In a summer where we’ve had Marvel’s Civil War, DC’s Batman vs. Superman, and even epic Netflix show Daredevil Season 2, I’m actually starting to see the fatigue about superhero films. Not that any one of those I mentioned above were bad, in fact, I thought all of them were pretty awesome, but I will finally give into the roar of those having said there is too much out there.
Anyway, onto X-Men: Apocalypse.
I will say that I had a larger measure of excitement for this film for several reasons. First, I just could not wait to see another one of Evan Peter’s Quicksilver moments. Seriously, when I first saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, I wholeheartedly wanted to rewind the actual theater film to see it again and I doubt anyone would have complained. Instead I just saw it in theaters another time before the Blu-Ray. The next expectation was actually being a little bit in the dark about this villain and stories revolving around him.
Now after seeing the film, I have to give it up again to Evan Peters and Brian Singer. I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to top the last Quicksilver scene. And just because I love it, this was the first one:
I’ve sure you’ve all seen it, but it’s just too cool. Absolutely one of the best scenes I’ve seen done in any action film in the past few years. Now, with as amazing as that was, Peters’ scene was 10 times better and his role was expanded (one of the fatal flaws from the last X-Men). So, for my enjoyment, the scene in Apocalypse was worth the price of admission right there. So, it’s easy for me to say if your favorite part in Days of Future Past was Quicksilver’s, I don’t have to say anything else, go see X-Men: Apocalypse.
So my next level of excitement was built upon being a bit ignorant of Apocalypse himself. Also, while watching the trailers, I couldn’t help but think “How the hell can they stop this seemingly ‘world-ending’ event?” It just looked like the stakes were really extreme and this team had never faced such a force.
This is where I felt the problems started. The “world-ending” event created by Apocalypse and Magneto sure looked and sounded cool, but I really just didn’t feel anything for “the world”. That’s an odd way of saying it, but the stakes around the world in the film seemed too cutoff. The final confrontation just didn’t measure up to what was promised. Lead me to being a bit disappointed.
For me, the “meh” ending left a sour taste in my mouth that likely colored most of my feelings for the film. Have said that, the cast really still gels at all times. James McAvoy is doing such a good job progressing as Xavier, each film he grows up and gets more hopeful for a world with mutants and humans. I really like his take and as long as he’s in the role, I’ll never worry.
Fassbender continues to be the absolute best actor in these films. His tortured past, the way he speaks to the other mutants, and even how he undulates between extreme violence to essentially being an awesome construction worker is amazing. It seems that Singer has something out for Magneto because nothing good ever comes to this guy. No spoilers here, but even attempting to live a normal life, he gets no brakes from Brian Singer or the writers. It’s enough to almost make you feel really sad for the guy, but still, you know him as the consummate villain in X-Men.
Everyone else does a great job, but it feels like a bit of the dialogue was just phoned in by both the actors and the writers. They spent a lot of time with the principal characters that you’d know from the other films and gave very little to the new additions. Olivia Munn certainly looked like Psylocke, but I can’t even remember if she completed a full sentence. It was pretty much that way for everyone else new. Also, as much as I was excited to see some new, younger blood play the characters of Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey (more on her later), and Nightcrawler, there was a feeling of them retreading the same ground…just with more teen angst and outfits.
My last few thoughts are still on the cast. It’s hard not to love Jennifer Lawrence, but her Mystique was more Katniss this round than anything else. I just have a feeling they don’t know how to use the character in this most recent series. I just still cannot see a connection between Lawrence’s Mystique and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’ version in the initial movie in 2000. Of course Brian Singer could still find a way to make her hate so much that she’d become that person. It won’t be anytime soon with Singer taking a break from the franchise.
One of the things I must say is that it wouldn’t be an X-Men movie without it staring or having Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine showing up. I have to say that I really enjoyed the route they went in this film. It was actually so cool and in light of an “R-Rated” Wolverine movie hitting soon, it makes me that much more excited for that film and not being bothered with the level of violence it could showcase.
Finally, we have to talk about
Sansa Stark Jean Grey. Sophie Turner does what she can to make the role about a troubled mutant with too much power, but it just doesn’t come through. Anyone who has ever picked up an X-Men comic or watched the first trilogy knows where this is going. The Dark Phoenix is pretty much the only interesting thing for Jean Grey, but ever since the 1990’s cartoon, I just can’t take any more of that storyline. Seriously, the fatigue I have takes up more space in my head that I can no longer remember my mother’s face.
The rest just had to deal with Apocalypse himself. When you have Hollywood’s latest “Best Actor Ever”, the least you could do is give him some real meat to work with. Sadly, Oscar Isaac is just lost in the film and unfortunately, as the main villain, he was pretty lame. Maybe they didn’t portray him correctly, I mean, I don’t know squat about his character in the comics, but he just seemed like he had unlimited telekinesis and picked out four random bodyguard mutants. There just wasn’t anything special about him. At least when the X-Men are fighting Magneto or Trask and his Sentinels, then it’s an ideological fight where this was just a destruction measuring contest with Roland Emmerich. And sorry Singer, you lose that award.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
If you love Evan Peters’ Quicksilver or Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, you should be sold on this film. Even casual X-Men fans will enjoy this and anyone enjoying the superhero genre films will like it. But, if you’ve already taken in Deadpool, Batman vs. Superman, Civil War, and are really excited for Doctor Strange later this year…then RedBox wouldn’t be such a bad idea for this one. Even with all the typical X-Men charm on display.