Grosse Point Geek – X-Men Apocalypse
Picking up several years after the events of Days Of Future Past, Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is in hiding, working as a nondescript steel worker but also is happily married with a young daughter. Meanwhile Professor Xavier’s School for the gifted is going from strength to strength with new young mutants joining every week. However all this is about to change as a new enemy arises in the form of the original mutant – a super powered being known as Apocalypse (Oscar Issac) who is hell bent on tearing down civilised society and replacing it with a new and more sinister version of his own.
Of all the superhero films that have been released in the past 15 or so years, the X-men Franchise has always been the most inconsistent. The first two films in the series were very good – especially Xmen 2 which will stand the test of time as one the best comic to film adaptations ever. All this was for naught though when Singer jumped ship and 20th Century Fox foolishly handed the directorial reins to none other that Brett Ratner who, putting it mildly made a complete pigs ear of Xmen The Last Stand. Things improved very little with Gavin Hood’s Wolverine spinoff and were only rescued with Matthew Vaughn’s brilliant X-men First Class, a second Wolverine sequel came along which was ok and then Bryan Singer returned to the fold with 2014’s Days Of Future Past – which i personally disliked but everyone else seemed to love. Finally there was this years fantastically mental Deadpoolwhich gave me serious hope for what i was beginning to feel had become a somewhat moribund franchise.
Sadly my sunny outlook for X-men has been put right back to square one with this latest sequel. To begin with the plot is almost non existent – Isaac’s Apocalypse wants to destroy the world – the X men then have to stop him – the end. Speaking of Apocalypse – he is simply a boring bland villain with iffy make up and a crap out fit, and whilst Oscar Isaac is a fine actor he is given very little to do except shout, make statements and destroy everything around him. Other actors also suffer quite a bit too- Olivia Munn is completely wasted as some kind of body guard type mutant, James McEvoy hams it up something rotten (again) as Prof X and Game Of Thrones Sophie Turner is horribly limp as a young Jean Grey
The film also fares no better in the action set pieces – and whilst these are perfectly serviceable, its nothing we haven’t seen before. How many times are we going to watch Evan Peters as Quicksilver speeding about in some prolonged bullet time sequence? or Magneto picking things up and throwing them around as good mutants do battle with bad ones in the middle of a collapsing city? Frankly this isn’t good enough, its nothing more than pedestrian, by the numbers filmmaking, whilst acceptable to the average 12 year old boy, really doesn’t cut the mustard with people like myself and other seasoned film fans who basically just want something a bit different – which begs the question as to how on earth Fox and Marvel managed to make something as violent, profane and downright funny as Deadpool and then produce such uninspiring non entity like X-Men Apocalypse?
Id also like to add that we have barely got to the middle of the year and we are now being subjected to the fourth big budget superhero movie of 2016 – with another two (Suicide Squad and Dr Strange) ready for release in the next few months. This again, simply isn’t acceptable and shows a complete lack of originality in today’s blockbuster films. Sadly there is no sign of any let up as box office figures for the comic book to film genre are at an all time high – I’m just hoping and praying that the bubble will burst sometime soon and give us all a rest.
So in conclusion id have to say that X-men Apocalypse was a merely serviceable, by the numbers film that will be enjoyed by the masses but hasn’t a prayer in hell of being remembered in years to come – in short – a bit of a waste and a timely reminder that Hollywood needs to start coming up with some new ideas.
Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek