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“People fear what they do not understand” – Ororo Munroe (Storm) X-men 92

Famous words with meaning when dealing with prejudice, racism and anything that goes against the norm in everyday life that we remain close minded and ignorant. Yeah, who’d have thought for a cartoon it could get to the heart of an issue, yeah?

Salutations everyone, Jeff here and I will be giving my review of the recent X-Men: Apocalypse film that released recently.

*Say what!*

It is the third trilogy of Bryan Singer’s new X-men trilogy that ret-cons and fixes some of the flack that occurred in the original trilogy and spin-offs.

To begin after the hit of X-men and X-2: X-men United, Bryan left the third movie to produce other films which soon got in the hands of Brett Ratner.

*The beginning of the end*

Not only did he ruin X-men: The Last Stand, the story decided to wipe clean the legacy of the x-men by killing off key figures, it also stung for the fans of material that the portrayal of the characters felt rushed or generic, crucial plot lines and handling the fabled “Phoenix Force”, this left a bad taste in my mouth and some others.

*Really now?*

This is where the rough patch happens. Everything I’m about to say is my opinion and not actual fact so bear with me, please.

*Let’s get to it!*

Wolverine Origins was the first spin-off from X-men detailing Logan’s past and how he got to the point of the movies which fans generally liked. Personally I never cared for the Wolverine films; why do I bother with a movie that already established that he is the MOST important mutant in all the X-men films?

*Yeah sorry, don’t impress me bub with being a central character*

Take notice that Logan is the center of the films while others barely get acknowledgement and only minor development.  Storm would be next in getting said development but her portrayal by Hallie Berry was not good at all in my opinion.

They only got her cause she was bank and I’ll say the only black woman they could find back then.

*Yeah-yeah, take it somewhere else; trying to use a fake African accent in the first film!*

Answer me this; how in the world does something like the Phoenix Force (a crappy version due to it being a separate personality of Jean Grey’s) fall to some claw man?  For the most part the Phoenix could have just turned off the brain activity to block his healing factor or even cause his body to explode.

That was what really killed the last X-men movie for me in general.

*Yes I have a hard on for the Phoenix Force; sue me.*

I thought there would be no hope to get rid of the bad taste.  Not only did X3 bitch slap Cyclops by killing him but to get rid of Jean Grey, the poster child of the X-men along with Prof. X for trying to spice up the plot? Please spare me the bullshit!

Along with the Wolverine sequel I felt it was an insult with having some version of Jean Grey in his mind be his one regret and being his feelings unheard of by letting her say the thing he always wanted her to say.

Now look, I do not deny the fact that she and Wolverine have a charge with one another but for me (being a Cyclops/Jean fan) felt that it was tacky. The X-men are not like that with one person holding together a team due to an annoying plot of fanboys with wood for Wolverine!

They are a team of mutants who fight to show non-powered folk that just because they have extra power due to their genetics doesn’t mean they are a threat. They are people just like everyone else.

Sure they do get in scuffles but they are a hope for any and all mutants to step up and be heroes and what X3 did was an insult.

*How it should be*

Flash forward from 2006 to 2011 where Brian Singer announced a new trilogy of X-men films and a reboot of the X-men franchise as a whole to correct the mistakes of Last Stand.

X-men: First Class begins the new trilogy which introduces a younger Charles Xavier (James MacAvoy) and Eric Lanshirr (Michael Fassbender) during the Kennedy years which focus on them, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Hank McCoy aka Beast (Nicolas Hoult) and the beginning of the X-men and trying to stop the notorious Hell Fire Club.

*1960’s outfits*

X-men Days of Future’s Past is the second film combing the First Class cast set place in the 70’s while using the old X-men movies cast in a dystopian future taking place after X3 which stars Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to fix the timeline via help with Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to send his consciousness to the past to stop the production of the Sentinel project that is inexplicably stared by Mystique.

*Theatical version of Days of Future Past*

As a personal opinion I think XDOFP Rogue cut is the true canon. Besides it being more acceptable to have Rogue do the job, it would have added that bit of flair when it came to the rescue that Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) did for Rogue (Anna Paquin). I was crushed when her parts got cut in the original film.

*My personal canon*

Granted I found it iffy that the X-men films established that Shadowcat would be the one sending Wolverine’s mind through time even though her powers do not work like that!! She just can’t “phase a conscious mind” through time and space; the way her powers work is matter related to phase through physical objects and disrupt anything electronic due to changing density or “walking through air” in an incorporeal state.

*How do you get phasing through time with this?*

In the same name as the movie the comic says it was actually Rachel Summers, future daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey in this future, who sent an older Katherine Pryde’s mind into the past Kitty Pryde mind to stop Senator Kelly’s assassination from the Brotherhood of Evil mutants which started the concentration camps of the future. But due to the original trilogy never ever talking about that little issue and X3 just wiping out the Summers/Grey genome angle, the producers and writers just gave Kitty that hidden window for the main plot.

*Rachel Summers; alternate version child of Cyke and Jean*

Granted even though Rouge gained that ability, I wasn’t butt-hurt by it so I, again saying, that XDOFP Rogue cut is my canon.

*Returning to help out Wolverine*

With this being the 3rd film of the new trilogy, you’d expect it to be everywhere with plot and characters…you would be right.

Time to get this review started!

Plot

In ancient times of Egypt, the Egyptians worshiped the one known as Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the alleged first mutant. Due to a rebellion by some in his court that occurred he was sealed for a long time.

Years later in 1983 (the setting time period for the movie) an occult had somehow resituated Apocalypse and now looks to conquer the world by bringing said “end days” into the equation by converting 4 mutants as his “horsemen of apocalypse” in the form of  Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Magneto?

This threat can only be stopped by the X-men…but sadly a strike force hasn’t issued in the past decade after the 2nd movie at Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.  Charles is enjoying teaching the new crop of mutants about their abilities and general learning (which goes into the latter) with Hank McCoy helping him with humans knowing the existence of mutants.

Mystique, the central point in the film, is off alone liberating mutants. Fame does not suit her well as she thinks she is nobody’s hero in this day and age and has the notion that the mutant population is still in danger due to prejudice and ignorance.

In Poland, Erik has established his own family after what went down in the last movie with his wife and daughter but is a peaceful life really part of the “Master of Magnetism’ destiny?

What will get the new crop of X-men, Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler and Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) to fight?

Will the end occur?

Characters/portrayal

When it came to finding out that X-Men Apocalypse would be introducing the crème of the crème of the X-men which is Cyclops, Jean, Nightcrawler, etc, I was excited!

I had no trouble with any of the performances shown in this film. I felt that some characters were more fleshed out than the rest and against popular hype; Psylocke sadly does not get her just due in this film.

Scott’s personality from “straight-arrow” kind of character in the comics to turn him into a dude-bro with having a snotty attitude was something I didn’t’ mind. I actually enjoyed the performance and given that he is a teenager in this, I’m thinking that’s how one who is a teen would act, be somewhat rebellious and obnoxious.  I’m a Cyclops fan so I’m biased.

*Fav X-men character, I don’t care if anyone finds him a douche, he’s a cool douche!*

Jean Grey also was better in this incarnation; I didn’t find her lack of resistance to her powers to be a hindrance since…teenager. I think Sophie Turner captured the quality just fine. Given it’s Jean you should expect a lot from her and never underestimate her abilities. With the bad end and future that will never occur, what will this new regimen bring for her?

*Untold potential awaits in the girl who will be the shining ideal!* 

Nightcrawler was decent; even though he wasn’t his swashbuckling, joking –self like in the comics, he had his faith in God on point along with eager to please. He has some development with Angel in the film so look out for it.

*He’s blue. Wait you don’t think he’s…?*

Quicksilver was awesome; whenever he’s on a scene you know you are going to enjoy it with his sense of humor. Let me say, this version of Pietro is better than the Avengers counterpart.

*Fan favorite*

Jubilee, what to say about her? Nothing sadly enough as she was no way linked to the plot other than being friends with Jean and having the classic attire from the 90’s cartoon, minus it being in the 80’s. She didn’t even use her powers!

*Way to make a girl feel welcome*

Beast is always good to see from his unrequited feelings for Mystique to being an integral role for the young recruits.

*Better portrayal than in X3*

Mystique was…eyes wide shut if one can describe a performance. Not even a hint at all the possible stories in the comics they could have done sadly.

*Mutant and proud still?*

Charles Xavier was Charles but more helpful with integrating the young mutants into his school. This is how he usually is in the comic portrayal so it’s praise worthy. Seemed he had a favorite student in Jean though due to what happens during the movie.

*The bald returns!!*

Moria McTaggart (Rose Byrne) returns and actually is the one to see Apocalypse resurrected and get reacquainted with Charles again.  Even though she has no powers, I still liked seeing her and a wink due to the shared history she shares with Charles in the comics. Possibility that her son will be a mutant is a potential story that could play in the movies if it goes that route.

*Working the Agent Scully hair-style from X-Files*

Alex Summers (Lucas Till) is the one to introduce Scott to the Xavier school which I find interesting. I’d say more but it goes into spoiler territory. Noteworthy is he’s the younger brother to Scott in the comics and due to being siblings their powers don’t work on one another.

*Hair got longer I see!*

Magneto is what you expect from Fassbender’s performance; it works. The anger and pain he goes through is always nice to see.  I should say more but what can be said to one of the main ones you recognizance in the franchise? Here’s a hidden gem, his daughter’s name in this film is named Nina; in his comic history Erik had a daughter named Nina before being the parents of Pietro and Wanda (before the retcon of these 2).

*Outfit on point!*

Ororo Munroe was better portrayed this time around than Hallie Berry’s lack performance. She finds a hero in Mystique in the film. More development out of the horseman. Nuff said. Kind of sad she didn’t say “Winds, rain, release thy fury!!” in a dramatic voice like in the old X-men cartoon (LOL!)

*Mohawk is lit!*

Psylocke or Psylocke, what can I say to bring back thine hype? The sad truth is nothing; for the fanboys that were hyping her up to be this kick ass warrior, you were not left disappointed but at the same time her lack of character was in your face.  I mean they didn’t even establish an actual real name (Betsy Braddock she goes by in the comics and being the twin sister to Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain) and you just saw her slice that damn car. They got the power structure good though and a minor nudge that she is a psychic.  If you had to do a rating than Prof X would be top with Jean coming in 2nd and her 3rd.

*Tch, waste.*

Angel had the same deal as Psylocke and he was different from his origins in the comic. I don’t mind the film not touching it being the rich boy with a silver spoon in his mouth but having Angel as someone who does cage matches is a pill to swallow.  I’ll say this; the X movies do not care about Angel.  And I do have issue with not naming him other than the nickname. Warren Worthington III, keep it memorized.

*Chicken fingers anyone?*

Apocalypse…had long ass speeches. His comic origin is rather intricate and has a mortal enemy in Cable, who is the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey’s clone).  His motto is “Survival of the fittest”. Anytime he comes around you know it will get complicated for the X-men.

*Blow hard.*

Themes

Shockingly enough there aren’t any themes that I could see. Sure Egyptian lore but other than that, zip.

*Sorry.*

Score

Characters portrayal – 7

Like I mentioned above, had no complaints.

Music- 6

It is what it is.

CGI – 7

It was decent

Story – 7

For an X-men film I felt it stood out.

Entertainment – 8

I liked how out there it was.

Last thoughts

Against how fans of comics in general found this film bad with plot holes, I can honestly say I didn’t see it that way.

Yeah, X-men is not the MCU and as wonderful of a dream it would be if Marvel owned the movie rights once again, I have to say FOX did good with bringing this gem to theaters. It’s not something I disliked in the slightest since the X-men I wanted to see were in there.

Sure, they could have added some depth to the hyped up character of Psylocke, worked on Angel and Apocalypse more with personality but I’m not complaining in the least.

If you hadn’t already guessed, yes, I did see this with one of my best buds Mike (mmorse1017) on the weekend and we are in agreement with the film.

As much as I like listening to some of the comic reviewers I listen too I have to disagree with how they perceived it. Yes, it would be awesome if they did a certain event differently to get the maximum performance but this is an iteration of the X-men that actors and actresses do. Nothing will always be “perfect” let alone match to anyone’s palate.  Of course if you compare this movie to something like Captain America: Civil War than yes, that will always be better but this film had its own charm that I liked.

In the end of the day I can give the overall rating for the film 7.5 out of 10 with entertainment coming to around 8!

Here are some videos of ones who liked the film, beware some do spoil it so watch at your own risk.

*Emergency Awesome review*

*This one is a spoiler but he warns you so go for it*

Later days!

*Yes another one done!*

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