Well Internet, I hath returned. Like warm spring mornings after a cold winter. Like the gossamer leaves of a mighty oak after a long fall. Like indigestion after an oe’r hastily eaten meal. I’m back, and I bring with me, like the rarest of spices from the orient, a review. A movie review, of a pretty okay movie.
Micah Reviews: X-men: Apocalypse.
Ah the X-men franchise, the great grandfather of the super hero franchise. Unlike the great Grandmother of the super-hero franchise (Spiderman) the X-men franchise seems to be plugging along just fine. It had a few rough years there with X-men 3 and Wolverine: Origins but it was re-invigorated by X-men: First Class, and the follow up X-men: Days of Future Past was a solid (albeit less inventive) entry into the series. So can Apocalypse keep the X-men franchise rolling? Or does this series need yet another shot of new blood?
So… many and many a year ago in a Kingdom by the Sea, there was a mutant named umm… Something Egyptiany. And he was the king!! For reasons. But it seems not everyone was super okay being ruled by a giant blue man with weird looking armor , and so (in typical Egyptian fashion) they dropped a Pyramid on him. Cause that’s how they be triangulating.
Many MANY years later some people digging around under Egypt unearth his tomb and thus an extremely predictable, and uninteresting sequence of events is set into motion. Over the course of these events many and many bland people will do things in a bland way, for bland and uninteresting purposes. It’s a joy and a thrill…Assuming you have never EVER been to the movies, or seen a movie.
Look, there’s nothing incredibly broken with this movie. But there’s also nothing especially good about any one part of it. But because I went to all the trouble of typing “The Positives” up there I guess I have to come up with something. The cast is probably the strongest thing this movie, Michael Fassbender and James McCavoy are just locked into these characters and do some genuinely good work. The rest of the cast does well on the whole but, honestly, most of them just don’t have anything to do. Very few characters go through any meaningful change, or show any real emotional range, and it really doesn’t matter who the actor is if all he or she is being asked to do is stare blankly ahead at something.
There’s no one thing that makes X-men: Apocalypse not work. It’s not even really a bad movie, it’s just a movie that doesn’t seem to care that much. The word you’re gonna read a lot here is gonna be “lazy” it’s a VERY lazy movie. For instance:
The script just feels tired and uninterested. Characters regularly and clearly state their intents or powers. “I’m telepathic, that means I can hear what people say” says Jean Grey when asked about her powers. “Unleash Havoc!!” Says Professor X when trying to get Havoc to unleash his powers. It’s like they wrote a very rough draft and then never went back to refine the lines. The same can be said for the story here which is basically exactly what you think it will be from the trailers. It never deviates or twists at all except for the inevitable “Magneto is evil, is Magneto really evil???” Storyline which ends exactly like it has the last three times we saw it. It’s not a bad storyline, it’s just a lazy one that unfolds exactly like you think it should and ends (like you expect it to) with everyone working together.
The fight scenes also ring of laziness not relying on any sort of finesse or choreography, but instead involving a light of quick cuts and people shooting beams at each other. It’s not poorly done or uninteresting, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.
The movie does have two big problems: the first is it just has too many characters. And because of that it doesn’t really get to spend time developing any of them. Everyone just sort of stands around and waits for their turn to have an emotion but you never really get a sense for who any of them are or why we should care about them. We spend so much time bouncing around between characters and locations that none of it really has any sticking power at all and it leaves an already uninspired movie to try and muddle through with an uninteresting cast of characters.
But the biggest problem with X-men: Apocalypse is, in point of fact, Apocalypse himself. We spend a huge chunk of our time with him and all of it feels wasted. He just sort of looks at things with his unreadable blue face and occasionally gives long speeches in a monotone voice that relay the same information through out. “Stop touching my things” Apocalypse says over and over and over again. He’s just a big blue block of nothing and for some reason the makers of X-men thought he was fantastic. If Marvel is looking for a blue print (pun intended) on how not to do Thanos, this is it. Basically the movie became those parents who think they’re child is the best recorder player ever, and so you have to sit and listen to them play “hot cross buns” over and over and over again except in this case the recorder is a huge, blue, block of uninteresting blue cheese.
X-men: Apocalypse isn’t a terrible movie. It’s not Fantastic Four or Batman V Superman, it has a strong cast, good visuals, and it’s not a terrible story at its core. That said, it doesn’t do anything with any of those elements, the cast is under-utilized, the visuals have been done before, and the story is crippled by a very uninteresting villain and stiff dialogue.
I give it 3 Blue Recorders out of 5.