I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!
After 2014’s timeline-changing X-Men: Days of Future Past (to be referred to heretofore as Days or DOFP or the one that is much, much better than Apocalypse), the X-Men franchise settles into ‘Meh’-level average-ness/mediocrity with X-Men Apocalypse (written by Simon “Says” Kinberg and directed/thrown at a dartboard by Bryan Singer, his okayest X-Men movie since the first one back in 2000).
To be sure, it’s not an apocalyptic failure, but if this is the final film of the McAvoy/Fassbender/J-Law era (their contracts are up after Apocalypse, and it‘s pretty well established that they all have careers on their own rather than be saddled with playing cartoon characters ad infinitum- take the hint, Robert Downey Jr./Scarlett Johannsson), then it really should have ended on a better note. On the plus side, the new recruits playing Cyclops, Storm, Mayonnaise, Jean Grey, Delivery Boy and Nightcrawler have nowhere to go but up.
Daniel Craig knows how you all feel as Apocalypse is the Spectre of the X-Franchise.
Nope. Apocalypse is much better than Spectre. Michael Fassbender’s Fass-member in Shame is better than Spectre.
The plot in 2 sentences. Bad guy wants to destroy the world. X-Men try to stop them.
The plot, bloated like the 2.5 hour movie.
Apocalypse opens like most X-movies do, with intros to what’s been going on with the X-Men complete with handy-dandy time and location stamps.
It’s 1983. 10 years after the events of Days. Remarkably no one has aged that much. Professor X (James McAvoy) is still hanging out with a bunch of kids Michael Jackson-style while he‘s in a wheelchair as he invites them to sit on his lap. Don’t worry, it’s all dead nerves down there, children.
- Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) is a teenager that has issues with his eyes. He shoots so much power out of them but can’t seem to last more than 4 minutes at a time. He’s young, dumb and full of eye cream.
- Kurt German Name (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has issues with his teleporting. He’s called Nightcrawler and is German
- Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has issues with anonymity. She’s seen as a hero among the mutants after the events of DOFP and doesn’t like it when people upload her nude pictures from the cloud and what was up with those final 2 Hunger Games movies.
- Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) has issues with being really powerful and almost marrying Joffrey and being raped by her husband and finding her sister Arya. At least she has naturally red hair.
- Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, looking like a pissed-off Pez dispenser and barely has more to do than he did in The Force Awakens) has issues with everybody. Literally. He’s purported to be the first mutant and he’s been trapped underground for centuries until he’s set loose by the Westboro Baptist Church and free to destroy the world because it’s the 80s and the ambitions are as large as the hairstyles. He thinks the superpowers (Russia and USA) are a bunch of whiny euphemism for cats and the Earth needs to be destroyed/rebooted much like the X-Men Franchise did after the duds The Last Stand and Wolverine.
Also, he needs a new body to inhabit. Like Ghostbusters 2.
You see, Apoc has the power of every mutant that’s ever lived, but he still needs the company of a four horsemen mutant boy band to walk around with him to tell him how great he looks. He imbues them with added powers which has nothing to do with the fact that he couldn’t get it up that one time and that hardly ever happens to him and just don’t look at him because he’s tired and he’s had a very difficult day. He recruits--
- Storm (Alexandra Shipp)- She controls the weather as you well know, but you never see her doing that 99% of the time she’s onscreen
- Angel (Ben Hardy)- He flies around with wings. Yup. That’s his power.
- Psylocke (Olivia Munn)- She has a super whip and a sword and a hot outfit. That’s it. She’s not completely useless like someone who’s really good with bow and arrow.
- Magneto (Michael Fassbender) - He’s been in hiding and works in a factory since DOFP. Erik got married and had a daughter that he promises he’ll never leave so you know she’ll be dead within minutes. Then he’ll be SadNeto.
It’s up to the Muppet baby X-Men and the rest of the Junior Woodchucks to stop the apocalypse by stopping the Apocalypse.
Ally Sheedy?! Totally 80s.
What works With X-Men: 7 or 3 or 5 Depending on Your Point of View
- Much like he did in DOFP, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) steals every scene he’s in and actually takes you out of your stupor. You get the feeling that if you showed too much of Quicksilver, it’d get boring and repetitive rather…quickly, (because he’s quick) but at least his appearance jolts you from a basic bitch X-Men episode. Sweet dreams, or at least better movies, are made of these.
- “Weapon X is Loose”
- If the newest generation of X Men, only Game of Thrones Sophie Turner actually makes an impression as Jean Grey. Certainly more than she ever did in the first 4 seasons of GoT. She’s the only newbie you really pay attention to as the others get lost in the FX and underdeveloped plotlines
What Doesn’t Work With X-Men Apocalypse
- A clunky first act takes time, takes way too much time introducing the new and old X-Men. It’s almost a literal hour before you get into the plot of the story and the movie actually begins to get moving. Here’s hoping you haven’t given up by then
- It takes a special kind of movie to elicit a 1-note performance from the normally stellar Michael Fassbender. He’s emo-sad for most of his screen time through no fault of his own. The voice cast of Angry Birds seems more invested. By the end of the film you can almost visualize Fassy cashing his check and moving on to his next Oscar Nomination, most likely not for Assassin’s Creed.
- An implausibly, conveniently placed security camera is shown to conveniently, implausibly show a game-changing 3rd act Plot point which alters the…Oh sorry. That was from Captain America Civil War. Never mind.
- A reference to Return of the Jedi (“The 3rd movie is always the worst“) proves too true for Apocalypse. “Worst” may be too harsh. Let’s call it “Least good by far”.
- Much like she did for most of Mockingjay, Jennifer Lawrence just looks bored to be there. At least she’s no longer contractually obligated to be there.
- The great Oscar Isaac is toothless as Apocalypse. Maybe it’s because he looks like turquoise sex toy and while it takes about 4 large batteries and dies right before you‘re about to…it’s not that frightening onscreen.
Days of Future Past effectively erased The Last Stand and Wolverine from the X-Men canon. Is it too much to ask it to do so for the 1st half of Apocalypse? At least it doesn’t have Hawkeye.