X-Men: Apocalypse Review (very few minor spoilers)

Unpopular opinion: Superhero movie fatigue is real and I’m starting to feel it.

X-Men: Apocalypse is a straightforward affair with very few ambitious attempts to further or develop the  burgeoning (but showing signs of stunting) cinematic universe machine. Something that has become the norm in the genre.

For a movie running 144 slow slogging minutes long, it’s actually quite forgettable… just like the movie’s titular villain and whatever his main goal was. Hollywood it seems has started to run out of ideas of what to do with their super powered folk. They just don’t seem to be able to tell a story without showing us an obscene amount of wanton destruction. By now i’m desensitized to it and it’s becoming a bit awkward because I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore when such scenes appear on the screen. It’s like when people sing Happy Birthday to you and you just have to sit there like an idiot wait until the songs over to say “thank you”.

Magneto and Apocalypse dished out planetary level destruction, and at no point did I think “man this is terrible, look at all this destruction. I sympathize for all these people losing their lives.” Nope. I think it was more along the lines of “wow, that’s a lot of CG this movie is using.” and “I hope this scene will be over soon.” It’s juvenile really and a little disrespectful towards my intellect.

But maybe the kids like it and that’s what they wanna see. I’m sure Hollywood has “focus grouped” the heck out of this. Hey, I hear they’re going take them into space in the next one. That’s something isn’t it, lol. Bucket-list goal: Sit in on a movie pitch meeting.

Curious enough, I think the ‘X-Men’ are in the best hands that they could be in. No, not Charles Xavier, but Bryan Singer. Singer revitalized the series when he was brought back on board after his departure following the second entry ‘X2: X-Men United’  He successfully retconned the future timeline of the series and formally connected it with the past ‘First Class’ timeline in ‘Days of Future Past’ So I was a bit surprised yesterday when ‘Apocalypse’ the movie turned out to be underwhelming. Welp, like the meta-way Sansa Stark pointed out in the movie, “i think we can all agree, the third one always sucks.” I see what you… I credit that to superhero movie fatigue forcing writers to run out of fresh ideas.

If it’s any consolation the performances were pretty good. There were a few subplots worthy of the talent Fox lined up for the movie. Michael Fassbender was great again as Magneto, this time struggling with his faith and what seems to be his curse. Can’t we just let Magneto live a peaceful modest life in the woods with his family, guys!? And of course Jennifer Lawrence delivered. It seems she just can’t stop inspiring dissent and revolutions in her movie franchises, which makes Apocalypse the character a little jelly. The best subplot and one that I feel as a fan Singer really nailed was introducing the young core X-Men. The future leaders and professors at Xavier’s School. It was almost palpable how much he cherished those characters. I respect that and tip my hat off to you, Sir.

As for my man Oscar Issac, I’m glad they hid you behind all that prosthetics and makeup, because for all the good roles you’ve had in recent outings such asEx Machina’ and ‘Force Awakens’, this was a step backwards. Not in your performance, but the character himself was just kind of ‘meh’ and kitschy. Apocalypse on paper sounds like an exciting role but the final product on-screen was anything but.

I think the X-Men work best as a representation and portrayal of discrimination, being different, fitting in, and of course discovering yourself and your inner strength in the midst of all this. Basically coming-of-age teenage years. Going forward I think it would be better to introduce a new young mutant character that manifests a lot of power they can’t control yet, and show the fallout from that. And have the others who have been there before help them out. I think that could work. Enough of the generic ‘big baddie that the group must unite against to fight and stop’ event-movies that keep coming out. Maybe an X-Men TV series isn’t such a bad idea? But at the end of the day it’s a business, and buddy business is a-boomin’

My Rating: 3/5


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