REBUILD A BETTER MOVIE, PLEASE.
Note: The following review is SPOILER FREE!
If you think Fant4stic is the worst Fox could do, you are right. However, X-Men: Apocalypse dips dangerously low with its latest blockbuster.
X-Men: Apocalypse centers around the titular “era,” but as bruting as the title is, the punch it attempts to deliver is nothing but a limp slap. There’s a messy, unbalanced dichotomy between the two sides here. On one half you have the X-Men, who, fittingly, are the standouts of the film. On the apocalyptic side, you have Apocalypse and his four horsemen, which make the film drag anytime they curse the screen with their presence.
We’ve been treated to series’ mainstays in Prof. X, Magneto, Mystique and Wolverine in this new rebirth of the series, but this time around, we get the true dynamic of X-Men back with the (re)introduction to Jean, Cyclops and Nightcrawler. Sophie Turner turns in a great portrayal as Jean Grey, bringing a struggling but more than capable quality to the hero. Tye Sheridan does well with his role as Cyclops, developing well throughout the film. Finally, Nightcrawler, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, lands right under Quicksilver in the comedic department.
When the trio is on screen and working together, the film is hitting all the beats a great X-Men film should. It’s when the film cuts to Apocalypse and his over-the-top shenanigans that things just get god-awful. I was rarely impressed by what he could do as the villain. Apocalypse is the first mutant, and the movie really wants that to mean something. Unfortunately, from the moment the sickly designed deity debuts, it’s one long, monotone note being blown until the film haphazardly runs out of breath.
Missing from this “apocalypse” is a sense of scale and a sense of place. Another sin against the film is the rushed movement of pieces, namely the way Apocalypse and his four horsemen all collate as one less-than-impressive team. Michael Fassbender’s Erik/Magneto delivers a genuinely grounded performance. The oddly disappointing downside to this is the good performance feels out of place because what follows it is such a mess. Fassbender and James McAvoy do the usual excellent work in their roles as Magneto and Prof. X, respectively, and this goes to show that X-Men shines when it’s a Magneto/Prof. X dynamic. Apocalypse is simply an obnoxious distraction from what makes X-Men work.
X-Men: Apocalypse is a jarring drop from what preceded it. With past conflicts consisting of mutants v humans and mutants v mutants, I was baffled as to why mutants v god wasn’t the granddaddy of all conflicts. Half the cast is given meaningful objectives and motives, and the other half plays puppet to the script which insists on moving them “here” for the sake of a truncated final battled. When you have a film like Civil War that had no problem handling a whole host of characters and giving them purpose on top of that, it’s embarrassing that X-Men: Apocalypse couldn’t mimic the same success, and, quite frankly, it’s embarrassing that both films share the Marvel graphic.
Do you think this was a worthy entry? Did Quicksilver outdo himself? Tweet me @NerdDotMe. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
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