“…even though X-men Apocalypse was the worst of the “new” X-Men trilogy, and it had some glaring issues, it was still a pretty fun movie to watch.”
Warning: This review will have spoilers (not that it matters because no one will read it anyway).
Did you ever have that friend who was a real piece of shit whenever you would play games together. You know the one where you are playing tag together, you run up to him and then all of a sudden he calls timeout. Or you are pretending to be in the army but when you pretend to shoot him he always claims that he has a special forcefield. Well now there is an entire movie about that kid and it is titled X-Men: Apocalypse. That’s right, the main villain of this movie has every mutation known to man which makes him impossible to kill, but surprisingly that isn’t the thing I disliked most about the movie.
I suppose I should start off by giving you a story rundown. So there is this guy named Apocalypse who was the first mutant (supposedly). He was born in Egypt and pretty much treated like a god his entire life. Every time he gets too old or weak, he transports his soul into another mutant, which is how he has like a million powers. So anyway, this guy wakes up in present day and much like every story where a sentient being sees the current state of the world (here’s lookin’ at you Age of Ultron) he decides that the world needs to be cleansed of humans. So he goes around collecting mutants and fighting X-Men, and then the movie ends.
So the biggest problem that I had with the movie was the lack of severity the issues in the film had. I was honestly surprised when I realized that the final battle had begun, because it felt like nothing had happened up to that point. A big cause of this was the fact that the movie, instead of being about the rise and fall of Apocalypse, was more about introducing famous X-Men in their adolescent form. The movies “lead” is Scott Summers (Cyclops) and the majority of the film is him learning how to control his powers. He also gets introduced to Jean Grey who also spends the majority of the film controlling her powers. They both get introduced to Nightcrawler who kind of had his powers under control, but he still seems “new”, and all three of them go on adventures. “Well that sounds cool, what kind of adventures do they go on? Do they fight bad guys?” absolutely not, but it’s cute that you would think that. Nope, they spend their days going to see Return of the Jedi in theatres (LOL GET IT, IT’S THE 80’S XD) and buying Nightcrawler the “thriller” jacket made popular by Michael Jackson. These adventures (and really weird love story between Scott and Jean) are then divided by small scenes of Apocalypse doing his thing. By the end of the movie I was left wondering how Apocalypse got so far in his master plan (or why he even needed other mutants) but then I remembered that he can do literally anything. How the fuck can you fight someone who can do literally anything? By deciding that one character on the good guys side can do the one thing that is Apocalypse’s weakness (I guess).
So the final battle is happening and Professor X is lying on the ground (you know, because he is paralyzed) and he decides to challenge Apocalypse to a mind battle. The two of them then fight for a while until Professor X gets his ass completely handed to him (this scene was really well done, and fun to watch). The Professor then softly calls out for Jean Grey to come and save him. I believe the exact words were “Don’t hold back”, even though we as an audience have no fucking idea what her powers are in the first place. So Jean Grey then starts floating and then there is some fire and then Apocalypse dies. There, now wasn’t that easy. Why didn’t they just do that from the beginning.
Another problem I had with the movie was the fact that the main characters were children (well, teenagers but that’s arguably worse). Not only do these little fuckers not understand their powers, but they also just suck to watch. I couldn’t go 5 minutes without rolling my eyes at some dialogue choices or even just mannerisms. For example, Scott Summers rolls up to the school and he is crying like a little bitch with bandages on his eyes. All of a sudden he gets sunglasses, and now he is acting like king shit. When Nightcrawler shows up Scott had only been at the school for like a week, tops; but he’s reclining on a couch and says some stupid bullshit like “I’m ready for a prison break. Let’s go to the mall”. Fuck this kid, I don’t want to watch some asshole say “radical” or “tubular” for two hours, I want to see mutants kick some ass. The setting didn’t help much because this movie really used the 80’s as a crutch. From all of the songs, to the subtle (about as subtle as a knife to the eye) jab at Star Wars, even down to Professor X dressing like he is a cast member of Hawaii 5-0 for fuck’s sake. That was another thing that I thought was funny, as soon as Professor X goes bald, he instantly starts wearing three-piece suits.
I know that I have been pretty hard on the movie, but I haven’t even gotten to the most egregious aspects. I want to start with Wolverine. It was cool to see him, but his fight scene was so neutered I wouldn’t be surprised if Striker injected him with Nerf instead of Adamantium in this timeline. I understand that the movie is for kids (even though all of the jokes would go over their tiny heads) but come on, even the after credits scene where people are cleaning up after Wolverine was more gruesome than the fight itself. But that’s not even what I dislike most about the movie. The thing that I hat most about X-Men: Apocalypse was the fact that they fucking ruined Quicksilver. I used to praise (in fact I still do) Days of Future Past for having an amazing Quicksilver as well as a great scene that showcases the abilities that he has. I used that knowledge as ammunition to belittle Age of Ultron for having a Quicksilver with a shitty Russian accent, but honestly after Apocalypse I would gladly take that Quicksilver any day. “Why would you say that?” I hear you ask, well the answer is simple X-Men Apocalypse took everything good about Quicksilver and ran it into the ground. To start off, let’s talk about the unnecessary “slow motion” scene. We already had one in Days of Future Past that was great and everyone loved, we didn’t need another one. The scene would have played out so much better had the explosion happened, Beast starts screaming, and then instantly he is out side screaming and the building blows up. He is taken aback and the camera slowly pans around to reveal that everyone is outside and Quicksilver is standing there admiring the explosion while tapping his foot. Instead we got a slow motion scene (obviously meant to capitalize on the fact that everyone loved the first one) that lasted for way too long. I can’t help but feel that if the characters had just walked out of the school it would have been faster. Couple that with the fact that even though 10 years has passed (putting Quicksilver near 30 years old) he still acts like every other petulant child in this movie. I enjoyed the shit about him wanting to confront Magneto, but I just wish his character would have been toned down from “annoying teenager” to “a guy who wants to help”.
I guess the thing that I disliked most, and that will always stick out to me was the use of the offhand comment about Return of the Jedi. The characters are leaving the theatre and debating about which Star Wars movie is the best (by the way, I can totally imagine the writer of X-Men: Apocalypse jerking off while writing this dialogue because he thinks he is so clever). Jean Grey chimes in and says the one line that I will forever associate with this movie in my mind. She says “At least we can all agree that the third one is always the worst”. Writing this line is where the writer climaxed, thinking he had written the best line to ever grace the screen. “At least we can all agree that the third one is always the worst”. Wow. I couldn’t even comprehend what I had just heard. I was sitting in the theatre with my mouth agape. The writer (or writers depending on how many people worked on this piece of shit line) thought it would be a laugh riot to poke fun at the third X-Men movie which is universally hated. That would have been one thing, if they hadn’t themselves made the worst movie of their trilogy. That’s like me pointing and laughing at a disabled kid and then falling down some stairs and becoming paralyzed myself. I would constantly be reminded that the worst thing to have happened to me stemmed from me picking on someone else. I just hope that the people in charge of X-Men: Apocalypse feel the same thing.
Honestly X-Men Apocalypse wasn’t a terrible movie despite all of the things that I just wrote. The truth is, I don’t fell like writing any more so I’m going to call it here. The truth is that even though X-men Apocalypse was the worst of the “new” X-Men trilogy, and it had some glaring issues, it was still a pretty fun movie to watch.
I give X-Men: Apocalypse a C