Saturday, May 28, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse - Movie Review: More Superheroes with Family Problems




I now want a Deadpool and Quicksilver buddy road trip movie.

X-Men Apocalypse the 4th X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer. Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, and a host of other actors playing mutants. In the 6th titled X-Men movie an ancient mutant awakes and wants to take over the world. He gathers a group of four powerful mutants to help him in his plot. The rest of the X-Men must reunite and try and stop him from destroying the world.

X-Men Apocalypse is not the best X-Men movie. It is no were near as bad as X3 or Wolverine Origins, but it doesn’t quite stack up to the other four X-Men movies. I still enjoyed watching Apocalypse and will watch it again. The action is well done, the performances overall are good, and the story is decent. It just isn’t a home run like a few of the other X-Men films from Singer. The movie also pulls hard on some nostalgia heart strings. I couldn’t helped but be sucked in from the opening credits and the theme music. Then seeing many of the original sets from the first two films was a nice touch.

While the sets where familiar many of the faces portraying the X-Men are new. Overall the new additions for the most part are great. The one that completely stood out is Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. She did a great job of handling the teenage aspect of a mutant coming into her powers. I thought the ending with her was extremely powerfully and satisfying. I look forward to seeing her in the next X-Men movie along with the new Cyclopes. Tye Sheridan did a good job in his portrayal of Scott Summers, though he was a bit too brooding for my taste. Nightcrwaler was perfect, and I enjoyed him as much as I did during X-Men 2. The highlight for the heroes was the return of Quicksilver who stole the film in almost every seen he was in. The problem with all of these characters is that the movie felt too jam packed and not enough time was used to develop everyone.

The underdevelopment of the characters was mainly on the villain side. Storm had very little development for why she joined forces with Apocalypse. There was no motivational reasons for Psylocke and Angle to join him. They just did. Olivia Munn did a great job with her action, but she didn’t have much else to do. The last fight she had was well done, but forced into the movie. The other recruit, Magneto, is the most developed, but that is because he has been in every single movie. Fassbender does a great job with the role again, but I didn’t believe his storyline. He was too easily swayed in this film. I like it when he is a rock in his ideals, and he was very far from that in this movie. The main event which makes him become easy to manipulate was comical. It wasn’t believable and really took me out of the film. I understand his motivations after the event happened, they just should have used a more plausible scenario.

Which is my main gripe with Apocalypse. The film opens with a ritualistic ceremony in Ancient Egypt and we see high tech equipment being used in the pyramids. It’s never established how this technology came to be, maybe it is in the comics. I went with it, but the film gives unneeded exposition in the third act, and it would have been nice to get some here. Oscar Isaac does a great job with the role. He is menacing and has some great powers. The end fight with him is very well done and a highlight of the movie. I like the encounters Professor X has with him and the uncertainty each of those encounters has to the film. Each of those struggles was well done, and had me on the edge of my seat.

Though the emotional payoff for the final fight would have been better if Singer would have added something with more emotional weight. It seemed like he was going for those moments a few times, but pulled back. The lack of emotion could be credited to the one person who I didn’t totally enjoy in the film, Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t t think she mailed in the performance, but it wasn’t her best effort. From every trailer leading up to the movie her line delivery felt flat. It was a bit better in the context of the film, but as a pivotal character a better performance would have improved the overall result of the movie

It sounds like I am bashing on this movie, but I had a fun time watching it, and I will watch it again. I think certain story elements in the film felt rushed and underdeveloped, and other parts bloated. Maybe a director’s cut of this film would improve the end results. I still look forward to the next X-Men movie with or without Bryan Singer. All of the actors inheriting the roles did a good job and I want to explore more stories with them. I think if you are a superhero movie fan you will enjoy this movie. If you are getting tired of the superhero genre this one is still Worth Seeing, but you could probably wait for rental.

Did you see X-Men Apocalypse yet? If so what did you think? Where does it rank within the X-Men films?  If you haven’t seen it are you going to wait for rental? Are you tired of superhero movies? We already have 4 released this year with some more to come. Comment and let me know your thoughts. 

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