I was really looking forward to the newest X-Men film. And not just because it’s another superhero movie.
They were finally bringing in my favorite X-Man – Angel – and my favorite X-Woman – Psylocke – and surely this time, with franchise-starter Bryan Singer at the helm, they would get it right.
You see, Angel originally appeared — and did nothing — in the series’ third outing, “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Psylocke was in it too, but so briefly and out-of-character that you wouldn’t know it. The movie — which Singer wasn’t involved in — is widely viewed as the nadir of the franchise (unless you count “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”).
So I waded through two more X-Men movies and a couple of Wolverine movies and finally, Singer announced he was going to do “X-Men: Apocalypse,” and it would feature an all new, all shiny Angel (Ben Hardy), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) in her actual iconic costume instead of those black leather flight jacket everyone else is forced to wear. And there they both were in the previews. And they looked awesome.
Yes, I was really looking forward to the newest X-Men film.
And then I saw it.
Let’s just say, you’re better off being a Cubs fan than an Angel fan.
So, “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Is it a bad movie? No. It’s an X-Men movie. As such it has a good cast and decent special effects. Some nifty action sequences, plenty of drama and a bit of humor.
Wait. Did I say it was an X-Men movie? I meant to say it’s a Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) movie, with copious amounts of Mystique because she’s played by mega-hot Jennifer Lawrence now, and a smidgen of Wolverine because you can’t have an X-Men movie without Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).
And that’s the main problem with “X-Men: Apocalypse.” We are six movies into this franchise and still beating the same dead horse, over and over. I’m not at all a fan of death in comic-book movies but would someone please kill Charles and Eric so the rest of the team can do something? Why is Magneto in every X-Men movie? He’s the villain. You don’t see the Joker in every Batman movie, nor would you want to, no matter how popular he is.
What’s the point of introducing new characters or recasting old ones if they’re never going to do anything but stand in the background while Eric and Charles chat? They’re even at the point where they simply repeat dialogue from earlier movies. Somebody give this franchise to the Russo brothers. They know how to juggle a dozen superheroes and give everyone something meaningful to do. Poor Colossus had to leave and join Deadpool to get any meaningful screen time.
If ever a movie franchise needed a reboot, it’s this one. And yes, I’m aware that they’re in the middle of a reboot. But “X-Men: Apocalypse” is just so repetitive. Magneto is either good or evil depending on the needs of the story; Quicksilver (Evan Peters) gets a cool moment to show off his super-speed (but it was done better the first time); Jean(Sophie Turner) is sooo powerful (but will her powers consume her?); Wolverine goes on a berserker rage but has to do most of it off-camera because, you know, blood. Mystique’s importance is blown out of proportion because, like I said, Jennifer Lawrence. Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is reduced to being a mutant taxi. Cyclops’ (Tye Sheridan) and Storm’s (Alexandra Shipp) roles are downplayed — as usual. And finally, it doesn’t help that Apocalypse (Oscar Issacs) is the least developed and thus least interesting villain in X-Men movie history.
My apologies. I realize this is more a rant than a movie review but sometimes you just gotta let it out.