Wednesday, 18 May 2016

(film review) - X-Men: Apocalypse

I was never really interested in this film.  Why I hear you ask.  Well, I am a child of the 80's and the 90's X-Men cartoon was at the time THE BEST CARTOON from a comic book out there.  Spider-Man was also great as well, but this was cartoon/comic book gold.  My understanding of the X-Men and everything I learned from the X-Men came from here.  I knew about Apocalypse and that, he could not be defeated by the X-Men.  He was more powerful than all the other mutants as he was r claims he was the first mutant and even with all the X-Men and their powers combined, he just wouldn't die.  He has an entwining story with Cable and the cartoon made Apocalypse an monologging egotistical megalomaniac villain who was just great.  The only way you could defeat him would be to trick him into going back to sleep.  Considering we are starting X-Men from the beginning with First Class, Days of Future Past and now Apocalypse, I really felt that an Apocalypse film NOW was the wrong move, a misstep, as there are greater, but smaller villains out there like Mister Sinister for example. Anyway...

The film kicks off in Egypt where Apocalypse (Oscar Issac) has his four horsemen (War, Pestilence, Famine and Death) and is preparing to go to sleep.  He then wakes up several years later and decides that the earth requires cleansing.  He goes out in search for his four Horsemen to carry out his wishes, but is opposed by Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and the X-Men who rally together to stop him from destroying the earth and all humanity.

Pretty Simple.  Very short and sweet.  Nothing too extravagant and it sounds good on paper, right? However, where they went wrong for me, was with EVERYTHING.  There was too much liberties taken with Apocalypse and his horsemen.  I felt that the story alone, just was not strong enough to carry the movie.  There were some nice moments in the film and some brilliant scenes starring two separate people at two separate times, but it felt like Batman V Superman, more style over substance.  There were a few funny moments here and there and Apocalypse did feel like a threat, but he didn't seem overpowering to me.  I felt like they had to justify his powers too much.  He didn't seem like a Megalomaniac at all, just someone who wants to destroy the earth.  Almost a Moustache twirling Bond villain.  The film was gorgeous as the special effects were great and certain characters, you understood their motivations.  With others, it wasn't even a wink and/or nod, it was just mashed together for us to just accept it.  Even worst that these characters didn't get much dialogue.  Trying not to go into spoilers.
I never got why Mystique had to be soo pally pally with Xavier and she should not be leading the X-Men.  You see this in the trailers and it makes no sense to me.  A lot of things for this movie made no sense and although it worked in the film and I'm not trying to be pedantic about the comics and movies etc, but Bryan has been fudging up this universe from the very beginning and seems to be very unapologetic about it.  For the most part, this film works, just like all the others and I did enjoy it, but it felt like it was lacking and not in one particular area, but everywhere.  It needed more.  I have to say that Bryan is a smart guy and there is a moment in this film which ties a particular character among the other films which came before it (Although now erased).  Although I never liked it, this made it make sense and I accepted it.  Just like the final fight was lack-luster and the ultimate weapon that took down Apocalypse felt forced, but I got why they forced it in.

This film is much more graphic than previous films and although there isn't an abundance of blood (If it was directed by Tarantino, then we would need to wipe the lens in one particularly awesome part), a particular section in this film looked like it was ripped straight from the comic.  Which is an excellent thing.
McAvoy and Fassbender are great as usual.  I really did like Hoult (Beast), Shipp (Storm), Sheridan (Cyclops), Turner (Jean Grey) & Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) in their roles.  Some of the chemistry worked between Turner and Sheridan, but for me, I felt Shipp wasn't given enough, but she did well with what she had. Peters (Quicksilver), is dynamite as usual (when you compared to Days of Future Past) and Mystique was ok.

The way forward, is to build on Cyclops and Jean and their love for one another.  They need to build up the team and bring in more characters in the team and a better team dynamic tis time around. No, major leading characters unless it is to do with the main leaders of the X-Men, Cyclops and or Storm as she is second in command after Cyclops.

Have a good time with it, it is decent.  I just felt that Days of Future Past for Fox, has a very high and raised bar they need to match and/or beat.  This film didn't do it for me and I felt it could have been better.



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