My top movie hits of 2015 was influenced by a ton of nostalgic childhood memories and fan favorite appeal (Who knew Ant-man would be so good?). There were a ton of diverse action and comedy movies released this year that fought for my attention, but I listed the movies that really stood out to me and I listed the movies in order of what I would likely watch again in the future.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – J.J actual made good on his promise to bring back the classic vibe of the original trilogy and introducing new characters to love. I had my doubts of what Force Awakens was going to be like and how I will lose the non-canon material (Kyle Katarn where did you go?). The story captures the sense of adventure and wonderment that New Hope has and it is something that the series desperately needed. TFB has a strong conclusion that launches the franchise into a different direction that makes it hard to predict what will happen next and where the series is headed to, but I believe the franchise is in safe hands for now.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road – A return to over the top R rated action and violence that is both brutal and silly. Tom Hardy wasn’t exactly my top choice for Mad Max, but does an great job punching and grunting through it all. I was impressed by Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, she that won me over in the first 10 minutes. While the series isn’t focused on plot, the simple use of random acts of action help entertain in what is a 90 minute car chase movie. It’s one hella of a car chase thought.
3. Hateful Eight – Just in time for the end of the year, The Hateful Eight is a great dark comedy western that contains all of elements fans love about Quentin Tarantino. Goofy violence, sprinklers of blood and casual cursing. There are even a 18th century appearance of Red Apple cigarettes too. I was fortunate to see the 70mm version and was treated to a classic intermission of the movie, which adds to the charm of the vintage feel of old cinema experience, but any method you watch this movie will be a violently good time.
4. Inside Out – All the feelings! A Pixar take on how people process their emotions and why feelings are complex moments. Viewing the world as a 11 year old and witnessing her emotion growth was an enjoyable experience that I can say rate up there in the Toy Story level.
5. Ant-Man – We didn’t get the full Edgar Wright version of Ant-man, this version has an excellent casting that helps make Ant Man a hilarious heist movie and super hero adventure combo. Paul Rudd plays the Paul Rudd in a Ant-man costume and it works fine. I was hoping for a slap happy version of terrible husband Hank Pym, but Disney ain’t going to approve that anytime soon.
6. Jurassic World – It’s been awhile since the Theme Park Disaster movie was released to theaters. JW is a strong follow up to a once dying franchise that breathes in the same terrible Dinosaur idea that people love to see go wrong. There are some political messages inserted here and there during the movie, the movie does more of it’s fair share to make up those shoe horned part. Chris Pratt is riding the jerky action star role that from Guardians of the Galaxy and the movie is pretty much Starlord hanging out with Raptors, but goddamn that last dino fight scene is worth the wait.
7. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Tom Cruise once again plays the spy that gets disavowed (and re-avowed?) to protect the world from super evil spies. It’s a winning formula that hasn’t stop paying off and isn’t slowing down yet. Simon Pegg takes a strong role this time around and adds more of a team dynamic to Ethan Hunt’s one man army motto. I give props to Cruise for taking his action roles seriously and the story isn’t bad for a spy that keeps getting fired.
8. Avenger: Age of Ultron – Marvel’s A-list super team assembles once again to bring as much property damage to what ever city an evil being decides to appear in. The Avengers have found their flow as a team and combine their powers to take on Ultron California. There are great action and comedy scenes that does capture the essence of the comics and does a good job establishing more element of the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, it’s nice to see a Marvel movie to finally use an Infinity Gem to do something useful other than to turn purple and scream.
9. Spectre – My expectations where set pretty high after Skyfall, and Spectre didn’t quite meet it. It’s a stylish movie with great visions and tones, but the confusing connections to the previous films forces the story to be a glued together plot that doesn’t feel right. The action and characters have a classic bond vibe that keeps the movie from slipping in Quantum of Solace territory, you won’t see political issues about water in this movie.
10. Furious 7 – The franchise has come a long way from being a Point Break knock off to a Ocean Eleven sponsored by Nose. Picking up right Furious 6 that introduces that badass of Jason Statham as the nearly unstoppable Deckard Shaw. Watching Deckard burst his way into scenes like a crazed Kool Aid man was intense and needed to show a villain do his actual dirty work. Contain awesome car chases, shoot outs, a flying Tony Jaa and a tasteful CGI Paul Walker, F7 celebrates all that has been in crazy antics of The Fast and Furious series.