Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review of X-MEN: APOCALYPSE: Complicated Continuity

May 20, 2016



Some may be better than others, but in general, I liked all of them for their character development and complex drama about humans-mutant relations. I particularly like this rebooted series about the X-Men in their youth which started in 2011 with "First Class" (MY REVIEW) and "Days in Future Past" (MY REVIEW). 

En Sabah Nur, a very powerful mutant from ancient Egypt, wakes up in 1983. He begins his conquest of the world by recruiting four powerful mutants to become his lieutenants, the Four Horsemen to his Apocalypse. At that time in Poland, Erik Lehnsherr's struggle to live a normal life with his wife and mutant daughter does not go too well. His depression makes him an easy target for recruitment.

Meanwhile, mutants converge at Prof. Charles X. Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters, where Hank McCoy was a teacher and a young Jean Grey is a student. Mystique rescues Nightcrawler from a fight club in Berlin. Alex Summers brings in his brother Scott to control his newly-discovered powers. CIA agent Moira MacTaggert was also there to brief Prof. Xavier about her research about Nur. Just then, Nur and his Horsemen attacks the Institute. 

As this is already the third film in the rebooted series, the actors all play their characters as if the role was written with them in mind. This is most especially true with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Prof. X and Magneto with so much passion. Jennifer Lawrence plays Mystique with intensity as expected, as Nicholas Hoult played Hank McCoy with charm. 

Quicksilver (Evan Peter) reprises his amazing time-slowing stunts again here, but on a much bigger scale, this time to the tune of "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics. Those comical Nightcrawler (an unrecognizable Kodi Smit-McPhee) gags can be diverting amidst the CG violence. This is the first time I have seen Sophie Turner outside "Game of Thrones" and she gets to play the awesome Jean Gray. Tye Sheridan (whom we met last year in the serious "Dark Places" and the absurd "Scouts' Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse") played Scott Summers still conflicted with his powerfully destructive ability. 

You would not really know that it was Oscar Isaac (whom we recently met as Poe Dameron on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") hidden under the leathery face of the Apocalypse. Olivia Munn played Psylocke as a sexy leather-clad dominatrix. The new actors playing the other two Horsemen, Alexandra Shipp and Ben Hardy as young Storm and Angel respectively, fell short in the acting department amidst the formidable cast. 

The timeline of these X-Men movies are really all topsy-turvy now. Figuring out which happens first within the three films of this trilogy becomes too complicated, it is useless to try. We learn here how Storm's hair turned white, or how Prof. X lost his hair (in the movie world, at least). The production design and costumes evoke so much 80s pop culture nostalgia, it was really fun to catch them all as they flashed on screen. There is a cameo appearance of an invincible mutant in an exciting action sequence in the middle of the film, which will be referred to once again in the extra scene at the very end of the end credits. 

There are really very many instances here where the breaks of the battles obviously favored the heroes, even as the bad guys got the upper hand at first. Magneto was lifting metallic objects all over the world, while metallic objects right below his feet were still there. Apocalypse can disintegrate his human enemies into dust. Against mutants though, he chooses to just plaster them into the wall or, more incredibly, he just goes old-school and simply strangles the neck. 

Distracting as they may be, I guess that such illogicalities are to be expected in complex superhero franchises such as the X-Men. Despite this and the imposing scale of its scope, this film, again engagingly told by director Bryan Singer, entertained me as it unfolded. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy. Even if I still think "Days of Future Past" was superior, this comes pretty close to matching that one in excellence. 8/10.


16 comments:

  1. Thanks for reminding me of the song Quicksilver played. He is really awesome. I love him to bits. The first time I saw him in Days of Future Past I instantly liked him. It's because of his hair. I love people with gray/platinum hair. Nyahaha. Awesome movie. So much hype. My money was so much worth it. I think it isn't even enough. Haha. I liked this better than days of future past though. It was a very awesome 10/10 for me. Quicksilver though <3

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  2. We are watching this movie on Sunday. There may be lots of illogicalities but I think those are expected from this kind of superhero film. In the end, we will just have to enjoy and appreciate the creativity behind the scenes.

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  3. We watch this last Wednesday night, and it is a great movie indeed! My tweens really love the X-Men Movie and this one is another thing to watch..the new characters are promising. I like it!

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  4. I can't wait to see this. It's being released this week here and I am going to see it. I can't wait! I've loved them all, but you're right, some were better than others and while I miss some of the old characters, these new ones are just as good.

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  5. I agree with you, after a while the storyline gets too complex to follow... unless you are a follower of their comics and have read all of them, haha!

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  6. Though I like super hero movies I don't think X Men is something I could relief. Haven't seen even 1 in the series.

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  7. My friend was inviting me to watch this movie last week but since I have a hectic schedule for now, I wasn't able to go with her. But your review gave me interest about the movie. I'll find time the soonest, maybe next week, perhaps.

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  8. Your review sucks.

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  9. I haven't had the chance to watch this yet, but I'm planning to watch it this week. I'm really excited for this because their films have been improving over the years. And well, it's evident with your rating!

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  10. I have yet to watch it but do you think this is better or Captain America: Civil War? I thought it would be a great discussion and comparison given that a friend keep saying this is better!

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  11. Though, I have not watch this sensational movie but I like X men hero movies. Thanks for sharing

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  12. I was able to watch the movie. The timeframe with other X Men film is a bit different to tie in. I like the movie though on how they teamed up and beat Apocalypse.

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  13. I watched it and liked it. A bit better than Captain America actually!

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  14. I haven't watch it yet and not much into these superhero kind of movies but my son loves them.

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  15. I'll be looking for the 80s nostalgia. Thanks for the heads up. :)

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  16. For some reason I have never liked the X-men serious. I liked the cartoons when I was younger but the likeness finished then.

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