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X-Men Apocalypse

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#1 Virgil Vox

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 12:31 AM

There are massive spoilers in this review so be warned.

X-Men: Apocalypse is a good movie. Not a great movie, though it has its share of great moments. It feels like a Greatest Hits of all the X-Men movies. Did you want to see Stryker attack the school again and capture some mutants and take them to his Alkali Lake base? Did you want to see Wolverine break out of the Weapon X program again? Do you want to see Stryker abandon his base and men when things start going south again? Did you want to have Xavier and Magneto repeat the same basic conversations and arguments that they’ve had in every single X-Men movie they’ve appeared in? Did you want Xavier and Cerebro to be turned against the good guys again? Did you want to see a villain dissolve people and buildings into dust like Jean did in X-Men: The Last Stand? Do you want to see someone with the last name of Summers die a pointless and stupid death?  Did you want to see a very similar (and awesome) Quicksilver using his speed to save the day scene again? Did you want Angel to be pretty much completely wasted in yet another X-Men movie? If you answered yes to any of those then you’re in for a treat.

Snark aside, there’s nothing really wrong with the movie. It just tries to do too much and is bogged down by a large cast and a villain that has pretty uninteresting schemes and just redundant themes that have been done before and better. Plus it's the sixth main X-Men movie plus there have been two Wolverine spin-offs and Deadpool. That's a lot of X-Men content so they're bound to repeat themes and plot elements. I mean, Singer did have Lex Luthor do another real estate scheme in Superman Returns. The man likes the classics.

It’s the 80s, and humankind and mutant-kind are more or less getting along, though there’s always going to be people who hate and fear them. Xavier and Hank have the school up and running and filled with mutant children. Mystique is traveling the globe saving mutants and basically hiding her identity because she doesn’t want to be the hero the world thinks she is. Magneto is living a quiet life in Poland with a wife and daughter. Moira is still a CIA operative and is tracking a cult in Egypt when she brings Apocalypse back to life by leaving the opening of the tunnel that leads to Apocalypse’s tomb open which allows sunlight to hit his tomb which triggers his regeneration tech and wakes him up. Basically, Moira is to blame for all the deaths in the movie. Apocalypse wastes no time in discovering that humans overrun the planet and sets out to recruit his Four Horsemen and destroy most of humanity.

Since this is more or less a rebooted timeline, we’re introduced to several characters that have appeared before. Cyclops is a high school kid who discovers his mutant ability while at school. His older brother Havok takes him to Xavier and Hank creates the sunglasses that keep his optic blasts under control. Jean Grey is already a student there, and struggling to control her powerful telepathy and telekinesis. Nightcrawler is a young mutant who is either given to or captured by an underground mutant fight club where he is forced to fight against Angel. He’s rescued by Mystique who takes him to Xavier as well. All of their respective actors are great in their roles. I liked Tye Sheridan in Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and he’s great as a young Cyclops. Sophie Turner makes for a good Jean Grey, and proves at the end that she could handle doing the Phoenix Saga if the movies ever get that far. Kodi Smit-McPhee is awesome as Nightcrawler. He’s having a lot of fun in the role.

As for the returning characters from the past two films, they are hit or miss. Xavier is in a good place in this film, after his dark turn in Days of Future Past. He has his school up and running and sees peace between humans and mutants as being possible. He’s just not given much to do. His dialogue is basically a cut and paste from things he’s said in other films. He does get some funny lines when it comes to his interactions with Moira. Thankfully, he undoes the memory wipe he did to her at the end of First Class. Hank really isn’t given a ton to do either. I like the character and Nicholas Hoult is great in the role but he’s not offered much to do. Moira, too, is mainly just there. She is the one who accidentally awakens Apocalypse and gives that information to Xavier and she’s more or less with the heroes the rest of the movie but mainly just to stand around in the background.

Havok has a small part to play. He brings younger brother Scott to the school and accompanies Xavier to talk to Moira and then dies. It’s not even Apocalypse that kills him. Havok essentially kills himself. Apocalypse and his Horseman teleport into the X-Men portion of the school and kidnap Xavier. Havok unleashes a blast of energy but the villains teleport away too fast and the energy beam goes into the hangar where it strikes the (conveniently) open power source of the Blackbird which causes it to unleash a giant explosion which kills Havok. Quicksilver turns up then and saves everyone else. There was no reason to kill Havok other than to have someone die, I guess. He also has very little interaction with Scott in the movie. I do give the film props for not just blowing past his death. It affects Scott quite a bit and is what helps Jean and Scott connect.

Magneto basically does what Magneto does. He’s living a quiet life with his wife and daughter when he uses his powers to save someone at the factory he works at. Some people see him and naturally report that mass murderer and terrorist Magneto is hiding out there. The police confront him and it all goes peacefully until his daughter uses her mutant power of controlling animals to attack the police. One of the officers accidentally fires off the arrow he was holding which punctures both Magneto’s wife and daughter, killing them instantly. Magneto then kills all of the officers and, when approached by Apocalypse, joins up. He uses his expanded powers (given to him by Apocalypse or just unlocked by him, maybe) to essentially pull all the metal from deep in the Earth, causing all the death and destruction that’s been shown in the trailers. After Mystique and Quicksilver talk to him, he decides to join the fight against Apocalypse. In the end, Xavier offers him a place on the team which Magneto declines and then walks away. Yes, at the last second he turned against Apocalypse but before that he probably caused thousands, if not more, deaths. That’s just water under the bridge apparently where Xavier is concerned.

Mystique has become something of a hero in the eyes of the world, and the pressure of living up to that is too much. She stays in her human form more or less so people won’t recognize her. She basically just goes around and helps out mutants here and there.  By the end of the movie she has embraced her inner hero and takes her place on the X-Men. It’s a good arc for the character but Jennifer Lawrence seems bored by the role, almost. It doesn’t feel like she’s giving it her all. Still, she gives a good performance and brings the character full circle.

If you had your hopes up for the Horsemen I’m sorry to say they mainly stand around behind Apocalypse saying nothing and then have some good fight scenes against the X-Men at the end. Storm is a young thief in Cairo who wants to be a hero like Mystique. Apocalypse saves her from some unhappy street vendors that she has stolen from. Storm isn’t happy that Apocalypse killed the men, but once he gives her (or unlocks) more power she seems fine to go along with his plans of wiping out most of humanity until he tries to kill Mystique and then she switches teams. She doesn’t say much and she’s a bit of a cipher. I don’t know if she goes along with Apocalypse willingly or if he was controlling her somehow.

Angel is in the mutant fight club at the start, and his fight with Nightcrawler damages his wings pretty badly. Apocalypse gives him his metal ones and he joins up. He looks awesome in his full Horseman get-up, but again he says very little and doesn’t do much until the final fight. It’s also left ambiguous if he dies or not. I’m pretty sure he does but I’m hoping he survived to show up for a sequel. Psylocke is working with Caliban as his enforcer and goes along with Apocalypse willingly. She has very little to do in the movie and even less to say. She looks awesome though and her fight against Hank was pretty cool.

Apocalypse himself is okay. He looks great, and Oscar Issac portrays him quite well. He’s a very persuasive villain and he’s good at making it look like he really cares about his fellow mutants and even humanity itself though he’s really just about giving himself as much power as possible. There’s just not much too him. He’s a powerful mutant who wants to take over the world.

Wolverine is seen here in a sequence that was not needed and I’m guessing inserted just to put Wolverine in the movie. After Apocalypse uses Xavier and Cerebro to take control over every person responsible for launching nuclear weapons and has them launch every nuclear weapon, Stryker shows up to kidnap Mystique, Moira, Hank, and Quicksilver to demand answers about what just happened (he thinks Xavier did it willingly). Jean, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler sneak aboard the helicopter so they can save their friends. When the reach the Alkali Lake base, they release Wolverine as a distraction and he ends up basically killing everybody in the base. Jean uses her powers to give him back some of his memory, like the fact that his name is Logan. Sure it’s a good action sequence but it kind of stopped the movie dead and didn’t do anything to further the overall plot. Take it out and the movie’s not affected at all. The characters get their outfits and plane at the base, but they easily could have gotten them from somewhere else, like maybe the school if Singer hadn’t blown that to bits.

I know it looks like I’m basically trashing this movie and I guess I am but I don’t mean to. There is a lot of good here; it’s just buried under stuff that we’ve seen before and better. The new actors playing Cyclops, Jean, Nightcrawler, and Storm are great and I am so excited to see a movie with them as the X-Men. The suits they wear at the end look great and actually have a bit of color in them.

Apocalypse, while not being the most original villain, is still a fun villain and his final fight against the X-Men is pretty awesome especially once Jean goes full on Phoenix and just burns him to dust. The Horsemen, despite being underused and basically being ciphers, look great and have some amazing fight scenes against the X-Men. It was great seeing Moira again and having Xavier give her back her memories.

Quicksilver’s big moment is when he rescues every single student from the mansion as it explodes and it’s even better than his jail break scene from Days of Future Past. Giving him more screen time and making him an official X-Man was a brilliant move on Singer’s part.

The stuff focusing on the younger X-Men was a lot of fun as well. I wouldn’t have minded more scenes of the young mutants hanging out and having fun like when they went to the mall. They’re also a good team and the three main ones (Cyclops, Jean, and Nightcrawler) have an easy chemistry about them.

There’s also some good lighthearted moments like when Cyclops accidentally slices Xavier’s favorite tree in two or Xavier talking to Moira and being surprised she has a son and then asking if her son has a husband and then saying it’s good that she and her husband divorced. Quicksilver gets a lot of good lines as well and usually brings the funny no matter what scene he’s in. Nightcrawler made me chuckle a few times as he tries to fit in with the other mutants. I love the photo he took when he was getting a new ID made.

It did feel like the end of the loose trilogy of X-films. Xavier has finally achieved his dream of starting a school for gifted youngsters and has seen tensions between humans and mutants lessen. Mystique embraces who she is and takes her place as a hero and X-Man. Hank has also embraced his more bestial side by the end of the movie. Magneto, after killing tons of people, has also found peace more or less. A new generation of mutants has risen to help protect the world. Wolverine, while being unnecessary, is still great. Hugh Jackman could play this role in his sleep.

In the end, this is a good movie but not one of the best superhero movies out there. I am excited to see where they go from here. Hopefully we get to see this X-Men team in the next movie and hopefully the threat isn’t so apocalyptic, pardon the pun. Lowering the stakes and making them more personal is really the only way they can go after having a villain almost destroy the world.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
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#2 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 11:19 PM

Just saw this today. I watched it online, not at the movies. If I had actually spent money to see this movie, I would be pissed.

Overall, it's not bad...if it's a rental, or as a DVD buy....But that's about the extent of it.

Do the writers NOT research the source material at all, when writing these characters???? Apocalypse would normally tower over everybody, even when not increasing his size. That's number one. Number two: He IS the BADDEST villain the X Men have EVER faced. He's more powerful then ALL of them. He is NOT just a mutant power increasing wifi hot spot. Mystique is NOT a hero. Period. She just isn't. Even calling her a anti hero is pushing it, it's just not who she is. I get that Jennifer Lawrence is popular due to Hunger games and what not, but it just isn't who mystique is. And she most definitely isn't the character to inspire hope in others.

Now we come to my issues with the whole timing aspect of this movie. It takes place back in the 80's. So no cell phones for moira to use to call for a plane to fly her back from Cairo to Washington D.C. in the 12 to 14 hours movie time. That's just a minor nitpick, there are bigger ones. Like how quickly Striker arrived at the destroyed mansion, after Apocalypse uses Xavier to access the world's nukes. The only way they would've arrived THAT quickly is if they were already on their way. Now about those nukes...Setting aside that targets would've had to be programmed into the nukes, something we don't see happening, two guys just turn the keys and apparently the nukes automatically know where to go...Setting that aside, once the nukes are launched, except for an abort code recall, that's it. Game over. They are out of human hands. So even destroying cerebro wouldn't have stopped the entire planet from being nuked. Cause what goes up, will come down. They aren't just going to go fly off into space and that's it.

Absolutely LOVED quicksilver's saving everybody at the mansion. Priceless. And while him beating on Apocalypse was cool. Apocalypse would've just laughed at those punches. Again, writers never bothered to research exactly who and what Apocalypse is. What annoyed me with quicksilver though was his whole reason for going with them was to find his dad. And when he does, he doesn't even tell Magneto who he is????WTF!

Now we come to the complete destruction of several entire cities. I'm not talking man of steel metropolis destruction here, I'm talking total and completely erased cities. Literally erased to rebuild Apocalypse's giant pyramid. So the death toll here is just off the charts. Which means that the ending of the movie makes no sense. No reporter announcing how suspicions of mutants is starting to happen again. Not at this point. Especially given the attack on the President in the last movie, which they referenced in this one. With entire cities literally being erased, and the entire planet literally almost wiped out by mutants...the time for registration, even concentration camps is past. At this point, in reality, it's literally going to be hunt them down and kill on sight.

Now I get that movie apocalypse has been swapping bodies for centuries, but given what happened last time he swapped bodies, why would he even risk the same happening again. He's already more powerful then the others, so why even risk it? Wait til enough of the world is in ruins, then do it. You don't try and swap bodies when you're currently in the process of destroying the world. Common sense here, come on.

And Jean didn't become the Phoenix until she was in her late 20's early 30's, so how is teen Jean becoming it now?

Loved the wolverine scene, and the student's literally just following the trail of bodies Wolverine left behind him.

Overall, it's watchable, but I certainly wouldn't spend money on it at the theater.
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#3 Virgil Vox

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 07:16 PM

Quote

Do the writers NOT research the source material at all, when writing these characters???? Apocalypse would normally tower over everybody, even when not increasing his size. That's number one. Number two: He IS the BADDEST villain the X Men have EVER faced. He's more powerful then ALL of them. He is NOT just a mutant power increasing wifi hot spot. Mystique is NOT a hero. Period. She just isn't. Even calling her a anti hero is pushing it, it's just not who she is. I get that Jennifer Lawrence is popular due to Hunger games and what not, but it just isn't who mystique is. And she most definitely isn't the character to inspire hope in others.

Apocalypse's size didn't bother me too much. Sure it would've been nice if he was as tall as he was supposed to be but it wasn't a deal breaker.

As for Mystique, she has flirted with the side of good before. I don't mind the movies taking her in a more heroic direction since we did get three movies of an extremely evil and badass Mystique. Plus, this didn't come out of nowhere. Her character trajectory toward the side of angels was started in First Class, disrupted in the same movie, and then moved that way again in Days of Future Past and this movie.

Quote

Like how quickly Striker arrived at the destroyed mansion, after Apocalypse uses Xavier to access the world's nukes. The only way they would've arrived THAT quickly is if they were already on their way. Now about those nukes...Setting aside that targets would've had to be programmed into the nukes, something we don't see happening, two guys just turn the keys and apparently the nukes automatically know where to go...Setting that aside, once the nukes are launched, except for an abort code recall, that's it. Game over. They are out of human hands. So even destroying cerebro wouldn't have stopped the entire planet from being nuked. Cause what goes up, will come down. They aren't just going to go fly off into space and that's it.

I do agree that Stryker got to the mansion way too fast. It was basically the speed of plot. Then again, I'm biased towards disliking anything to do with Stryker and Alkali Lake because I thought it was a waste of time and not needed.

As for the nukes, while you're correct that we didn't see targets programmed in, it seemed clear that Apocalypse wanted the nukes to fly into space and detonate. He had no intention of using them to destroy the planet. He just wanted them removed from the playing field.

Quote

What annoyed me with quicksilver though was his whole reason for going with them was to find his dad. And when he does, he doesn't even tell Magneto who he is????WTF!

Yeah, that annoyed me as well. Magneto is literally tearing the planet apart because his family is dead and Quicksilver can give him a reason not to and decides to keep his mouth shut.

Quote

And Jean didn't become the Phoenix until she was in her late 20's early 30's, so how is teen Jean becoming it now?

I think that Singer missed his chance to do Phoenix in X3 that he wanted to throw Phoenix in here just in case. That's what I believe, anyways.

Quote

Loved the wolverine scene, and the student's literally just following the trail of bodies Wolverine left behind him.

It was a good action scene but as I stated in my review it just was not needed and I felt that it detracted from the film overall.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#4 perriejinnie

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 05:02 AM

I had one opportunity to watch this movie in my granny's house on DVD. But my pet dog started barking and became restless in the house (for it was strange with all those stuffed animals on the walls). I didn't have any option but to come back to my home with my dog.
I love animals...

#5 G-man

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 09:20 AM

:unsure:  Was the DVD animated or live action?

Apparently, there is more than one movie titled X-men:  Apocalypse, and given that the live action film just opened a few weeks ago, I'm astonished to hear that it already is available on DVD.

/s/

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Edited by G-man, 24 June 2016 - 09:20 AM.

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#6 zarkon

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 11:40 PM

I think that DVD was part of a dream or vivid imagination or yanking ones chain  :laughtears:



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