Rollo Tomasi’s Top Ten Films of 2017
The 2017 film season was a year of infrequent highs and deep, dismal lows. Like any film year, not every film met our expectations (Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets). Some films far exceeded what we thought they would be (Blade Runner 2049, Logan, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). Some films were hidden gems (Get Out). Other subtle surprises (Split). A few were tragic disasters (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, American Assassin, and Justice League).
The films that I have listed below are films that were fulfilling to me in some way, shape, or form. I like in films what I like in a great book: a creative narrative, three dimensional characters, strong character arcs, and all the other regalia of a fully-formed, thoughtful creation.
Rollo Tomasi’s Top Ten Films of 2017
10. Baby Driver
Baby Driver was the most innovative heist film of the year. Part impromptu musical, part love story, and part crime drama, Baby Driver was a film that paid attention to detail and to its secondary characters. Certain character’s past were alluded to but never fully divulged in Baby Driver, pushing the viewer to fill in the gaps themselves. Though the third act is problematic and the weakest section of the film, the first two acts are inspired.
9. John Wick: Chapter 2
John Wick: Chapter 2 is an action film that is better than the original film. Chapter 2 built upon the foundations of the first film and then expanded them, creating a John Wick, surreal universe complete with a top layer that contained no police and sub-strata networks of criminals and organizations that they had created.
The action in Chapter 2 was enhanced from the first film in complexity, the number of people involved in the film’s set pieces, and the budget on display.
What drove the film was the emotional (more of Wick’s emotions were on display) and physical (John met his near match multiple times) journeys that John Wick went on throughout the film.
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Homecoming was rejuvenation for the beleaguered Spider-Man franchise, it gave the viewer the best on-screen interpretation of Spider-Man thus far. The common trope of an origin story was gratefully skipped in Spider-Man: Homecoming in lieu of dropping the audience into a full-formed, in-motion story that the viewer could instantly delve.
Unlike other comic book films where the villain is an afterthought, The Vulture and his minions were given a fleshed out backstory, a hard-working, Average Joe prologue where the bad guy became what he saw as necessary in a economy post-NYC alien invasion, circa The Avengers.
7. War for the Planet of the Apes
The third and (presumably) the final in the new The Planet of the Apes films was the best of the trio. The CGI for the apes was as high-end as it gets and the storyline was the strongest in the franchise. The human / ape connection in the first film was that film’s primary strength and this film’s producers returned to that in War for the Planet of the Apes.
Even the little girl was given a character arc in War for the Planet of the Apes and Bad Ape stole almost every scene he was in, most of the time to humorous effect.
Logan was the best stand-alone Wolverine film-to-date and one of the best comic book films-to-date. Logan was also the second best X-Men film-to-date (behind X-Men 2). Wolverine fans had to wait through numerous PG-13 X-Men film outings and two horrific Wolverine films to get to Logan.
The aforementioned films were the heavy, carry-on luggage that the viewer brought with them into Logan. By the time Logan ended, not only was that luggage discarded, their deleterious memory was seen as a necessity. It took those films, those ups and downs, to create a Wolverine film that finally got it right.
Logan is not only a gripping story about family but the ties that bind individuals together.
Read my full review for the film here.