And the story continues with the unbeatable X-Men franchise. Hell yeah I was looking forward to this film. And as the comic nerds can guess, this is in large part because I don’t read the comics. As I understand, the comic community hated the movies because they didn’t follow the original source material too closely. I’m shocked this is still a complaint…or, maybe I shouldn’t be. Comic book fanbases…what can you do? Anyway, I’ve loved this franchise since the beginning, the franchise started kicking it in high gear since FIRST CLASS, I was damn ready to see this flick. Well now it’s time to break out the adamantium claws and give my honest opinion of X-MEN: APOCALYPSE.
In ancient Egypt, En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) was the world’s first mutant in history, and has lived for many lifetimes, transferring his consciousness into a younger host when age begins to take him. But as his latest transitioning takes place, those that believe him to be a false god bury him in a tomb. He only emerges once again in the 1980’s as some leftover followers unearth his mysterious technology, which activates, and Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) was there to witness it all. This unfortunately comes a bad time for the Xavier Institute that is thriving and even has its newest addition, Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), younger brother to Alex Summers/Havoc (Lucas Till). But as Apocalypse’s presence becomes stronger to Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), the ancient mutant is bolstering his forces as well, commanding his newest “Four Horsemen” to aide in his destruction of the modern world and forge a new one in his image, but not before kidnapping Charles for his unique connection to every single person on the planet. Only the X-Men, led by lone wolf Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), can stop this mad mutant.
Ha! It’s always the third one. *le sigh* Well, honestly, it’s not bad. It’s actually pretty good. But… yeah, FIRST CLASS was awesome, and DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was downright incredible. Having the descriptive phrase “pretty good” clearly means a few steps back were taken. And… yeah, there were.
But let’s start with the good.
Everyone you expect to be good in this… er, well, is good. McAvoy owns – Olivia Munn – the role of young Xavier (sorry Patrick Stewart, but you didn’t fool anybody in X-MEN: THE LAST STAND), as does – Olivia Munn – Michael Fassbender as young Erik/Magneto. Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver – Olivia Munn – is also one of the best parts. And big kudos to the young original team, Sheridan, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, and – Olivia Munn –
*SLAPS myself in the face*
Okay, god damn it! My penis demands I put aside rational thought and cohesive ideas and talk about how unbelievably distracting Munn is as Psylocke… in the best possible way. As soon as she’s in… you know, that outfit, I can’t stop staring at… everything. The front… the back… the side. The entire movie doesn’t exist, what’s happening in the scene doesn’t matter, all that matters is – forgive my crass and one-track mind, women everywhere – how incredibly hot she is.
Excuse me, I’m drooling. Gotta go make myself presentable.
THERE!!! Jesus, now my penis can shut the fuck up and I get back to talking about the important shit. But while I’m on the subject of Munn, yeah, she’s pretty bad-ass as Psylocke. Her psyblades looked really cool and she was able to handle herself pretty damn well in a fight. I do look forward to seeing Munn as Psylocke again in a future X-Men movie, but only time will tell.
Now, moving on from Munn altogether, I really do mean it about the rest of the cast. Everyone’s phenomenal and I hope that more X-Men movies get made with this cast.
Yes, just like in FUTURE PAST, Quicksilver is amazing. And he’s in the movie much more in this. Go popularity, right? The trailer did not lie, Wolverine does make an appearance. It’s a glorified cameo, but it’s still about as bad-ass as you can get. Hell, even the scenes with Angel/Archangel (Ben Hardy) were pretty bad-ass. His opening scene is him in a cage fight against Nightcrawler and he’s a drunk, listening to punk rock. And believe me, I haven’t geeked out over Jean Grey. Not giving anything away, but… damn, Turner owns this role just as well as Famke Janssen did.
So we all know that Wolverine’s getting a third and final solo film soon and it’s on the cusp of an R-rating. Wanna know what I think? This movie was preparing us for that. How? Because the deaths in this movie are brutal. The opening scene has people getting crushed by stones and getting burned alive. Outside of anything Wolverine related, I’ve never seen an X-Men movie pack punches like this. It’s… kind of awesome as hell. I cringed folks. I giggled at the violence in GREEN ROOM, but I cringed and turned my head away in this movie. That should tell you something. If this third Wolverine movie is going to be anything like this, I honestly can’t wait. And THANK YOU for keeping Xavier in his wheelchair. It’s so annoying to see him out of it.
The action’s great, visuals are outstanding, and it’s one hell of a good time. But for all the good that it does, I do have my problems with it.
Let’s start with the nitpicky stuff.
As many of you know, I am not a fan of Lawrence. I don’t think she’s a bad actress, but with the exception of two or three movies, I just don’t find her work to be all that impressive. This is not an exception. I am kind of annoyed that she is so front and center with these latest movies. I know she’s hot shit right now, being an Oscar winner and all, but… must these movies cater to her fame so much? Her role in FIRST CLASS was essential, but the focus was on the group as a whole, not on any one person. FUTURE PAST, fine, she “helped” make the Sentinels that would eventually destroy the world, so it’s a race to convince her take the high road. But this… this is just frustrating. I feel like this second half of a trilogy is getting high-jacked by Lawrence. Not on purpose, I’m not blaming her necessarily, but I am blaming the studio or her agent/publicist/lawyers, or whoever is pulling the chains on this. Xavier is the leader of the X-Men. He’s the one who goes on the front lines to help his students. Why is Mystique so invested in Magneto’s state of being? I know they were lovers, but damn, when do exes just move on from each other? In any case, I just feel like her involvement in the X-Men here is just too convenient and forced.
Okay, so the Cuban Missile Crisis was 1962, correct? That is when FIRST CLASS is set. So back then, how old were these characters? Xavier and Mystique were about the same age when they met, so, ball parkin’ it… mid-twenties in the Missile Crisis? Magneto certainly in his early thirties. The date of APOCALYPSE is early 1980s. This is basically twenty years later. I’m sorry, neither Lawrence nor McAvoy look like they’re forty years old, nor does Fassbender look 50. Maybe this lack of aging worked well enough for FUTURE PAST, but now these characters need to start seeing some wrinkles and grey hair. For some reason, we aren’t seeing that shit.
But like I said, this is all nitpicking. Let’s jump into the real problems I had.
Also, why does Magneto get a jackhammer to his emotional balls in this universe? I mean, he’s a vengeful dude, we get it. He grew up in a Nazi concentration camp where his parents were killed. He hates humans. We get it. But… was it absolutely necessary to give him a wife and kid to have killed off? Something’s telling me Apocalypse wouldn’t have needed that extra bit of motivation to be turned to join him. He already hated humans to begin with and he and Apocalypse have the same goals anyway: kick humanity to the wayside and make a future for mutants. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the scenes are legit. To see Erik as a loving father and caring husband, working a normal job, and to see his pain when they’re killed, it’s powerful stuff. I just didn’t think it was necessary. As well as the fact that converting him back to the good side didn’t take much convincing either.
MAGNETO – I lost my family! I am in mourning! I’m going to destroy the world with Apocalypse and build a better one!
MYSTIQUE – But we love you.
MAGNETO – Okay bestie, let’s go kick Ivan Ooze’s ass.
Also, Apocalypse is a bit of an underwhelming bad guy toward the end of the movie. Here’s what I mean. At first, yeah, he’s pretty scary. I mean, he’s melting people into the sides of buildings while they’re clearly still alive. Other times, he’ll melt the concrete ground under people and resolidify it and those poor bastards’ limbs are still twitching. He’s clearly a force to be feared. So two things: 1) Why does he need these Horsemen? Sure, maybe to protect him while he’s transferring his consciousness from one host to another, but then again… why only four? What rule dictates that he can only have four? He could have more, am I right? And also, if he can fuse anyone to anything, how does he have such a hard time with the X-Men? I feel like he could just run up to someone, grab them by the throat and thrust them into the ground to suffocate and die. I guess the power of bad screenwriting strikes again.
And why specifically these four? Sure, Magneto makes sense, he’s considered to be one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe, but Psylocke? Sure, she’s an assassin, but this movie just makes her out to be a glorified henchman. Angel? Alright, you gave him metallic skin and sharp projectile feathers, you have your uses. Storm? She controls the weather. There’s uses too, but neither of the them hardly pass for “the most powerful.” There had to have been better choices out there. Instead, he sort of just takes what he can get. Great strategy there, dude.
I know I had a lot more to say about the bad stuff, but honestly, when you’re watching it in the moment, it is a pretty solid flick. It’s good, but it falls pretty short of the amazingness of the previous two X-Men flicks. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of the franchise or the cast and definitely worth a second viewing… but maybe not more than that. It’s not without its flaws, but I enjoyed it a great deal.
And I love Olivia Munn.
GOD DAMN IT, PENIS, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!
My honest rating: 4/5