June 14, 2017

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, et al

I'll admit, I haven't been a big fan of these prequels to begin with. I think the actors are miscast, there's not nearly enough action, and it's awkward to keep having Wolverine pop in as his normal, adult self, while the rest of them are supposed to be vastly younger versions of themselves. And as I remarked after the last one, can we stop making these?!?

But here I am, after watching it anyway (marriage is hard!), but with even less good things to say. James McAvoy is still nothing like Patrick Stewart, and Michael Fassbender somehow makes Magneto even more annoying. Look, we all know his back story and when he discovered his powers in Auschwitz. It's what made his character a bit sad and more relatable instead of just some super-villain who obliterates people while inexplicably flying in the air. And one of the other X-Men movies (X2? I can't even remember at this point) already addressed his friendship with Professor X, which made viewers realize Magneto was complicated and had both a good side and a bad side. Fine.

But nooooo, this movie had to go and create more back story to try and make Magneto even more sympathetic. There's only enough room for one brooding hero in a group and I'm afraid Wolverine already called dibs on it. Doing this to Magneto only drags out the plot into a soap opera no one cares about. We watch these movies for the mutant powers, damn it!

So that's basically the movie: brooding Magneto and Jame McAvoy's attempts at looking intense while mind reading. I mean sure, the "main" plot point is about the world' first mutant - an all-powerful Egyptian-type guy with face paint that looks like a blue version of Darth Maul in Star Wars, but so much screen time is taken up by sad Michael Fassbender it's hard to take anything else in. Oh, there's a random throwback to Halle Berry's Storm (without ever actually mentioning her by name and suddenly making her African) and the addition of Olivia Munn, which would be far more exciting if they hadn't dressed her up in a dominatrix outfit for no particular reason. So all in all, an eclectic mix of everything they could think of to try and make a semi-decent movie people would pay to watch.

Final word: I'm starting to wonder if the hype over Logan is because the movie is actually good, or if it's just a sweet relief from comic book movies like this.

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