I read an article this morning that stated X-Men Apocalypse is “the second worst X-men movie after The Last Stand”.
I’m still not certain I can disagree with that, but here’s the thing…it is orders of magnitude better than “The Last Stand”. Putting in that negative form is disingenuous at best. Of course, if you factor in the Wolverine movies, Apocalypse moves up the list.
The problem, of course, is that ‘best/worst’ is subjective. The word favourite might be better deployed. In terms of favourites even that is problematic. Take for example, X-2. A Curate’s Egg if ever there was one. That opening scene in the White House is utterly brilliant, but two thirds of the movie flounders and is a bit weak and directionless. There are excellent scenes, undoubtedly, but it’s lacklustre.
Apocalypse isn’t without it’s flaws, but they’re not as numerous as in X-2. They’re just bigger. The biggest problem with X-Men:Apocalypse is Apocalypse. Other than present a threat, he doesn’t really do a great deal except stand around, gather some mutants and give a couple of haircuts.
Everything else swirls around this fountain of emptiness in a frantic manner as if it means something, but it really doesn’t. Despite the wreckage, it’s inevitable he’s doomed. I feel a bit sorry for Oscar Isaac, really. Apart from being virtually unrecognisable, having such a vacuous role must have been a terrible disappointment. But the fact is, the entire movie was underwritten. Oddly, all those things we could have happily done without in terms of plot and padding, were the best parts. For example, the lengthy Quicksilver rescue scene that was straight out of the Futurama episode where Fry has 100 cups of coffee in 24 hours. It was cool to see all those little bits of scenes that just showed off powers, but with no real reason to show them, it hamstrung the already minimal plot. In its entirety, it was thus:
Guy Gets Buried
Guy wakes up 4000 years later
Guy is so annoyed he surrounds himself with young folk and builds a pyramid.
Guy gets squished.
All that stuff family stuff with Magneto was very good indeed, but it didn’t really lead to anything. The loss, while a good mirror to the scenes at Auschwitz in the original movie, wasn’t really capitalised on. And did anyone else feel a bit uncomfortable about the destruction of Auschwitz? I mean, yes what happened there was horrific, evil, unforgivable, but it’s a bloody memorial now! Magneto, you dick, you just destroyed a monument to your people and their suffering!!
So anyway, he spent the rest of the movie looking moody, having sided with the bad guy because ISSUES and realised the error of his ways after being a pouty shit for 40 minutes, but so what?
The movie was essentially a two hour string of promo’s. Very good and thoroughly enjoyable promos, for sure, but nothing of any real substance.
I have to be honest and say I never read the Age of Apocalypse Saga. I’d given up on the X-Men long before that. I’d grown bored with mammoth crossovers and this was the . . . um . . . mammothest. I wondered how this unwieldy story would be translated into a two hour movie. It’s obvious, even to me, that it wasn’t. Given his importance within the X-Men mythos, having him turn up as a token antagonist seems pretty unforgivable.
It’s a fun ride and infinitely better than the joyless shit storm that was The Last Stand.
Would I recommend it?
Yeah, alright. It’s fun and it wastes a couple of hours in an endearing fashion, but it is, without doubt, much less than the sum of it’s parts.
But the thing that annoyed me most?
Apocalypse building that pyramid. Given he’s been asleep for 4000 years, we can assume that level of architectural skill was one of his powers prior to being trapped. In a pyramid.
That he built.
That had a convenient flaw that allowed a single brick to bring the whole thing down. Bit of a Death Star sized oversight there, Apocalypse . . .
What, other than giving Storm and Prof X groovy new ‘dos, were his powers exactly?
Oh right. No one cares.
But Phoenix was ace.
And that dude off Eastenders.
Can’t remember what they did though.
Yet another set of origin stories for the love of god Whhhhhhhhhyyyyyy! 8/10