Great Cast, Mediocre Action: It’s Okay Overall

X-men A

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and the sound of burgers grilling, people laughing, and new movies coming out fills the air. Hi, Robbie K here with another movie review on the last “masterpiece” to hit the silver screen. Today’s review is on the latest Marvel creation X-Men Apocalypse, a movie that has been culminating for some time. As always I’m here to share my opinions and hopefully guide you in your latest movie quest. Let’s get started.

 

THE STRENGTHS:

  • Comedy
  • Nice balance of most characters
  • Awesome Special Effects
  • One cameo in particular

Fans rejoice, as the writers have once again loaded this movie with well-placed comedic antics. Apocalypse has more than its share of comedic gold in the form of a well-timed swear, an awkward facial gesture, or my particular favorite…throwing jabs at the failures of this movie series (cough X-Men three cough). It was refreshing to see comedy that didn’t rely on people trying too hard or being a complete idiot and therefore was a major highlight for me. And the scene with quicksilver had to be comedic moment that had me in stitches.

But you didn’t just come for the comedy, you want to see your favorite superpowered mutant on the screen kicking butt right? Well surprisingly Apocalypse does a nice job at letting many mutants throw their hats in the ring. Fan favorites like Xavier, Mystique, Magneto, and Quicksilver are a major focus of this film, but the generation of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler rock the screen with their unique talents and personalities. The actors portrayal of these characters is spot on, and the chemistry amongst all the mutants creates a family/ squad that you latch right on to.

As for their powers, Fox’s design team again succeeds in bring them to life with flashy lights, theater shaking sound, and in vivid colors that help you discern who is doing what. In truth the portrayal is old hat by now, but Apocalypse shines in combining powers that make for entertaining and somewhat impressive displays of teamwork (if only they had used it more.)

In truth though the real show stealer was a five minute cameo of a certain enraged hero we all know and love. This was where the real bread and butter was for me that brought all the aspects I love together and unleashed in sheer force. While I wish this cameo had been more integrated into the film (and longer), it sets precedence for yet another movie in the long run and I can accept the short cameo for what it is.

 

 

 

THE WEAKNESSES:

  • Mediocre Action
  • Overdramatic
  • Rushed at parts
  • Some characters gets stiffed

If there was one thing I was disappointed in with this movie it was the action. Most likely it was because I set my expectations too high, but the trailers fooled me into thinking this movie was going to be really exciting. With the exception of the opening scene, I wasn’t impressed with the direction they took in the battles. Instead of fast paced, high adrenaline displays of powers clashing between good and bad, I instead got long winded, short lived bouts that were more flashy (and sometimes cheesy). Again the powers are impressive, just most underutilized and not in the manner I had envisioned from the trailers. Even more disappointing is that the action was diluted by Apocalypse’s overdramatic rants, who although looked the part did jack squat in terms of fighting until near the very end.

Despite the slow, drawn out moments though, the movie itself felt a bit rushed at times. I remember most of the X-men tales making the revival of Apocalypse more difficult and often making our heroes try to stop his rising. Not the case in this film, in fact it’s so simplistic that one wonders what was even the point of him sleeping in the first place. That’s just one example, and there are lots of other moments that could have gone further had they not tried to build everything around the relationship between Magneto, X, and Mystique. Yep the same tale comes to life again and the age old family triangle takes a strong grasp in this film (and leads to some cheesy spectacles.) Guess Fox can’t come up with any other story to fill the time huh?

And it’s because of this focus that I feel some characters get stiffed in their moment to shine. Other than looking gorgeous Psylocke practically does nothing and don’t get me started on angel’s rather poor display in this movie. While the balance of all these characters was for the most part well-done, there was still a lot more potential to unlock in a lot of our characters, most likely addressed in the inevitable sequel to come. Maybe they’ll focus a little more and we can get some battles like what we saw in X-Men and X2.

 

THE VERDICT

Overall X-Men Apocalypse is another impressive display of technology, combined with decent writing and a cast to bring it to life. Unfortunately the overdramatic theatrics, mediocre fight scenes, and stiffing some characters for the same story we’ve heard a hundred times are getting old. However, the movie is still entertaining , still a blockbuster hit, and has all the qualities that a theater visit will amplify. Recommended audiences are fans of the movie series, fans of the actors, and those looking for another superhero movie. Regardless this critic recommends you catch this film on Redbox at least, especially to get a glimpse at what Fox will do next… which I pray will be to pick a timeline and stick with it.

 

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Fantasy: 8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

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