpinning Bond’s identity was threatened, and prompted a retreat into the elusive history of the super secret agent, namely to his Scottish ancestral home. Ultimately, Skyfall was what a Bond film should be: all action with a few one-liners thrown in for good measure.
4. 21 Jump Street
Based on a 80s TV series, 21 Jump Street is an undercover police operation designed to unearth drugs trade in a school. However, this is no episode of CSI. Channing Tatum and the hilarious Jonah Hill play two hopeless trainee cops, Tatum being the meathead that excels at the physical training, and Hill being the severely unfit one who aces any academic test.
Like anything Jonah Hill appears in, 21 Jump Street will leave you laughing like a drain for days afterwards. It’s a bit like Team America with its incompetent protagonists and destruction, just without being severely politically incorrect. The combination of two polar opposite protagonists working together is a delight to watch. 21 Jump Street might not be quite as big and mesmerising as some of the other blockbusters on this list, but for those that want an uncomplicated comedy that’s guaranteed to make you wet yourself laughing, this is definitely for you.
Continuing with the ‘epic’ theme, Prometheus is the long awaited sequel to the Alien films, and boy did it not disappoint. With jaw-dropping CGI, the film brought the science-fiction genre the closest its ever been to reality. Even the chest-bursting aliens were sidelined slightly in favour of a far greater plot, namely the understanding of man’s origins, and their potential destruction.
Prometheus brilliantly combined anthropological adventure with tension and suspense. Michael Fassbender was devastatingly creepy in his role as a cyborg with a secret ulterior motive, his deceit being one of the most watchable aspects of the film. Of course, Prometheus wasn’t all psychological thriller; a film in the Alien franchise wouldn’t be complete without one such alien inhabiting the body of a human, hence Noomi Rapace’s gruesome caesarean. Essentially, Prometheus is a far more advanced and up-market version of the traditional Alien films, and is definitely worth a watch.