Dienstag, 31. Mai 2016

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE - Movie Review

 Title: X-Men: Apocalypse
Running Time: 147 min
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Evan Peters, Rose Byrne, Olivia Munn, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee

So far, the X-Men movies have covered a big range in terms of quality. Certified critics put "X2" and "First Class" in the Top Ten of the best comic book films of all time, while "The Last Stand" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" are considered to be an embarrassment to the genre. Then recently, the (as of now) only losely connected Deadpool-movie knocked it out of the park and made wannabe-nerds across the globe pretend to be a hardcore fan of the character. So now, the latest installment of the franchise is waiting to be ranked in that diverse list of mutant-related stories.
"X-Men: Apocalypse" turns out to be no less than an action-heavy popcorn flick. But certainly not much more either. Despite being fun and visually pleasing, the movie unfortunately falls apart the more you think about it. It is almost frustrating to watch how the movie constantly presents promising elements, but continuously puts spokes in its own wheels. Every great sequence of the film is diminished by some screenwriting misstep.
Michael Fassbender for example has a scene in the first act of the film that (considering its very brief set-up) is incredibly, emotionally powerful. It showcases his fantastic acting chops and reminds you why Erik Lensherr is one of the greatest comic book characters ever created. It is however the peak of that storyline and Magneto spends the rest of the film standing or floating around with only few notable lines. Then there is Charles Xavier's relationship with Dr. Moira MacTaggert. There are a few jokes that work quite well in their first conversation and their past has a lot of potential for personal conflict. But here again, Moira very quickly becomes a character that is just kind of there and tags along with everyone else, as her much too obvious function of providing exposition is no longer needed. One fo the biggest problems however remains Quicksilver:
Admittedly, Evan Peters plays the character with a charm that no one else has brought to the franchise so far. Just as in "Days of Future Past", Director Bryan Singer blends this charisma with cleverly constructed and terrifically stylish action pieces that are truely fantastic. If they were stand-alone Quicksilver short-films, I would have nothing but praise for them, but in the context of the whole film these scenes pose a few major problems.
On the one hand, the funny and whitty tone stands in hard contrast to the drama that is presented right before or right after these scenes. Unexpected comedy can be refreshing, but not at points where tension is supposed to be held high. On the other hand, Fox has created such an omnipotent character in Quicksilver that he could actually solve almost every problem the X-Men have. He is a walking "Deus Ex Machina" and it becomes very apparent when the screenwriters try to deny this fact. In one particular scene during the showdown, Quicksilver goes one way and Nightcrawler another. When both encounter obstacles, it does not take a lot of thought to realize that they would simply have had to switch places in order to accomplish their missions with the greatest of ease. If your audience is (unintentionally) that much smarter than your characters, your script has a serious problem.
Lastly, the movie does take the term Apocalypse quite literally as most parts of the world get shred into pieces, and all of Kairo including its inhabitants is pulverized in an instant. But when the lifes that are lost are just countless, nameless, unknown masses of people, there is no time or motivation for the audience to get emotionally attached to the tragedy. We feel nothing, and so the stakes become virtually zero.
There is much more to say about the unfocused script (which also includes a Wolverine cameo that would have been much better off in a standalone film), and about how the franchise's messed up timeline confuses long time watchers almost more than new ones. What is most important to know however is that these issues are so ever-present while watching this film that even the special effects heavy mutant powers or the great new casting are unable to outweigh them. It is really too bad for the likes of Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp and Tye Sheridan, who have done an amazing job of replacing their well-known counterparts from the original cast.

For Fans Of:
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
The Wolverine (2013)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Click Here To Watch Trailer!

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