Well, it’s that time again. Another X-Men movie has latched on to a theater screen near you like a parasite. I’ve pretty much been distant from the X-Men movies since X-Men 3. This is a franchise that I could easily do without. Granted, I’m not an X-Men fan but I like movies and they can’t even do that right. I’ve been reading comics nearly all of my life. I grew up on half-torn issues of Captain America and managed to smear my grubby childish hand prints over various copies of Batman. My father believed that the best programming for a young, developing child was old reruns of the X-Men: The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond. I loved all of these shows and now have grown to love the movies. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is held up in high esteem for me as one of the best comic book movies of all time. While, I've always held the X-Men movies after 3 in low regard we, as an audience, had one brief moment of clarity with X-Men: First Class. First Class was novel in the story it was telling, and, most importantly, fun to watch.
My problem with the X-Men is because, for all intents and purposes, they are the least dynamic team in the Marvel Universe and most relevant to this review, the Marvel Comic Universe. Every superhero team across both Marvel and DC worlds has different enemies that tackle grander, more complex themes than the battle between Good and Evil. Every couple of years some new threat will come along and rock every team to its core, shifting the perspective and mission of each organization. The Avengers has excelled at this for years. One of the best overall story lines (and comic book story lines overall) was the Civil War series; which actually included the X-Men but focused mainly on the ideological fight between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and the physical repercussions of their battles.
I just don't feel that X-Men does this. The battle between Good and Evil, Man and Mutant, has always been the heated topic of discussion for the X-Men. And while that is and interesting topic to handle, and the allusion to Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X in Xavier and Magneto respectively are well done it's just not enough to hold a masterful story together anymore. The X-Men have squandered the potential that was promised to us in the 1980s with the comics, the 1990s cartoon, and the 2000s with the first two X-Men movies. It's always the same thing at the center of it all: Xavier and Magneto. And, to give them credit, they've tried to mask it by having other threats in play, but overal lit always seems to fall back to the same formulaic Professors X v Magento fight.
The last installment in the X-Men cinematic franchise was Days of Future Past, a bundled, boring, pile of dumpster trash. It has managed to put me to sleep three times on three separate occasions, the first time I could put it down to lack of sleep but three? That's on you Fox. This movie only furthers my point. In the future we had the Sentinels as the big force that was threatening our heroes, but in the past it’s just Magneto being a little bitch again. There are so many blatant issues with X-Men: Apocalypse, almost too many to count.
So, what I’ll do is I’ll tackle the one thing that really upset me. The effect of consequences, or in this films case, the lack thereof. One thing that the real MCU managed to create was a world that feels dynamic and that every action committed in one film is rippled throughout the Marvel universe. Destruction and devastation results in severe punishments within the universe. This movie lacks serious emotional weight because none of the destruction matters. The entire planet is essentially ripped apart and actually fucking destroyed resulting in the deaths of millions of innocent people at the hands of Magneto and there are no repercussions for him. He’s able to just walk away Scot free with no one question him. It’s insulting that the beacon of good, Professor Xavier, would just allow this MASS MURDERER to walk away. It’s idiotic in the most blatant way. There’s a moment in this movie where Magneto goes to Auschwitz and destroys the entire facility in a fit of rage. He’s a broken man in this scene, his family has been taken from him and he has been transported to the camp responsible for the murder of his mother and countless other souls, it’s a tragic, heartbreaking scene. So, what does ol’ Magneto decide to do? Top Auschwitz’s body count. Magneto literally murders millions of people. Now you may think I’m exaggerating that a bit but I’m not! It’s hilariously ridiculous that everyone is somehow okay with him afterwards. This entire sequence left me confused more than anything because…well…that’s not how anything works, especially for the X-Men! You can’t just kill millions of people, decide “Nah, this shit ain’t cool”, fight “the bad guy”, and walk off into the sunset laughing and sipping strawberry daiquiris all the way to the bank! As much as I hated Batman V. Superman, you can admit that they tried to establish the total destruction of Metropolis coupled with the pain that people felt during the attack and after. Now imagine that on a global scale with a result of tens of millions of people suddenly dead and no questions being asked. Even someone pure and forever fighting the good fight like Xavier is so incredibly wiling to give Magneto a pass on the actual atrocities he has committed.
This whole movie just feels so dull. I already didn’t care for the X-Men movies and now with each subsequent film my expectations manage to decrease below the 0% line of enjoyment, etching into loathing and hatred for the films. The film is good for pretty much one viewing. After today I will actively be looking to stay away from the franchise and particularly this film.
Some things were done really well, the Quicksilver slow time running sequence is always a ton of fun and will probably never get old. Sansa Stark manages to play an exceptional Jean. Everyone else seems pretty meh. Jennifer Lawrence is essentially the Mockingjay in Mystique form. It’s so sad because it just screams corporate involvement to appease to particular fans.
Other than that I’d pretty much just try to avoid this thing. Your money can be put towards better things than this film. Please, don’t watch this movie. It’s a disgusting, sloppy, aborted dumpster baby that should be avoided at all costs.
2.2 out of 5