X-Men: Apocalypse movie review:
I finally saw X-Men: Apocalypse last Sunday while I was down in Houston for Space City Comic Con.
With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.
Directed by Bryan Singer
Written by Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Olivia Munn, Lana Condor, Josh Helman
What to say? At two and a half hours, this movie should be packed with action and character-defining moments.
But it’s not.
Overall, I think that there are so many characters crammed into this film that none of them are given the time they need/deserve to develop in order for us to care about them. The single character with ample screen-time is Mystique, and by now, Jennifer Lawrence looks tired of being painted blue.
Every other character seems to exist just to fill a hole. Of the four horsemen, only Magneto is a character with any depth to him whatsoever.
Storm is a barely-there nod to her comic-book backstory.
Psylocke seems to exist solely to lead Apocalypse (we’ll get to him) to his other horsemen. Other than that, her powers are never explored, and she seems to be in the film solely as an excuse to put Olivia Munn in a comicbook-accurate costume to grab the attention of 12-16 year-old boys.
Angel, perhaps one of the most damaged of all the horsemen I remember from my days reading the comics, here is simply a cage-fighter, trying to stay alive, instead of a fallen hero who takes Apocalypse’s offer of regaining his power of flight, becoming ArchAngel, a true Horseman.
Of the X-Men, we are treated to a frightened Scott Summers, coming into his uncontrollable power, who suddenly morphs into a bro-tastic douche-bag. Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey is incredibly flat. Whether that is supposed to be her trying to remain calm because of her powers or simply a lack of anything interesting in the script for her to do…?
Evan Peters shows up in a repeat of his Quicksilver hyper-speed sequence, and aside from the fact that he’s wearing a Rush t-shirt, I found the sequence to be too long, too slap-sticky, and too derivative of the scene in DoFP. And I wasn’t even necessarily a fan of that scene. Sure, it’s an impressive achievement to film such a sequence, but, like my comments on DoFP, it’s just one in a series of cool scenes that don’t seem to be strung together cohesively enough.
I’m not sure how I feel about the new, younger Nightcrawler. I don’t hate him, which is good. I would hate to hate Nightcrawler. He’s always been a favorite. I just wish that they had given him more character development (a theme here), rather than just as a means to shuttle from place to place. He’s kind of the X-Men’s personal Uber driver.
And Apocalypse was… okay? Kind of a waste of Oscar Isaac, but he’s a great villain, and one that needed to be brought into the X-Men cinematic universe.
You get the idea by know. A lot of wasted opportunity in this movie. A lot of good characters reduced to place-holders for the inevitable “next movie.”
And let’s not forget the cameo/commercial for the next Wolverine movie. Wouldn’t want to forget about that.
Maybe, and I’m just spit-balling here, it’s time for Bryan Singer to step away and let another director have a shot at the mutants. It feels like he’s just going through the motions, and has been for the last couple films.
The X-Men deserve more. They deserve better.
Where DC is finally moving away from the Zach Snyder era, maybe Fox should do the same with Singer. Hell, give Singer a shot at the Fantastic Four. Maybe a new set of characters and a chance to redeem a franchise will snap him out of whatever creative rut he’s in.
He certainly couldn’t make that franchise any worse than last year’s debacle.
A certain movie critic I know described X-Men: Apocalypse as a diamond in the rough. I agree on the “rough” part. As for the diamond…
You can see it in the theaters, but definitely a matinée. Certainly not in IMAX. Just because the characters will look bigger won’t make them any deeper.
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