My problems with X-Men: Apocalypse

Before we get started ****SPOILERS HEAD****

A few friends went to see X-Men: Apocalypse this week which prompted me to post this. I don’t know if you’ll agree with all (or any) of my views but this is what I interpreted from what I have called, out of the initial trilogy and prequel trilogy, the fifth worst X-Men film.

The word apocalypse conjures up thoughts of wide-spread death, chaos, panic and devastating destruction. It is something to be feared, something to dread. This is pretty much the exact opposite feeling I had whilst watching X-Men: Apocalypse. For something with such a ballsy title, I really thought more would happen and I thought it would feel like a real threat to human life especially when it comes to the primary antagonist.

xmen apo

An apocalyptic event which feels lacking in its apocalyptic ways means the villain himself suffers. When you have a bad guy whose primary purpose is world destruction, you’d expect a little more. You’d expect a lot more. The way he’s depicted in the trailers would make you think he’d be more threatening and so more powerful. He has his four horsemen and proceeds to give them all an “upgrade” on their existing powers however it’s very minor when you really look at it. For example, in both First Class and Days of Future Past, Fassbender’s Magneto moves a satellite and lifts a stadium with the greatest of ease. So for him to lift bridges,  destroy buildings and decimate landmarks, it shouldn’t be that hard. But Apocalypse tries his hardest to make you believe that he’s given him the powers of a God. No he hasn’t. He really hasn’t done that for Magneto or ANY of the others. Their powers are a tiny upgrades of what they had before, that’s it. Frankly, it was pretty disappointing. Just to quote something from one of the trailers: Beast: It’s all of us against a god and the most powerful beings on earth. No it’s not. It’s all of you mutants against a few other mutants. This is nothing new. This battle is no greater than any others you’ve faced.

Speaking of unthinkable power, what did he do with the nuclear weapons? Was his point to get rid of them? I can see how removing the most powerful weapon on Earth can be symbolic to Apocalypse proving he doesn’t need man made things to be all conquering, but wouldn’t you just launch these at your targets? Would this not be a good way to get rid of all the humans? Cleanse the earth as you say. No? Well, you should have, it would have made things easier for you.

xmen destory

Magneto’s character has moved on the most. He has a family and a job. He became the thing that he despised, human. However bringing him back in to the mix was all too simple. What do they do? They ruin his job and kill his family. Then very quickly after Apocalypse and his posse appear, Magneto asks a brief question (the hilariously delivered “Who the fuck are you?”)  and he’s a bad guy. It’s an easy in for Magneto and it’s yet another reason he’s got to hate humans. Yet another reason and opportunity for James McAvoy to tell his friend Eric that he’s wrong and there’s good in the humans. Boring.

I hate to say it and I will get a lot of stick for this but, McAvoy wasn’t great. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good actor, but only when he’s got something to sink his teeth into. With the previous film, he was distraught, almost alone and a complete mess when we meet him. This is something he really excelled at, he was more believable. In this, all he did was try to, once again, convince Magneto that he has good within him (as well as those humans!), he sees hope and not to tar everyone with the same brush. It’s an argument we’ve seen being done before in previous X-Men films, in much better ways, it was even performed better by the actors in question in First Class and Days of Future Past.

Just a quick one on the ending. Why is Mystique training the X-Men at the end? She is on Magneto’s side. We know this from the first trilogy and yes they are linked, this is part of the same universe. They should be together in their fight against the humans, as they were through the original trilogy.

And don’t get me started on this image:

xmen

Strengths:

Quicksilver’s slow-motion sequence was brilliantly done. Arguably better than what we saw in Days of Future Past. There are those who have taken offence that it was light-hearted despite the fact that people are being rescued, there is an explosion and that Havoc comes to his unfortunate end. That’s the wrong view entirely! It’s supposed to be fun. That’s the type of character he is a lot of the time and frankly we need something this good in the film.

The Phoenix. All I will say is that this iconic character is done considerably better than in X-Men: The Last Stand.

Michael Fassbender’s performance is something that you can always count on. Always. He conveys anger, pain and fear all in his eyes. When he speaks during the scene where he declares himself Magneto at his former workplace, he shows us an intensity that no one can match. Truly one of the greatest actors ever, it’s worth watching just for him.

Overall I’d say that this is a three star film at best, I think the critics have been fair with what they’ve pointed out. I went with a few friends who loved it and fair enough Bryan Singer is a talented director, there’s no questioning that, however maybe this time his ambitions got the better of him.

Keep. It. Reel.

Home Cinema

Just over 10 years ago, George Clooney made the move from TV to film. From ER to Hollywood hunk, as he is referred to constantly. He went from the very popular and sexy E.R to movies such as Three Kings, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Ocean’s Eleven working with big name directors Steven Soderbergh, the Coen brothers and David O Russell. It was the natural move for someone who has considered a good actor, charming, good looking and a delight to work with. Since his success, several others have made this natural progression such as Colin Farrell, James McAvoy, Zooey Deschanel and Will Smith

George Clooney in ER

These are household names with their film careers firmly intact and nailed down. They aren’t going anywhere but up in their careers. However, there has been a huge shift in more recent years with the big Hollywood A lister (as some are frustratingly referred to as) crossing over from the silver screen to the small screen. Where many actors began, it has become the medium of great love and respect amongst the writers, producers, directors and of course actors. With companies such as the unstoppable HBO producing shows which include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire, Band of Brothers, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death and Game of Thrones, it’s not hard to see why Claire Danes, Justin Long, Alec Baldwin and Steve Buschemi are flocking to what used to be a stepping stone but is now a step up.

Homeland

The calibre of television has gone through a huge change over the past few years, with the introduction to sharper writers, new effects, gritty storylines that cut through to the bone, larger budgets and fresh ideas, it can really compete with the big screen. There are several similarities that make moving from film to television a no brainer. Similarities such as the writers not only work on television, those such as JJ Abrams developing his TV career as well as working on Mission: Impossible III and Super 8. The influences of which can been seen to bleed through into his television work in Lost with the action scenes and paranormal phenomena.

30 Rock

All of these actors have made something of themselves, starting from the bottom and working their way to super stardom. But maybe their fame shouldn’t be as celebrated as it is, they have gone one way, the way people seem to be shunning. It seems well-established actors as turning their back on films and flocking to HBO. Flocking to television. Flocking from the silver screen to the small screen. So many shows have come out in recent years which have the same high budgets Hollywood uses on a daily basis.

Bored To Death

For those of you who love these shows and enjoy seeing your favourite actors on a weekly basis, the best is yet to come. More and more actors are shunning Hollywood to forge a television career such as Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer who are currently starring in The Newsroom. The evolution of television has allowed actors to develop their characters further and act in a way like never before. They have these chances on the big screen on but not on the small screen. Not until now. Now we can have a well-rounded viewing experience with everything from the make-up (just take a look at those “walkers” In The Walking Dead) to the well-oiled dialogue. To me, it’s a real tribute in a way to how talented the writers are that lures the huge names to TV, you can’t have anything but respect for. The budgets, the talents and especially those such as Mark Whalberg and Steven Speilberg producing TV shows prove that television is the new black.

The Walking Dead

The Newsroom