'X-Men: Apocalypse' Review: Worst X-Men Film EVER

Discussion in 'Movies and Shorts' started by OckyDub, May 9, 2016.

  1. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub I gave the Loc'ness monstah about $3.50
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    "I won’t outright say that this is the worst X-Men film ever made because X-Men Origins: Wolverine is still that bad. But it is unquestionably the worst “team” X-Men movie ever made, and it is just the kind of film that will lead to so-called “superhero fatigue.”
    [​IMG]

    Mild spoiler warning, just in case…


    There is a scene in the 80’s set X-Men: Apocalypse where a young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) exit a showing of Return of the Jedi and argue the merits of the various Star Wars films. The participants discuss “Empire Strikes Back was better” versus “Star Wars started it all” before coming to a consensus that the third films always stink. It’s intended as a jab at X-Men: The Last Stand, but it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bryan Singer’s would-be trilogy capper is a shocking miss. It is a lifeless and hollow shell of a picture, lacking exciting action, strong character interplay, or compelling storytelling. It is the nadir of the franchise, determined to make you apologize for every mean thing you’ve ever said about Brett Ratner’s rushed X-Men trilogy capper a decade ago. X-Men: The Last Stand is X2: X-Men United compared to X-Men: Apocalypse.

    After a promising prehistoric prologue that seems to promise a certain fantastical one-upmanship for this generally grounded franchise, the film offers a series of introductory table-setting scenes for what turns out to be the vast majority of its running time. We cut between “meet the new kids” moments (including a Cyclops origin that feels like the X-Men prologue segment we never got back in 2000), some “catch up with old friends and enemies” beats (like Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven rescuing Nightcrawler from a cage match), and our new villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) slowly and deliberating recruiting each of his four “horsemen.” For a reel or two, it looks like Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, and friends are really going to give us a “disaster movie” in the mold of an X-Men adventure. But then we come to the first confrontation with Xavier and Apocalypse, and you realize that the film is almost over.

    It’s no secret that I think the reliance on Magneto (be he Ian McKellen or Michael Fassbender) as a source of (the same) conflict or (the same sort of) villainy has been this franchise’s long-form Achilles’ Heel. You can imagine my horror when I realized that this sixth team X-Men film was again going to revolve partially around Magneto (Fassbender, sadly phoning it in) lifting stuff for evil and Charles (McAvoy, surprisingly phoning it in) and his X-Men trying to get their former friend to stop lifting stuff for evil. Magneto’s new wife and daughter (this one takes place in 1983, ten years after Days of Future Past) get more dialogue than Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) combined. That’s impressive because (as you might guess) said family quickly gets fridged so Erik can “have an angry” and willingly join Apocalypse’s team.

    The other three “horseman” (Psylocke, Storm, and Ben Hardy’s Angel) are walking action figures, with no character development and no substantive screen time. There is a reason why we keep seeing that “Psylocke slices a car in half with a sword” shot in all of the later X-Men: Apocalypse trailers and TV spots. The heroes do little better. The young kids (Jean, Scott, Jubilee, etc.) get almost no time to bond or play with their powers. McAvoy is fun in the early scenes but soon becomes an exposition machine and a non-entity in the action. Even Jennifer Lawrence, arguably the biggest female star on Earth, has almost nothing to do beyond a few brief reunion moments and an extended bout of climactic peril. If you think this is all ends with the mother of all X-Men action finales, think again.

    No spoilers, but what you get is a slightly more fantastical redo of X-Men’s finale (with a few secondary villains sent to briefly distract our heroes so that the main villain can cement their evil scheme) and a deluge of arbitrary CGI that will remind you of the climax to Ang Lee’s Hulk. The end of the world is confined to a single isolated location, with no outside reaction or consequence despite what I presume are countless deaths. I am not sure how you make Oscar Isaac as a world-destroying baddie dull, but the powers-that-be have pulled it off. It’s good fun seeing a happy and revitalized Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) running his school and enrolling a bunch of young mutants. The idea of a young batch of fresh newbie X-Men, even if they are just younger versions of the characters we already met, has promise. But we spend next-to-no time getting to know these new kids.

    You know that scene in a record store where they hold up a “Dazzler” record that made the rounds because everything thought Taylor Swift was playing Dazzler? Yeah, that’s not in the movie. After all, why spend time watching these kids getting used to each other or their powers when you can configure a huge chunk of the film for the sole purpose of being in a specific location that enables a fan-bait cameo? Say what you will about X-Men: The Last Stand, but that film had characters who talked to each other about interesting things, and a plot that at least tried to be about something. This has little of that. The one great action beat is A) a variation of the last film’s great action beat and B) basically (if you think about what almost happens and why) undercuts the entire premise of Charles’s philosophy. The film plays like a mixed tape from prior X-Men pictures, with both highlights (Quicksilver is cool) and lowlights (Did you love lumberjack Logan and his imperiled girlfriend in X-Men Origins: Wolverine?).

    And through all of this is a total lack of urgency, a lack of momentum, and because of the utter lack of character development for our newer/younger characters (or much of interest for the veterans), no emotional investment. The entire film seems to want to set up the next stage of the franchise, yet it hamstrings itself by neglecting nearly all of its characters. This is the kind of film where the production notes contain far more
    character development and thematic elements than what we see onscreen. I won’t outright say that this is the worst X-Men film ever made because X-Men Origins: Wolverine is still that bad. But it is unquestionably the worst “team” X-Men movie ever made, and it is just the kind of film that will lead to so-called “superhero fatigue.”

    It has no reason to exist beyond the fact that the last film made money, and it offers a franchise absolutely determined to be so tied to its past that it gets left behind in the very comic book sub-genre that it helped popularize. It is the kind of superhero comic book film that typified the genre before the original X-Men (and Blade) turned things around. X-Men is still a groundbreaker and still works as a potent character drama. X2: X-Men United contains perhaps the best first act in superhero cinema. X-Men: First Class promised a deliciously fantastical and pop-art zippy X-Men reboot. But X-Men: Apocalypse is the kind of weightless, soulless trifle of a bore that makes comic book superhero movies look bad and makes me not look forward to the next installment.

    X-Men basically invented the modern superhero movie. But this franchise needs to make a choice: evolve or die.
     
  2. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub I gave the Loc'ness monstah about $3.50
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    Worse than Last Stand? How is that humanly possibly? There should be a rule in Hollywood that if you make a bad movie, you should not be allowed to make another movie for 5 years.
     
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  3. DreG

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  4. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub I gave the Loc'ness monstah about $3.50
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    Damn...reading the reviews online
    13164373_10208962538677620_302144038292126092_n.jpg
     
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  5. Omega Level

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    Im confused Ocky. Did you see the movie and wrote the review? or is it coming from somewhere?
     
  6. DreG

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    I wish Matthew Vaughn had been able to contibue with a completely reboot triliogy after First Class.Seems like that would've been promising.
     
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  7. OckyDub

    OckyDub is a Verified MemberOckyDub I gave the Loc'ness monstah about $3.50
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    Sorry it came from Forbes.com
     
  8. alton

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    There would be a LOT of people on extended hiatus, then.
     
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  9. alton

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    Yeah..I've been reading reviews too and I'm hoping that its not that as bad as they are saying..I was so excited for it.
     
  11. Discordant

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    Bryan Singer is awful for the franchise. He's incapable of creating an ensemble cast like the X-Men are supposed to be and casting Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique when she is clearly not into the role, and then making her the female lead, was a tragic misstep. Also, his infatuation with the Charles/Xavier dynamic got old after X2 and should have given way to the plethora of other X-Men villains and rogues.
     
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  12. RedKing

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    Can't second this enough... Singer and the Schuler-Donners have miscast, raped and ruined the X-Men franchise from the gate.
    They copy/paste whoever and whatever wherever to fit their craptastic stories. They have no respect for the books or the characters, which means they give no fucks about the fans, and they're just there to make money.

    Every single movie has overly featured Wolverine, and Hugh Jackman does a decent job as the character, but come on...
    Then for some ridiculous reason, Magneto and Mystique have been in every single movie. They're villians, you don't see Joker in every Batman movie, do you? Why the movies are called X-Men, I can't understand, when they should all be called Wolverine and Xavier (feat Magneto and Mystique). They pervert the X-Men's origins and do what is considered sacrilege amongst comic fans, they change the original line-up for first class... Pointless and stupid. Beast, Angel, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Iceman - those are the originals. Mystique and Magneto had nothing to do with the founding of the X-Men whatsoever. Actual immensely important X-Men, like Cyclops and Storm, continuously take a back seat to characters who should have been seen once or twice, like Quicksilver and Mystique, and anything these vultures actually do bring from the comic storylines only gets hacked and f*cked royally out of recognition. Halle Berry is a great actress, she is no Storm, Marsden is no Cyclops (even though he didn't get much of a chance to try), and Famke Jenssen as Jean Grey? WTF? I guess I shouldn't be surprised since that Lauren Schuler Donner moron thinks Channing Tatum would be a good Gambit... Lord...

    As long as Fox has the rights to the X-Men, we will continue to see bs X-Men movies. X-Men is my favorite franchise from back in the late 80's with Lee/Claremont Uncanny days, and sad to say, but I will probably never see a good X-Men movie in my lifetime, unless Marvel gets their characters back. But that's highly unlikely.
     
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  13. Winston Smith

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    AMEN
    As a kid, I had all the X-Men from the first issue up to the Byrne era in the 80s. When the movies came out, I thought what the fudge is up with all this Wolverine? Cyclops was always the leader of the group. He was the executive officer to Xavier's command officer status. Wolverine? Some warrant officer off to the side.

    If you go with an American actress, I always saw Angela Bassett (at the time) as Storm. She certainly had the body and athleticism (She was tight as hell in "What's Love Got to Do With It"). Oh well, when they reboot they'll go with Rihanna (lol). Had she been in the age range when the first X-men movie came out, I could see Nichelle Nichols as Storm, too.

    Nigeria and other African countries have a vibrant film industry that rivals Bollywood. Before his American debut in "Lethal Weapon 4," I knew about Jet Li from years earlier from all the bootleg imports I used to buy in Chinatown. I know there are many African talents who could make the transition from their home market to the American one just like Li went from Tsui Hark Hong Kong movies to American hits like "The Expendables." Please, no more heifers like Berry!

    I wish From x would just give up on Fantastic Four, as much as X-Men. There's no excuse for crappy scripts. Stan Lee unleashed all his pent-up wannabe novelist talents on just about every Marvel title in the 60s. Every freaking Kirby page is practically a storyboard for a film waiting to be made.If Fox just cribbed Lee-Kirby narratives from the 60s, their movies wouldn't suck so much.
     
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