Next to Spider-Man, The X-Men have been my favorite thing about superhero comics since I was a child. Hundreds of comics have been purchased, dozens upon dozens of mutants have been memorized and more than one theme song has been sung for casual fun (X-Men…Coming Your Way!!!). I even had a countdown to the initial outing for our crew of Wolverine, Jean Grey and the gang, knocking off the 100 days until X-Men arrived in theatres, only to find out I was out of the country upon release.
Now, X-Men is just one of an army of spandex flicks, and Professor X delving into someone’s mind or Magneto lifting some heavy shit is just routine. So, how is X-Men: Apocalypse, the third in a second trilogy of these characters? Instead of a normal review, I’m going all-in on the off-my-head thoughts.
Good : The newly cast students of the Xavier Academy are good actors.
Bad : Those new actors have nothing in terms of character to play. Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops is…young? Beyond being scared – at first – of his abilities, there are no consistent traits. Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey has a little more to it, basically teasing future storylines that have already been done in these films.
Good : Fassbender is terrific in the sequences where Magneto tries to live peacefully, and in secret, as a regular Joe in Poland.
Bad : Then his family gets Nolan’d.
Good : The little hints at how humanity views mutants in terms of history and influence.
Bad : The inconsistency with how people view mutants. The sequence where Nightcrawler aka a blue-demon-looking-dude goes to the movies looking all blue and demon-y is laughable in context.
Good : Casting Oscar Isaac.
Bad : Everything to do with Apocalypse in this film. Outside of a properly frightening introduction, his appearance doesn’t convert the menace of the design to the screen, the vocal inflection is poorly executed make the character sound like a bunch of echoes and Apocalypse’s powers are wonky and random.
Good : The Metallica song “The Four Horsemen” being included.
Bad : Can I say everything again? Who is Psyclocke and why does she decide to follow Apocalypse’s plan to basically terminate 99% of the population? Why does Storm, a kind thief, also get down with this plan? Why does she change her mind? Angel…I guess I can give them Angel.
Bad : Hey Magneto, I know you’ve killed a couple million people probably, but we’re cool, right? You’re done with that now, right?
Bad : The hell are these ages? Two decades have passed since First Class and Havok looks identical. In the decade since Days of Future Past Quicksilver is just still living with mom. Beast hasn’t aged a day.
Bad : The action sequences are non-existent. This might be alright if the character work was really dynamite; it’s not. This might be alright if the closer was spectacular; it isn’t.
Bad : Too many plots. Too poorly edited together. In the first hour, we keep cutting back to Mystique wandering around with Nightcrawler, as seemingly days have gone by in other storylines, yet the pair are just hanging in the streets. Like, the hell. The hell. Cut some storylines, allow some room for anything to breathe.