X-Men Apocalypse Review (Spoilers)


SPOILERS ARE AHEAD

I went into this movie was some laxed expectations; prepared for disappointment. The Rotten Tomatoes critic reviews pegged this movie at 47%. Here we go again; another key villain ruined. Spider man's Venom got the horrible treatment in Spiderman's 3rd installment. Could they do the same here with Apocalypse? Perhaps a bit biased, he was my favorite villain in the 90s X-men cartoon.

Overall

Overall, this was a good solid movie. How the critics are pegging it at 47% is a mystery to me. The audience score of 74% seems pretty accurate to me. This is a movie that has a little bit of everything there, but simply misses on depth. Yes, this is an action movie, but it even misses on action depth. I'll break it down below.

Apocalypse

To my surprise, they do a pretty good job in his looks. Now that is just opinion of course. Some people may not like it. They even introduce his motivations; in that he thinks the strong should rule, and the world is not now ruled by the weak; using political systems and weapons. Yet, we fail to really appreciate his motives. They could have definitely spent some more screen time and dialogue here. This is not exactly a short movie and it had plenty of room for it. It spends a lot of time with Apocalypse recruiting people. To rely solely on Magnetos rage seems silly; not to mention a bit forced and out of character for Magneto. This was the perfect time for Apocalypse to reveal his ideal world and how the strong (mutants) should survive instead of them cowering inside their systems.

Not to mention, we don't really get to see his powers light up the screen. He doesn't change form or size and smash the X-men. No, he just seems bored and uses matter control.

Nor do we get any emotions from him but boredom. No humor. No maniacal laughing. No angst.

Apocalypse Dies

This is not really a critique of the movie as it is watched. Someone just watching the movie or not caring about the comic nature of the movie might not care.

Apocalypse is a major villain. He is all powerful. Yet, he is destroyed by the X-Men the first time they challenge him. It did not do him justice. I had hoped they trap or bury him so the threat of his awakening remains. They had all the elements in the movie to make it happen. I almost thought it was going to happen that way when Magneto started trapping him in metal. Nothing like a bunch of earth and a pyramid on top of him to keep him imprisoned. 10 seconds of CGI could have made this much more satisfying with Apocalypse fading to sleep knowing the power of the Phoenix is too great for him.

This is the along the same criticism I had with Batman Vs Superman. In that movie, major events like Doomsday and even the Death of Superman are treated as minor events.

The X-Men

I really only have compliments about the X-Men. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Mystique, Beast, Quick Silver, Night Crawler... are all solid performers. You get their emotions, motivations, and personalities.

The Villains

Psylocke, Storm, Magneto, and Angel just seem bland as villains. You wonder why they would join Apocalypse in ending the world.

Psylocke comes across as a mercenary who doesn't care. This kind of works for her. She looks amazing and so do her powers, so she is effective in that role.

Storm is confusing as a character. She is seen admiring Mystique and looks like a 'good' character. So why would she join Apocalypse at all in his destroy the world quest?

Angel? You couldn't care less about this guy. Just a bad guy who lost his wings and Apocalypse gives them back to him. Why waste screen time on this guy or his back story when they do so little for Apocalypse's motivations?

Magneto as a character is good. His suffering at the hands of humans is key to his character. Yet, his motivation to join Apocalypse seems forced. Then at the end, he has the usual chat with Xavier as if nothing happened. Hello... Magneto joined Apocalypse to destroy most of humanity. There's a little more gravity here.

Special Effects

This is a fantastic looking movie. Although as mentioned above, they could have had the all powerful apocalypse do greater things.

Themes

The movie has a lot of surface themes. One key missing is that of destruction. The world is being destroyed in this movie, yet you don't get many scenes of people suffering? This is so strange given this years focus on Super Heroes and civilian casualties that are embodied by Batman Vs Superman and Captain America Civil war.

You also have the humans who are left largely in the background. If anything, not even a nod to the need of humans to protect and arm themselves. Stryker is a bad guy, but it is always good to give a nod to their motivations. What better reason for him to take the extreme measures he does than when a mutant appears who wants to destroy the entire world?

There's also an interesting theme left unexplored. Why would a world of Apocalypse where the strongest rule be a bad one? Again, this is simply left undebated despite ample time and opportunity. It could have been explored between Apocalypse and Magneto or Apocalypse and Xavier. Both had conversations with Apocalypse. You don't have to get too philosophical; just some lines. At the end Xavier does mention one element that Apocalypse will always lose because he is 'alone'.

The overarching X-Men theme of trying to live peacefully with humans is kept in the back burner with small flareups.

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