Saturday, May 28, 2016

#JustaQuickiePlease: X-Men: Apocalypse Spoilerrific Review

Director, Brian Singer, bookends the X-Men franchise with this sixth installment in the series, and, predictably, leaves open the opportunity to continue it in a new direction with the reboot of the entire continuum.  The debate then becomes, was this a successful and satisfying conclusion to that rebirth.    The simple answer, it does not. It is a mess of a movie with too many moving parts that quickly and chaotically come loose.  To lead you safely through the morass that lies ahead, I have listed some of the most glaring fractures, holes, and outright deficiencies.

1) The acting was subpar.

None of the characters were authentic or engaging, instead, most, if not all, are barely two-dimensional.

2) Put simply; this was Katniss Everdeen as Mystique.

Lawrence has zero range as an actress anymore; to call her one note would be giving her too much credit.

3) Apocalypse looked like more bad cosplay than intimidating villain.

Seriously, it was maybe one step above the atrocious costuming of Supergirl's first season.   It's hard to fear the baddie when he looks like he's literally suffocating in his demon Smurf costume.

4) Then there was that Magento 'Martha' moment.

If you have seen BvS, you totally get that reference.   A man who has suffered countless tragedies at the hands of humans suddenly decides to forgo vengeance thanks to a stale speech by Mystique Everdeen.   His transformation feels forced and entirely unbelievable, especially for those who know the character in both these films and, more importantly, canon.

5) The story is poorly told.

It was so formulaic, in its blatant attempt to remake the originals, that it nearly satires itself at some points and becomes outright cartoonish in others.  The addition of the classic TV show theme song should have generated pure geek joy; rather it felt like cruel irony.

6) Singer takes the mythos of multiple comic plots, dices them up into bite-sized morsels, and haphazardly sprinkles them into one picture.

What may seem like instant geek gratification at first is quickly eclipsed by the revelation that his piece-mealing of beloved story arcs means they will never have their own focused features unless the intention is to run completely against the continuum established so far. Then again, Singer has never been one to respect any chronology or canon.

7) They introduce key components only never to use them.

Oh, there is the Blackbird...and now it's buried under the ruins of the destroyed academy.

8) What happened between Days of Future past and now is never clearly or convincingly expounded upon.

Sloppily put together news snippets, so poorly produced they satirize themselves, just doesn't cut it.  It is a lazy way of quickly segueing to the larger story.

9) Loose ends and thoughtlessly inserted fandom plague this picture.

Striker knows how to dampen mutant powers.  How he does, is never addressed and probably won't be.

The Weapon X scene was mucho cool but cheated the fandom out of a legitimate feature based on Logan's real origin story.

Logan is shown as the brutal force he truly is.  Kudos for the boldness to give us the Wolverine we have earned and always deserved.  Too bad it was a mere side note.

Phoenix isn't just hinted at; she's unleashed in stunning fashion.  However, it was still misplaced based on the retelling and subsequent evolution of her character.

9) They poke fun at prior mistakes but still refuse to learn from them.

The comment is made, after the young team sees Return of the Jedi, that "the third one is always the worst."  A deliberate dig to The Last Stand and yet, here we are again.  Hell, Magento even destroyed the same bridge.

10) They are disenfranchising anyone who has never picked up a comic book in their life.

Look there's the Danger Room, but we won't explain what it is.  Don't forget folks; we are trying to bring an entirely new generation in, one who has no idea what the Frak certain aspects of dedicated fandom are.

And why, again, was Jubilee in the film?  Yeah, it is great that you posted the deleted scenes on Facebook, but it would have been nice to have them in the actual movie.  A few seconds less of the same old, same old, world destruction could have been sacrificed to give her a genuine backstory.

11) This all felt, at times, like X-Men light.

I guess, Deadpool was right; the budget does affect how many mutants can be shown.  Unlike its predecessor, we saw a lot of kids, but very few powers.

12) Sadly, all of the groundbreaking message is now lost.

The X-Men canon was primarily about discrimination and fighting for equality.   Now those key elements are reduced to redundant plot devices or careless mentions.

13)  This is GCI overdose.

So, much so, that much of the action is hard to follow because those scenes are so overtly filled with effects,  While we are at it, have we run out of exuberant, computer created ways to destroy the world yet.  If anything brings about the demise of comic book fare, it will be the over-reliance on these effects and unmitigated collateral damage.

14) The battle sequences are too quick and lackluster.

Again, too much is going on too fast, which lessens the impact of each and every sequence.   All the choreography is lost in the sheer madness of effects.

15) The end credits scene is so benign only the most devout fanboy or girl would get it.

If you are going to make us wait, you better give us something worth waiting for.

In the end, you have a pretentious spectacle that is less entertaining than it is disappointing.  2 out of 5 Kernels; the best of the worst of the franchise, so, it will be up to you whether or not the ten dollars would be better spent elsewhere.































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