Greetings folkses. Supreme Mango Overlord Julien here. And with a name like that it is fitting I review a movie about a megolomaniac with a God complex.
The movie opened this weekend in the US and earlier in other places. If you have not seen it yet I did a spoiler free review (you can read here). But if you have seen it or you’re just one of those people who love spoilers – they are rare but they do exist – continue reading.
SPOILER ALERT is in full effect. Let’s do this thing. Here’s my review in five easy to chew slices:
#1 A Visual Feast
This is a beautiful movie. The opening in Egypt is gorgeous. The horsemen fighting off the insurgent Egyptians was tense, action packed and an effects bonanza. I was thoroughly pumped by the end of it. I was thinking “this could be the best X-Men ever” if they kept this up.
The Quicksilver scene with the exploding mansion is also top notch. It is funny, cool and outdoes the jailbreak scene from Days of Future Past. I was really happy we got more Evan Peters as Quicksilver in this movie. He was a good time in every scene and his powers were portrayed well.
And the destruction at Auschwitz? Oh, my, goodness. That blew me away twice over. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Magneto destroying the place in a power-fueled rage just added to the stirring pot of awesome sauce.
And generally the display of mutant powers looked really good. That scene with Wolverine going full berserker is alone worth the price of admission. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
#2 So Bad They’re Good
The stand out performances came from the big bad Apoclaypse, played by the great Oscar Isaac, and the sometimes bad, sometimes good Magneto, played by the incomparable Michael Fassbender.
Isaac took a character that could have been a joke and made him menacing and riveting. He is never too over the top but just the right level of world ending, cultish crazy. I am really glad they did justice to one of the X-Men’s greatest foes. And I also enjoyed how they simplified his powers but still made him a force to be reckoned with.
Next we have Magneto. I found his character arc in Days of Future Past uninteresting but here was some good stuff. Seeing him go from happy family man to a man who wants to watch the world burn is brilliant. Humans killed his family and took away his one chance at a normal, happy life. Can you blame him for wanting to wipe them all out? And his eventual redemption at the end is great stuff too. I thought Quicksilver revealing that he is his son would have been a better device to turn him against Apocalypse though. But say what.
#3 New Guys Fail to Shine
I was not overly impressed with Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler in this movie. Tye Sheridan as Cyclops was okay though he did not have much of an arc. And they showed so little between him and Havok that the latter’s death had little impact.
Sophie Turner, best known for playing Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, had some nice moments with Sheridan but overall she was a bit dull. And why didn’t she collapse after going full Phoenix (which looked great btw). I thought that would have been more effective.
Nightcrawler was interesting but the use of his powers lacked the punch that we got in X2. The humor he was used for was hit and miss.
And this is the third time we are seeing Jubilee in the films and she is yet to use her powers once. Stop teasing us Singer!
#4 Three Lame Horsemen
The biggest let down of the movie was the horsemen, excluding Magneto. They all look good – especially Olivia Munn – but they do not DO anything. I was thinking Apocalypse should have brainwashed them, because then it would make sense that they are so wooden.
Storm is the least of the offenders and at least she gets some cool scenes. And thank you for the consistent African accent. But Munn’s Psylocke is eye candy and her best action scenes appeared in the trailer. And why have Angel fight Nightcrawler twice? They could have made mixed it up a bit.
Now that end credits scene probably flew over most people’s heads. The Essex Corp is a reference to Nathaniel Essex, the real name of X-Men villain Mr Sinister. As Charlie from Emergency Awesome would say, a “deep cut”. And them taking the blood is likely a nod to Wolverine clone X-23 but when she will appear is anybody’s guess.
Overall I had a great time with X-Men: Apocalypse. Beautiful and fun but falls short of perfect.
Rating: X-Men: Apocalypse gets 3 out of 4 potentially world ending mangoes.