There are four types of people who make the effort to pay for a superhero film or even more specifically an X-Men film.
A) People who have an impressive collection of comics and are on a constant lookout for easter eggs and secret references. (Hard to please)
B) People who just like to see shit blow up (These are the easiest to please).
C) People who are dying to see their celeb crush in a latex costume. (These are also easy to please as long as there’s some shirtless superhero action involved).
D) People who just want to see a film with an actual plot and strong performances.
I like to think of myself as a member of category D. I believe (specially in the recent years), we have lowered our standards when it comes to superhero films. As long there are some A-listers and a half-interesting villain, we get on the frontline to praise them.
I’m not here to do that. X-Men: Apocalypse was a not a good film. It’s not easy for me to say, considering James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender (the leads of the film) are up there on my top actors list. However, I’m not planning on sugar-coating my judgement either. There are so many things that went wrong with X-Men: Apocalypse.
First of all, Apocalypse. I’ve read a couple of comics with Apocalypse in it and that dude is a fucking badass in there. Apocalypse is supposed to be one of the most frightening entities in the entire universe. In the film, we see someone with a (one might say well-crafted) Halloween costume lurk around. That guy was definitely not terrifying. It wasn’t Oscar Isaac‘s fault. I mean, he did what he could I guess. But Apocalypse was supposed to SLAY OUR SCREENS. We were supposed to say ‘Oh my God, did he just do that?’. Instead, he spent an unfavorable amount of time scholding a teenager (when he should be spending more time trying to destroy the world, but oh well).
Talking about teenagers. You’d think that Apocalpse, who is most notably known for his Four Horsemen, would actually have four ruthless horsemen by our side. Nope. In the film, we are served with two teenagers with hormonal imbalances (Storm and Angel), a Psylocke who tried to look menacing but is never given enough time to fully develop and…Magneto. Does Magneto even have a purpose anymore? I’m truly wondering. The ‘family’ storyline felt so forced and planted in order to make Magneto change sides ONCE again and have a meaningless mini conversation with Charles ONCE again about yin and yang. Magneto’s story was brilliant in X-Men: First Class. What the fuck happened?
Amidst the amount of laughable moments, the ‘change of heart’ from young Storm has to take the cake. At some point towards the end, Storm, passionate about bringing the world to an end (for no actual reason), realizes she’s rooting for the wrong team when Apocalypse tries to strangle her teen icon, Mystique. I swear at that point, it was like watching a Taylor Swift documentary about a disappointed fan whose feelings are hurt because Taylor fell on stage. It was really a ‘What the hell am I watching’ moment for me.
As if all these subplots weren’t weak enough, the film was utterly destroyed by Mystique’s unjustifyingly long screen time. It really makes you wonder how much a director and a studio are willing to sacrifice quality-wise in order to bring in the big $$$. Apparently JLaw is bankable. So her character, Mystique, a B-list indifferent villain at least, gets more screen time than the likes of Magneto or Cyclops and apparently now LEADS THE X-MEN. What a joke!
Mystique has no interest whatsover in leadership — let alone the X-Men team. The ‘Mutant & Proud’ agenda was shoved down our throats by her in X-Men: First Class and now all of a sudden, we barely see her in her blue form. On top of that, she doesn’t even bother to change her appearance anymore, thus giving Jennifer Lawrence the appropriate screen time to make her money worth. It really is a disappointing development in the cinematic universe of X-Men, especially when there are so many refreshing and complex X-Men characters to explore.
I would love to give Lawrence credit for trying to grasp the essence of Mystique but unfortunately she seems to fail to embrace Mystique’s seductiveness and ruthlessness that is so widely portrayed in the comics. Actually, she doesn’t even try to get that across on screen which I’m not sure if it’s her fault or Singer’s. Frankly, her character in X-Men is Katniss Everdeen with a wig — starting a rebellion and all. I’m waiting for her to scream ‘Peeeeetahh’ at the next installment (I’m fairly sure they’re going to invite her to be a huge part once again for the next one, despite her statement).
The only redeeming qualities of this film are James McAvoy as Professor X who delivers an emotionally strong performance once again, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Kodi Smit-Mcphee‘s very enjoyable Nightcrawler and Evan Peters as Quicksilver who needs his own solo film ASAP.
In a time where we now approximately get 4-5 huge superhero films a year (and we’ll continue to do so for the foreseeable future), it is time to pay closer attention to these films and help them improve. I’ve been told in the past ‘It’s a freaking superhero film, what did you expect?’. I expect quality. Because the cast and crew of these films are being paid handsomely. Of course I’m going to be a tough judge. I also expect decency. If not for the film audience, then for the comic book audience who has been waiting all these years for these characters to be done right on screen. Let’s not keep messing them up. Also, maybe get Bryan Singer out of the X-Men picture? Maybe?
Propcake’s X-Men: Apocalypse DiCaps Rating: 2.5/5
What did you guys think of the film?
Do you agree that Quicksilver should be getting his own film?
Oh, how did you enjoy that unexpected Wolverine cameo?
Let us know.