Tuesday, 21 June 2016

X-Men Apocalypse film review

My husband, son and I went to see this film on Sunday evening at Leeds/Bradford Odeon.

IMDB says: With the emergence of the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

In this Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, House) directed, Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, Deadpool) - screenplay, Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty (Superman Returns, Trick r Treat) and Dan Harris (Superman Returns, Imaginary Heroes) - story, written movie, James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, 12 Years a Slave)reprise their roles as Professor X and Magneto.

Having lived an ordinary life in hiding, Magneto is forced back out into the open as a mutant and joins forces with Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac: Drive, Ex Machina) and his henchmen, Storm (Alexandra Shipp: Straight outta Compton, Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squeakquel), Psylocke (Olivia Munn: Magic Mike, Iron Man 2) and Angel (Ben Hardy: Hit, A Storm in the Stars).

Mystique/Raven (Jennifer Lawrence: The Huger Games, Silver Linings Playbook) brings Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee: Let Me In, Paranorman) to Professor Xavier's school for gifted youngsters where Havok (Lucas Till: Walk the Line, Sins of our Youth), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan: Mud, The Tree of Life), Beast (Nicholas Hoult: About a Boy, Warm Bodies) and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner: TVs Game of Thrones, Barely Lethal) team up to try and defeat them.  Add Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne: 28 Weeks Later, Bad Neighbours) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters: Kick-Ass,The Lazarus Effect) to the mix, plus bad guy Col. William Stryker (Josh Helman: Jack Reacher, Mad Max: Fury Road) and you have a superhero mix to fill the screen with action.



Unfortunately, for me, there seemed to be a distinct lack of anything other than action, to keep this movie as a winner in the X-Men stable.  It took far too long to establish the backstory and characters, even though most of the audience would know everyone except the bad guy, the script was thin at best and some of the mutants were woefully underused, Jubilee (Lana Condor: Patriots Day, Dish Nation).

The acting was superb, but we come to expect this from stalwarts such as Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence, but they really needed to give them something better to do other than look good in a costume.  What really ruined it for me though was the way the antagonist was defeated in the end.  They built up that he was this super-mutant who took the powers of other mutants and enhanced it, showed that he could use their power against them, yet to defeat him they worked together as a team and instead of this making him stronger, as it did earlier in the film, it weakened him enough for Jean Grey to unleash her full potential and vanquish him.  Yes, I get that this is foreshadowing that Phoenix has a future where she tries to destroy the world - they even had a phoenix wings effect to her character when she defeated Apocalypse - but it just smacked too much of Fantastic 4 or a film aimed squarely at children.

I will give this 6.5 but only because of Quicksilver, but don't get me started on why when he has gone all the way to track down his father to tell him of his existence and has the perfect opportunity to do so, cops out!

Trivia: Although not in the movie, original Charles Xavier actor Patrick Stewart jokingly informed director Bryan Singer that he would be willing to play Mystique should Jennifer Lawrence "start playing up". He said: "I am so ready to be naked, painted blue, and the world is ready for it too."  Idris Elba and Tom Hardy were considered for the role of Apocalypse.

#XMenApocalypse  #JamesMcAvoy

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