Well, if anything, I’m finally all caught up. I’m not pretending to grasp it all…too many timelines, so many dual-actor characters, plus–I watched them out of the order of their release. So, I’m a little bit confused. Therefore, my review is only a mild recommendation for Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Apocalypse”. It ain’t bad, and I admire the heck out of its scope. But I’m admitting to being a little burnt out by it all. At the same time, I’m willing to say that it could very well be my own failing, and not the film’s. But March’s upcoming “Logan” will be the TENTH entry in the franchise in just under 17 years. I mean, can you blame me?
The thought of a plot description is exhausting to even think about. What do you need? There are good mutants and bad mutants, and they fight. Massive CGI special effects–some of it looks really cool. Creepy new baddie called Apocalypse, and I didn’t even realize he was played by one of my favorite film actors (Oscar Isaac) until the credits rolled. Talk about a shape-shifter. James McAvoy is Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender is Magneto, and Jennifer Lawrence is Mystique–roles that used to be played by Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Rebecca Romijn. Got it? Remember how Quicksilver (Evan Peters) has the standout sequence in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, set to Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle”? It’s done similarly here, this time to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. Again, it’s a really badass scene, but now with the unfortunate scent of copycat and desperation. Oh, and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) pops in unannounced. Afterall, he’s carrying this franchise, right?
You know, there’s a nifty little inside joke, regarding Brett Ratner’s critically maligned “X-Men: The Last Stand” from 2006, being the worst chapter in this series. It’s funny, plus it’s uttered at the expense of 1983’s “Return of the Jedi”, in honor of the timeline represented in “X-Men: Apocalypse”. But is it true? As much as Ratner is a low-talent, Gavin Hood’s 2009 “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (which I’ve just recently experienced) is far worse. Plus, many critics would agree that this installment should tread lightly on the mockery. Also, director Bryan Singer has proven so right for this material (this is his fourth go, behind the “X-Men” camera, including the first two), but this is most likely his weakest effort. There’s just so much business. That being said, Michael Fassbender mines such incredible emotion in some key scenes, that it’s worth watching for him alone. Still, a mixed bag.