Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Film Review No. 8 X-Men: Apocalypse (12+)

Strong Points:
Great action sequences
Nice CGI
Emotional and tense
Good acting - especially Micheal Fassbender
Nice costumes - for the most part
Quicksilver's slow down parts
Cool effects for some of the bigger events
Awesome mutant abilities
Stan Lee cameo

Weak Points:
Running cams
That's quite a lot of gore for a 12
[Redacted] seemed more like a spoof cameo than a character
Days of Future Past reboots the present day X-Men so we have a film in the past
Can't seem to stay on one subject for too long
Could they give the mutants a break?

Some spoilers ahead:
In-depth Review:
Ah X-Men thou art a confusing franchise. Never seeming to be able to find it's feet or stay on one subject (or time-period) for very long, the only thing that has stayed the same is the humans and mutants mutual dislike to one another and Hugh Jackman's side burns. Such is the case for this movie, with characters flying (and dying) all over the place either helping or trying to defeat Poe Dameron in an Apocalypse costume.

After some sun get's on sleeping Apocalypse he rises, ready to learn about this new world. I really liked Apocalypse's character (even if the 'end-of-the-world scenario happens a lot nowadays), especially his take on the 'weak' leaders of this world and how he believes all these leaders are blaspheming against him, the 'one true god'. Removing their superpowers (nuclear warheads) was cool as well, especially as we didn't know what he was going to do with them - it looked like he was ready for mass genocide at one point. If that helps you get up from a few thousand years of slumber I guess, but have you tried coffee?

Characters are the name of the game in this movie and there are quite a few. Some, like Psylocke have basically nothing to do and seem just to be there to even out the sides. Others, like Beast and Mystique are regulars in the franchise but again don't have to much too do and seem to be more like crutches the other characters can use to have their own interactions. Then we have Professor X and Magneto, still having the same conversations as before (can mutants and humans live in peace) but still good at it. Finally, we have Quicksilver, with probably the best scenes in the film and he really pushes to do get the most out of them, even if running cams are involved.

Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto, can't help you to not pity him, even when he is quite happy to kill a group of police officers. The idea that his latest tragedy was an accident in reality, but in the overarching storyline could be anything but was a nice idea and the cinematography for that scene really helped to evoke emotion from the audience, with a completely different type of slow-motion than with Quicksilver. It does feel a bit odd that, at the end of it all, Magneto can still walk away from his actions, both good and bad, and suffer no repercussions except for on his own, personal level.

Magneto's ending, coupled with the still mutual dislike of humans and mutants does make the film a bit repetitive in the whole franchise as this happens a lot. Also, the amount of reboots the series has had makes you have to really concentrate on the characters and storylines of all the films, just to work out whether Cyclops already knows such and such or not. I mean, Scott (Cyclops) alone has had 3/4 reboots in recent memory, and with some characters retaining information from previous films and some not, it does get a bit confusing. Best to just watch this film on it's own and not compare it to the others to really enjoy it I think.

Generally, the film's action was great from Angel and Nightcrawler's battles to Xavier and Apocalypse fighting inside of their own heads. The CGI as well, was top notch, with believable destruction (for the most part) and the amount of particles that needed to be rendered alone for Magneto's metal scene deserves applause. Some of the costume choices on the other hand were a bit odd. Beasts blue face seemed a bit fake compared to the others and Nightcrawler's hair was... interesting to say the least.

X-Men seem to have a history with doing things just because their allowed. The one use of the F-Word allowed in a 12 seems to always be used, just when it's not needed, and the amount of gore in the film was a bit much, especially when things could've been achieved just as easily without it. I mean, we didn't need to see someone cut open a mutants stomach and see it heal just to know he had self-healing abilities.

The film's storyline, while not particularly risk taking or innovative, refined the formula even more and in this day and age, an incredibly original story is hard to come by. Also in the age of these blockbusters getting worse ratings than playhouse films, just because they're blockbusters I think this film was really entertaining, as well as making you think, even if it couldn't stay on one subject for too long.

Conclusion: overall, it was a good superhero movie. (definitely better than some of the other X-Men films), with all the action, thinking and CGI needed for a superhero film. Maybe we could have the mutants and humans team up next time though? I mean, even Deadpool has teamed up with humans and he's... well... Deadpool.

Rating: 80%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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