I have been historically harsh on any of Bryan Singer’s X-Men films, I will be the first to admit that. Mostly my wrath sprung from my early love and devotion to the funny paper pages, and the feeling that certain choices made in X1, X2, and X3 were not in the best interest of the characters and story. Poor casting of such monumental X-Men personalities as Storm, Cyclops and Rogue left a sour taste in my mouth, a flavor I’ve had to continually palette as the series progressed. Bringing in villains and occurrences too soon as well as poorly done action sequences reminded me why the 90s cartoon series was the most perfect representation of the comics to date. that That said, I am not a filmmaker, I only know what *I* enjoy seeing on the silver screen. I was sorely let down for many years by the Fox films.
Then First Class happened; casting these characters anew and capturing more of who I thought they should be in the world they found themselves in. Strong script writing and palatable action made it my top film in the mutant franchise, and it’ll remain there. That film gave me faith, which was pretty much dashed and broken during Days Of Future Past, once again giving us the Wolverine and Mystique Show. Needless to say, I was leery and trepadatious going into the 5th (yes, I don’t count the Wolverine films at ALL and neither should you) movie in the series.
If you don’t want spoilers for the movie, now is when you should find something else to read. Might I suggest any of the videos from our Secret of the Booze youtube channel? Mayhaps the Magneto adult beverage:
Still here? You’re sure? Spoilers are gonna happen, you know. Ok then, let’s get to it.
Apocalypse attempts to bring about his namesake, bringing together who he believes to be the most powerful mutants in order to reshape the world to his image/liking. Big Blue “En Subar Nu” (Oscar Isaac) supercharges Angel (into ArcAngel complete with the metal wings and blades), Storm into the white mohawked (FUCKING FINALLY) weather witch we’ve always wanted on camera, newcomer Psylocke into….something, and Magneto into possibly a bigger pain in the ass than we thought possible.
This is what we get from the Horsemen, give or take a few poorly rendered fight sequences later on that end up really doing NOTHING for godsized disappointment in the main ‘big’ fight between Big Blue, Professor X, The Horsemen and the X-Men.
Singer can’t direct super hero action. We’ve been spoiled as comic book fans with the amazing depth of hero fights we’ve had in the last 5 years, with Civil War being the BEST damn example of how to have these larger than life persons FIGHT each other believably. I really do make it a point not to judge any comic film from a different studio by the MCU, because it’s freaking unfair to do so. But this SHOULD have been the time Fox really let go with their Marvel property. I mean we have Storm, GODDAMN GODDESS in this movie, all supercharged and Horseman of Apocalypseness, and she barely does anything.
Same with Psylocke, who I’ve been DYING to see brought to life by Olivia Munn. If you go back and check Munn’s Instagram feed, you’ll get more out of the character than we get in her almost non existent scenes.
If you loved the Quicksilver time sequence in Days of Future Past (which is probably one of the ONLY moments from that movie that made it enjoyable for me, personally), then you’ll be DOUBLY happy. We get TWO sequences with Evan Peters doing his thing at subsonic speeds, saving students and preventing additional damage to “the team”.
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey works really well, EXTREMELY well, especially alongside the other new team members Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Klodi Smith as Nightcrawler. There was this tv spot released last night, and it contains two pretty big moments in the film, one of which is a celestial creature reveal that shouldn’t happen for the character quite yet, but does in the final fight:
Did you see the big ol spoilers? Don’t let the bigger sites fool you though, the Sentinels are NOT in the film as a major villain or plot point, they don’t show up until the end, and as part of The Danger Room training area for the team. But how about Jean at the center of a Phoenix shaped solar flare? That’s because she channels into the presence in the big fight, ultimately saving everyone from Apocalypse when all seemed lost. Do I like the inclusion? No, because it shouldn’t happen yet for the character. Did it look good? It did, surprisingly so considering how weak the other CGI composites are. Am I looking forward to seeing the Phoenix Saga with Turner at the core? Yes, actually. I will TOTALLY watch that.
Oh yeah, and then Weapon X shows up. I’m really fucking done with Jackman as Wolverine, and I have been since his first appearance in the role 16 years ago. Sure, it’s unfair maybe to say that, because Hugh is a wonderful actor, but he’s not Logan, he just isn’t, and no measure of fan service will make me believe it. UGH.
The post credits scene (yes, there is one) contains probably my favorite reveal/tease the series has ever done, and all it took was a name on a briefcase. “Essexcorp”, business of one Mr. Nathaniel Essex. Meaning that he ongoing Mr. Sinister rumor is 90% possible and happening. *evil laugh*
I know it may sound like I didn’t end up liking the film with everything I’m commenting on and pointing out, but I actually did like it. I would put it right up there with First Class as enjoyable, but this one really needed less grown men shedding tears and more mutant combat.
SCORE: 6.5 OUT OF 10, which is the highest I’ve ever given a Singer X-Film.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens worldwide on May 27th, 2016.