Movie Review: X-Men Apocalypse (7.4/10)

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There are certainly things to like about this film.  From the introduction of the new X-Men (the new Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, and an increased role for Quicksilver), to the powerhouse acting performances by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, to several memorable action sequences, it’s a 2 hour and 25 minute movie sprinkled with highlights.

Which is precisely where the flaws of the film lie.  The film often drags on exposition and side plots to the point of dullness.  Also, as good an actor as Oscar Isaac is, he was not exactly menacing as Apocalypse.  For a mutant who was supposed to be the very first of its kind, who is able to change elements at will and whose power supersedes that of Professor X, he did not strike a fear into the viewer.  I was not terrified of Apocalypse; rather, my thought shifted to wondering how the X-Men would be able to defeat him.

(As much flak as Marvel has received for its lack of focus on its films’ villains, I gravitated towards the charming yet dangerous presence of Ultron, in the short moments he was featured in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”  It was really a waste of such a great performance by James Spader.)

It’s only June and already four comic book movies have been released.  I’d ranked them in this order, with the first being my must-see and last being wait for home video release.

  1. Captain America: Civil War
  2. Deadpool
  3. X-Men: Apocalypse
  4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

 

Movie Review: X Men First Class

The latest installment of the “X Men” franchise turns out to be the best.  The ensemble cast was fantastic, with the two lead characters, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, shine in their roles as the eventual Professor X and Magneto.  In particular, Fassbender’s performance was an emotional tour-de-force, showing the pain Erik had gone through that causes him to ultimately have an antagonistic view of the world.

In addition, the film also features two of the best stand-alone sequences in recent memory.  One was partially in the trailer, where Erik uses his power to levitate a submarine from under water.  The other is one of the most memorable kill sequences that I’ve seen in a while.

I hope there will be a sequel to “First Class” and we get to see more of the strong chemistry and screen presences between McAvoy and Fassbender.