Just when you thought all of the hot takes were done for 2017, here comes Armond White to prove you wrong. The controversial critic has published his annual “Better-Than List” on the National Review, and it’s full of his controversial takes on which overlooked or critically maligned films were better than the movies a majority of writers felt were the year’s best. Because let’s face it, Mr. White can’t agree with anyone on anything.
One take that is bound to get readers riled up is White’s belief that “Justice League” is a much better film than “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Even those viewers who support the backlash against the Rian Johnson-directed sequel may not even agree that “Justice League” is the better movie.
“Zack Snyder’s best moments raise comic book sci-fi to eye-widening, soul-stirring art while the unoriginal, interminable ‘Star Wars’ series trains kids of various IQs to be mindless consumers,” White writes.
The critic gave “Justice League” a rave review when the tentpole opened last November, writing, “It’s one of those wondrous Zack Snyder extravaganzas that fulfill the aesthetic potential of comic-book graphics and achieves essential cinema kinetics. His imagery is classical, mythic, and erotic, whereas the males and females in ‘The Avengers’ were kitsch, and Nolan’s Batman films were decidedly asexual.”
But calling “The Last Jedi” both “unoriginal” and “interminable” is hardly the only shade Armond throws at some of 2017’s most beloved movies. The critic says Luc Besson’s flop “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” was much better than “Wonder Woman,” which he refers to as Patty Jenkins’ “bland, neo-feminist Hillary fantasy.”
According to White, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” is “hipster decadence” and “The Florida Project” is nothing but a “phony celebration of child abuse [that] warms the cockles of safe-space liberals who don’t live next door to poverty.” In “I, Tonya,” White feels Margot Robbie and director Craig Gillespie turn the biopic genre “into a white-trash freak show,” while Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” “reduces gender and ethnic identity to an absurd, childish fantasy about social justice and victimization.”
You can read all of White’s end-of-year hot takes by heading over to his 13th Annual Better-Than List.