X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

XMen ApocalypseSomebody 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.

Magneto-gets-mad-in-X-Men-Apocalypse-TV-SpotEither 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.

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13 thoughts on “X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)”

  1. I haven’t seen it yet, but based on the overwhelming amount of average reviews I’ve been seeing, I’m in no hurry. I will watch it eventually…it just sucks because I had high hopes 😦

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever had high hopes for this franchise, just hopes that this revamp and a fresh cast could at least deliver something special. So far, not so much.

  2. It’s a real shame this movie didn’t work. I had reservations based on the trailer alone, which was messy enough by itself. I have yet to see it but will. I am not a huge fan of superhero movies as it is, but I have generally enjoyed all of the X-Men movies, especially the last one, which I found to be a highpoint in the series. Another reason the lukewarm reception of this one hurts. In fact, I actually might say that X-Men is my favorite franchise. Snyder’s movies suck on the most basic levels, so you won’t find me there. Nolan’s Batman trilogy is masterful, but I can hardly call it a superhero franchise. And all the Avengers/Iron Man/Captain America stuff just doesn’t interest me. Also, there’s yet to be a complete Spider-Man set that works. X-Men, through all its releases, has been the most consistently good for me.

    1. I guess it depends on the point of view. I’ve heard good stuff about X-Men, but I still think as a franchise, it is weak among the others. Especially in a superhero scheme of things. I think as a movie, it might be alright, but as a superhero movie, it doesn’t have the power behind it. And as a fan of Marvel movies, I guess our opinions differ in regards of what superhero movies should be about. Which is fine. At least we agree on the Nolan franchise, because that one falls in a whole different category – masterful!

  3. yeah, this movie was shit. First Class gave me hope, and the franchise was still… good, with Days of Future Past, but Apocalypse blew it. For one, the Egyptian thing was crap, and yeah, the fact that there are so many characters can be challenging and they definitely didn’t make it work here.

    But actually I just felt like I was re-watching a previous x-men film, with Erik trying to be good and then failing and then oh my feelings, Xavier we need to cry together, bam – world saved. It’s getting old.

  4. I found this movie entertaining, which is all I really wanted from a third installment of this new franchise. From what I understand based on the comic books, there was a lot of source material to squeeze into a two hour movie. I dunno. Meh.

  5. Hollywood will keep making uncreative sequels until people stop supporting them. Great actors can only carry a film so far. I’m still bummed they replaced Famke Janssen though, she still looks awesome and could have easily carried that role.

    Ethan Colburn Cineflek
    https://cineflek.com/

    1. I’ve heard some good things too. So I don’t know. It is a mess for me. Apparently I’ve misunderstood half the movies in the franchise. 😀

  6. Totally agree about X-Men! The characters and the world feels cool but it fails to come together a lot of the time. I want to be a fan but as far back as the original franchise and these reboots, they’re just so messy. First Class is probably my favorite, but it’s not without some flaws too, just less noticeable ones. It’s a shame because James and Michael try to act the shit out of these and the script doesn’t pay off. I don’t know how Marvel can be at least consistently above average with all of the Avenger spin-offs but X-Men just doesn’t get better. :/

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