Somebody spoke the words X-Men is my favorite superhero franchise and I choked a laugh because it was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Not funny ha-ha, but funny sad, because clearly, they are missing out.
The sad thing is, I think I want to love the X-Men myself, and there is so much to love, especially with the new origin movies. Yet, it is hard to love X-Men because it is still X-Men and it has had huge amount of flaws from since it started, and those flaws are always underneath the surface. The franchise has had its small moments of hope, but those have always proven to be shallow attempts to keep afloat an already sunken ship.
X-Men: Apocalypse is another proof of a failed attempt to show the franchise’s strength. The beginning is somewhat promising when Michael Fassbender as Magneto gives a heartfelt performance as a changed man dragged back to his bad ways. But after that, everything just becomes a mess because there are too many elements at play. Ryan over at The Matinee described it the best, when he wrote there is a challenge of balance. “Every X-MEN films is a juggling act involving seven to ten core characters.” And when I read that sentence, that was when it finally just hit me. That was exactly what I was feeling – the imbalance of the story, the need to push us down too many paths, too many stories, and as a viewer, it has been just too much at once, and all that I need is some clarity.
Apocalypse struggles with the mess the most, because it adds so many new characters to the already massive cast. And it fails to create any connection to these characters. Sure, Xavier’s (James McAvoy) kids get a lot more attention than the bad guys team, but still, why would you even give minions to an all powerful mutant bad guy named APOCALYPSE (Oscar Isaac)? Isn’t his name enough of a proof that he can destroy the world on his own just as well. But while the minions are pushed aside, the new younger versions of important future characters are not much better off. Sure, they get a lot more screen time, and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) adds much needed lightness to the movie, at the end of the day, they are just piled upon an already massive pile of main characters.
Either way, the saddest part is the fact that Fassbender isn’t the only actor going to waste in this franchise, because James McAvoy is doing the same. A small moment of hope is his awkward encounter with Moira (Rose Byrne), a comedic relief to a movie that is too heavy. You can see that McAvoy has the skills to bring lightness to the movie, but he isn’t given enough chances to do so. Anyway, I thought that moment and Fassbender’s performance in the beginning of the movie, were the strongest highlights of this apocalyptic movie.
Although, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Quicksilver’s (Evan Peters) rescue mission, but it was just too dragged out. It was almost like a whole music video, and what started off as an awesome sequence, ended with a sigh of relief because it was finally over. Which is exactly what I felt at the end of the movie, relief.
With everything that was going on, with those small moments of hope and comic relief, the movie was just too long and too messy. There were too many emotional issues that were left unresolved, there were too many characters that needed more attention, more respect. There was the always in a bad mood Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who seems to get more attention than others. There was the all powerful super villain, who needed useless minions to defeat a group of good guys. And let’s not forget the back and forth of Magneto, who is good, then bad, and then good again which just serves no purpose what so ever, if you think about it. Why waste screen time showing his struggles, if you’re going to discard then in the end and then sort of forget about them.
Also, if I’m already questioning everything, can somebody please explain, how is Magneto bad in the future? In Apocalypse, he goes through the most painful thing ever, becomes bad, and then still ends up good in the end, so what kind of struggles is put through after that, to become the bad guy he is in the future? And there has been so many back and worth with him and Mystique, that I can’t really see how the end-game of them both being on the evil side make any sense. Which again is proof of the fact that the franchise is making things too complicated and messy, and I just can’t be bothered.
But enough is enough and let’s end this review even though I have nothing else to say. So this final paragraph is quite an uneventful end to this review but what else can I say… At least Fassbender looked fine as hell.