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Old 05-27-2016, 12:03 AM   #711
Mad Ones
Bebe le Strange
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Default Re: Users Rate, Review, and React to X-Men: Apocalypse (TAG SPOILERS)

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
This film was exactly what I wanted it to be: a touching closing of the Xavier-Magneto-Mystique relationship, an origin story for my favourite characters, and an opportunity to display mutant powers in a way that the original trilogy never had a chance to.

I'll start with the strengths, the biggest being the cast and the characters. There wasn't a single weak link in the acting department and they utilized characters that made this movie feel like classic X-men. McAvoy's Xavier is one of the most likeable comic book characters. I loved hearing about his dreams of expanding the school into a university and accepting humans as well. His empathy was once again emphasized, particularly when talking to Jean. Their connection as telepaths was well developed. Restoring Moira's memories made Xavier's arc complete. First Class, DOFP, and Apocalypse have done Xavier a real service and McAvoy should be celebrated for realizing the character.

I can't believe I've endured Mystique complaints for this long. I liked where she was at the beginning of the movie and at the end. She starts the movie as an independent agent, rescuing mutants but not caring enough to ensure long-term security. I honestly liked that she didn't use her blue form because she didn't feel like a hero everyone thought she was. DOFP was partly about how Mystique channels her grief over the First Class characters into a Magneto style vengeance mission. Seeing the danger of Magneto's grief and taking on students really closed that arc.

Fassbender can do no wrong in the acting-wise and he brought his usual gravitas he inherited from McKellen. His arc was about how losing his families (his parents, and his wife and kid) blinded him to the family that is always there for him (Xavier and Mystique) and the family he doesn't even know is out there (Quicksilver). I absolutely hate hate hate when comic books/movies kill off wives and kids to develop a male character. Magneto's arc unfortunately involves this tired and problematic trope. However, I can't say it wasn't done well. Of course Fassbender's acting went for the heart, and even the way the events in the forest unfolded are very unsettling in a powerful way. I liked seeing him work on the good side at the end, and helping rebuild the mansion.

While I thought the FC characters were handled nicely, I was even happier with the new characters. I need to jump to Jean first because she's the one I'm most excited about. I was at an influential age when X2 came out (13 - wow!) and Famke's Jean and the Phoenix tease triggered something in me and made me a fan for life I think. I'm happy to say that feeling burns as strongly as ever. While nothing will ever top Jean's X2 sacrifice, I nearly cried seeing a fully formed raptor. Everything about that scene was perfect. McAvoy's acting. Cerebro's doors opening. Jean walking on air. THE SCORE. My god I've been waiting 13 years for this and it didn't disappoint. I liked Jean outside of that scene of course. Her nightmare, kids being afraid of her, her introduction, etc. All was very well done.

Finally Cyclops got his due, which includes an emotional arc, likeable dialogue, and lots of eye-beams! The theatre's sound system really made me feel the power behind his blasts. I like that his powers manifested while being bullied and I liked that Hank made his glasses (a nice nod to FC). It was hilarious when Cyclops destroyed Xavier's favourite tree. Two likeable actors playing likeable characters - that those characters are Cyclops and Xavier is a huge deal for me! It's easy to see how Havok's death set him up to be the leader we want him to be. He took charge during the alkali lake scene.

Watching this Nighcrawler felt like watching X-men Evolution, which is a good thing. X2 Nightcrawler had one amazing action scene, but this Nightcrawler was utilized throughout the whole movie. They maintained his humour and his faith and was just all around likeable. I loved Shipp's Storm but because of how the story was structured she didn't get as many scenes as I wanted. Her accent was phenomenal and she undoubtedly looks the part. The movie managed to fit in a small arc for her - Mystique is her hero and seeing Apocalypse choke her was the turning point. I'm happy she got an origin and that we know a little more about the character. She was set up nicely so the next movie better deliver (honestly, it has to).

I'll shift to things that didn't work as well. I've been avoiding talking about Apocalypse because I don't exactly know how to react. To my surprise, I found myself thinking that the character just didn't work at all in the first part of the movie. Maybe it's because the character doesn't feel like he belongs in a Singer X-men movie. For some reason I started warming up to him during the Cerebro scene, and particularly liked when he sent all the nuclear warheads in space - the Cold War and 80s setting worked here. Apocalypse thinks his world order is better than what the Cold War "superpowers" are providing, which admittedly isn't the best of humanity. I liked Apocalypse's voice and damn did he have some killer lines - there was one about God that I can't quite remember...

But still the character didn't make much sense. The script is flawed because it spends so much time recruiting the Horsemen but doesn't do anything with them. His plan, and therefore the plot, is incredibly ill-defined. This is where I sympathize with unkind reviewers. Apocalypse is using Magneto to destroy the earth, but wants Xavier's body so he has control over the minds of those who are left. He thinks he's God, and Xavier's powers would make him one. But why why why? I'm very curious to see how the general audience responds to the character. I've said that I thought Apocalypse's design was a step up from the comics, however his characterization and motivation retain the same problems.

I could have done without the Wolverine cameo, but I also hate the character so there was really no way I was gonna like it. THANK GOD not everyone's characters revolved around him. It was hilarious how Stryker just dipped.

Too many characters and a weak villain plot make this a shakier entry; however, this is hardly a tragedy. It's an entry that builds up, rather than destroys, potential - which is what sets it apart from X3. I could have watched this movie for another two hours because it's X-men and as long as there are no fatal, fundamental flaws with the characters I love I can sit back and enjoy.

I feel like if you combined X1 with Apocalypse it would be the definitive X-men movie.

I honestly don't know how to rank it yet.

X2>DOFP>Apocalypse>X1>First Class>Deadpool>The Wolverine>Origins>TLS
??? X1, Apocalypse, and First Class are liable to switch around depending how I'm feeling I think ???

Last edited by Mad Ones; 05-27-2016 at 12:20 AM.
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