Right, do you want the good news or the bad news?
Ok, I’ll give you the bad news first – It’s time for a countdown of my top ten films from the 2000s [cue collective groan].
Now the good news – it’s the last one of these countdowns I’ll be doing for a while (perhaps ever, judging by the response, pleas and death threats I have received) and, like my love-making, I’ll try to ensure it’s as quick as possible.
Besides, it’s Easter, so you’re probably all off your tits on a chocolate-high anyway, and not paying the blindest bit of notice what my 6th favourite film of the ‘00s is….
10. Transformers (2007)
Remember when Shia LaBeouf (which, incidentally, is French for ‘slice of beef’*) wasn’t a complete and utter gate-swinging nut job? No, me neither, but his involvement in this film doesn’t completely ruin it, and as a red-blooded male, I find it pretty hard to look past his female lead anyway:
Wowsers. I’ve never wanted to be a motorbike so much in my life.
Anyway, aside from the eye-candy, this is actually a really good film, which stirs fond memories of watching the television series of Transformers as a child – and playing with my ‘Optimus Prime’ toy one Christmas. Perhaps not the greatest plot in cinematic history, but that is more than made up for with special effects and fast-paced action.
* It’s not, before you check.
9. Final Destination (2000)
Whether you accept the plot – teens who should have died in a plane crash, are picked off by ‘Death’ in the order they were meant to perish – in all it’s ridiculous glory or not, this is an edge-of-your-seat horror which represented a welcome change from all the ‘there’s something not-quite-right in the woods’ films around at the time. The sequels were largely crap, but I remember this being one of the first DVDs I ever bought when it came out, and I still really like it.
8. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Unless I’m mistaken*, this is the first cartoon/kids film to make any of my countdowns, but referring to it as a ‘kids’ film is perhaps a little unfair, as I know just as many adults who really like it (that might be because I don’t have many friends who are children, but you get the idea).
It has a great – and more importantly, completely original – storyline, some fantastic actors doing the voices of the characters, and in parts it is pant-wettingly funny. Everything a family movie should be.
* just checked – I’m not.
7. The Hangover (2009)
This film isn’t to everyone’s liking, but I personally found it really funny and Mr Chow, in particular, is fantastic. There are some obvious plot holes, but if you take it on face-value, it’s really enjoyable and both of the sequels are pretty good fun too. Best not to watch it on a long-haul flight to Vancouver though, in case you laugh so much a bit of snot comes out and everyone looks at you. Ok, the chances of you doing that are pretty remote, but if you do happen to see the film on a long-haul flight, don’t say you haven’t been warned.
6. Shrek (2001)
As with Monsters, Inc., Shrek appeals to adults just as much as children, and again the quality of the voice-over actors is astonishing. I think anyone would be hard-pressed to look past Eddie Murphy’s ‘Donkey’ as their favourite character, but it’s a thoroughly-entertaining and original film from start to finish.
5. Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Another comedy (although the last one to feature in this countdown), and the first of the – frankly ludicrously titled – ‘Cornetto’ trilogy. I’m not a huge fan of zombie films, but this is primarily a comedy, which just happens to have some zombies in it. Ok, the conclusion might be a little bleak, and Dylan Moran’s demise somewhat gruesome, but it’s still packed full of laughs and even those averse to horror films should enjoy it. Unless they’ve had their humour gland removed.
4. Casino Royale (2006)
It wouldn’t be one of my film countdowns, if 007 didn’t make an appearance at some point, and as with the previous two decades, choosing the best Bond film from the ‘00s was frankly easy (the only other two released were Die Another Day (2002) and Quantum of Solace (2008), both of which were – in very different ways – shit).
Daniel Craig seems to follow the pattern – at least with the last three actors to play Bond – of having a very strong debut film (as Casino was), only to follow it up with an awful second film (in his case, Quantum of Solace). Dalton first appeared in the excellent The Living Daylights, but then bowed out with Licence to Kill. Brosnan debuted with Goldeneye, but then appeared in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Still, Daniel Craig’s legacy as 007 is a very good one, and it all started here.
3. Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Most people will probably disagree with me, but this is my favourite of the five Mission: Impossible films to date. For me, the original film had too many plot-twists, and the less said about the second (“Hi. I’m Tom Cruise. Look at my lovely hair while I ride this motorbike for no reason”) the better.
In this third outing, the plot is great, the actors are both fantastic (Philip Seymour Hoffman – R.I.P.) and extremely easy on the eye (Michelle Monaghan), and even Cruise himself isn’t too creepy and annoying like he so often is.
I can’t think of many all-out-action films that are better….
2. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
… except for maybe this.
My God, this is a good film. In fact, it’s part of one of those rare trilogies where each of the three films is excellent. The second is the weakest, obviously, but this, the final instalment, is damn-near perfect. I, as you might have gathered by now, am a huge James Bond fan, but even I can accept this surpasses most Bond films for sheer non-stop action.
And, as with most good trilogies, they really should have quit while they were ahead. Ok, the fourth entry, featuring Jeremy Renner in the lead role, was acceptable as a film in it’s own right, but it was nothing on the original Matt Damon releases, and I’m relieved that Damon is back for the forthcoming fifth instalment. Time to redeem yourselves, chaps.
1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
If The Bourne Ultimatum is damn-near perfect, then this film goes one better and actually is perfect. The cast is so star-studded it’s ridiculous, and the comedic interaction between the actors, particularly Clooney and Pitt, is superb. It’s slick, clever, has a great soundtrack, and an even better twist at the end. It is everything a film should be. The two sequels were tragically poor (a bit like my winner of the ’90s countdown, The Matrix), but this original film is still as good today as it was fifteen years ago.
Right, no more countdowns for a while, I promise. Back to nonsensical ranting next week.
Happy Easter folks.