Category Archives: ENTERTAINMENT

Reel to Real

Can’t win ’em all!

Photo Courtesy: 20th Century FOX

Photo Courtesy: 20th Century FOX

Film: X-Men: Apocalypse
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, Ben Hardy
Rated: PG-13
Review:2 1/2 bags

In the life of a real member of the X-Men Team there are moments of victory and there are moments of failure.  X-Men: Apocalypse is not a victory for the X-Men Franchise, but it has enough to keep the story going and perhaps keep the real, hardcore X-Men fans interested until the next installment hits the big screen.

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god.  Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible.  Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign.  As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

Apocalypse has a number of terrific scenes to punctuate the straightforward narrative, including a few showstoppers that keep excitement levels high.  But the main focus is far more on the characters than the mayhem, giving the story the requisite depth it needs and showing why the characters have endured for so long.

Engaging characters make the storyline work.  Quicksilver (Evan Peters) steals all his scenes, but all the engaging activity comes to a halt when Apocalypse takes center stage.  Oscar Isaac is an excellent actor, but he seems to struggle with a role as parched as this one.  It’s as if his action scenes are under achieving and don’t build excitement like other franchise movies do. 

The problem with these oversized films is that there are way too many mutants to introduce and assimilate into the overall plot.  Something is always left out and or something is added that didn’t need to be included.  Like pointless face time for a particular actor…with very sharp claws.  Ultimately, director Bryan Singer keeps things humming along at a nice pace; however, he had too many plates spinning at once and not enough time or vision to tend to all of them.  Therefore, I would suggest the powers that be, in the X-Men franchise, will tighten up and deliver a better installment on the next go round. 

To use a basketball analogy in the spirit of the NBA Playoffs, I have to say that after First Class and Days of Future Past, I was expecting a slam dunk and instead got a weak lay-up that almost rimmed out.  They scored the two, but it was ugly.