X-Men: Apocalypse – Film Review
Dear Hollywood, can we please just get a break for the remainder of the year from this bombardment of superhero movies? We have barely reached the middle of the year and there have been at least six already.
We are also getting used to seeing a lot of prequels, giving us backstories that we do not necessarily need. X-Men Apocalypse is definitely one of those projects, so do not expect a compelling story to come out of this. If I am being reasonable, that is probably the only storytelling tool that superhero movie screenwriters have to turn to these days since the conventional superhero narrative has become a classic. Everybody is familiar with the glamorous underdog rising to demigod proportions, saving the world in the process. So, all that is left is to fill in the gaps with prequels.
Now we need more insight into the “grand scheme of things”; how it all started and why we should be rooting for our superheroes at all. If anything, it is all just a game of perspective and come next month, the Ster Kinekor lineup will include some drawn-out back story from the villain’s side, adding another link to this long and heavy chain.
But I digress, if you are a genuine fan of superhero storylines and movies packed with action and adventure, then you certainly will get your fill. Even I can not deny that the backstories definitely allow for many thrilling scenes since we are given a new view into the complexities that contributed to the earlier life of the superhero.
X-Men: Apocalypse begins somewhere in the 1980s when Apocalypse, the most powerful, god-like mutant from the X-Men universe awakens from several thousands of years of slumber and threatens to destroy mankind and create a new world with what is left. He recruits a team of powerful mutants including Magneto, who is afflicted after the death of his family. Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) join forces to lead a team of young mutants to annihilate Apocalypse and his evils plans.
The action scenes are indeed fun and daring. The movie does deliver everything you would expect from it, from extravagant explosions to near-miss jabs and lethal blows. The “diaspora” of Professor X’s student mutants and their diverse personalities banding together to fight a villain whose chances of being defeated are slim to none, certainly gives you good reason to keep your eyes fixed on the screen, even if you do know who ultimately wins the battle. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) is probably the most impressive character in that he provides a lighter mood into such an action-driven story with his cocky, cool as a cucumber attitude.
The visual effects are a questionable cross between high-definition CGI and video game graphics but I do think that director, Singer, gets to show off a bit with some awesome 3D-type shots where all the action is frozen into a dream-like sequence as we see life from Quicksilver’s perspective. For a split second, he is able to manipulate his entire space while everyone else is too slow to do anything about it; it is quite enjoyable to watch.
I suppose your appreciation of this film really depends on your movie genre bias. Just like we would expect a new comedy or romance movie to come out every month, superhero flicks might just be one of those genres we will have to get used to. I just hope that the scriptwriters can come up with a storyline that is not so forced and predictable.