Superhero Template 4 – X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

I don’t think I’ve talked to a single person who likes this.  So going off of the First Class timeline, Xavier’s mutants must come together to defeat the very first mutant who has recently resurfaced: Apocalypse.  He’s determined to press the reset button and rebuild the world.  Action ensues.  Now I like more of the movies in the X-Men series than less, but I never love them.  To be fair, I just don’t have as much of a connection with them as the rest of the superheroes in either cinematic universe, and I’ve never had a background on who does what within the X-Men simply because there are so many of them.  For me, this series peaked with Days of Future Past because it was also a really solid period piece in addition to being a good superhero movie.  When I walked away from this, I felt like I just watched a generic Hollywood blockbuster.  I’m not upset about it (I probably would be if I cared more), my brain just wasn’t ever stimulated.

2I always felt like I was looking at a special effect the entire time.

This just feels highly manufactured and very overcrowded.  Like I said, there’s a ton of different X-Men, so they don’t really have a choice other than to just focus on a select few, and even then, it still feels like there are way too many people competing for screen time.  If there was one word I could summarize this movie with, that word would be drab.  Everything has this grey sheen to it that blends everything together, and nobody is having fun with this.  Everybody is taking this waaay too seriously, and the only person who is even trying to inject a sense of humor into this is Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  He’s a welcome sight in a humorless movie to be sure, but being that he has nobody to play off of, it ends up feeling like he is straight out of a different movie.  Jennifer Lawrence clearly doesn’t want to be here, and I can’t really blame her; she has moved on to bigger and better things in her career, but I understand how contracts work.  Still, if the only thing she was just going to show up, I wish they gave the part to someone who wanted it.

1At this point in her career, she should really just be pursuing passion projects.

It takes a long time to get from plot point to plot point, and I love Oscar Isaac as an actor, but the character of Apocalypse is really underdeveloped.  I did not understand his character motivation at all, and it is still a mystery to me why he wanted to destroy humankind as much as he does; I totally get Magneto because he has been screwed over by humans so many time, but Apocalypse seemed to exist just so he can roll his eyes to the back of his head and do cool stuff with no explanation for why his end game is what it is.  When you spend as much money as they did on this, it’s going to look decent, but with everything looking like a big budget special effect, it doesn’t ever let the stakes feel like they mean anything.  I’m not overly familiar with the lore of X-Men or Apocalypse, but this movie feels meaningless more than anything.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) **1/2

– Critic for Hire

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