James McAvoy

X-Men Apocalypse

Spoilers Ahead

Here’s the first thing that comes to mind for me, as a veteran comic film fan, and that’s that when I have high expectations they better be met or at the very least come reasonably close. I suppose Days of Future Past spoiled me with this series but this movie just didn’t fit the bill. In truth I think the biggest problem was letting J-Law try to carry the movie, the absence of Jackman in the leading role was felt severely. 

As aesthetically pleasing as the film was it just didn’t deliver on any level. The were two, three scenes tops that were worth wild in this movie and beyond that it’s a lot of disappointment. Everybody looked good though. Olivia Munn as Psylocke specifically looked incredible. The entire costume department for the film did an incredible job with everyone. Yet it was not enough to overcome the plot problems and the lack of action throughout. 

Michael Fassbender is fantastic as always but he wasn’t used properly or enough. Tye Sheridan was great as a young cyclops but I felt Alexandra Shipp was not used enough either. She looked great but didn’t get enough speaking lines, and when she did they were silly a la “I heard he was your father.” That was just weird at the end of the film. If gossip is so rampant at the X mansion that new chick has heard about it how is it Magneto doesn’t know he has a son? 

I thought Jennifer Lawrence was just going through the motions here. For the record I think she is a fantastic actress but not suited for the lead in this film. I didn’t like that the story set up Mystique to be the hero for all mutants because I just didn’t think it was right for the character. Mystique is an awesome character but I like Rebecca Romijn’s version better. Mischievous villain shouldn’t be the one everyone looks to for leadership. I also thought Sophie Turner looked silly touching her head James McAvoy style the whole movie. She has the hair to honestly play Jean Grey but I am not overly impressed with Turner as an actress.

Though the biggest disappointment lies in the main antagonist himself. Apocalypse just doesn’t do enough, or rarely more than glossing over his eyes. I just expected more. He looked great but not big enough, when he is eye to eye with Magneto there is something wrong. He should have been bigger, taller. Apocalypse is an all powerful bad guy who is too easily defeated and not given enough to do.  

In this movie Quicksilver and Wolverine steal the show. Evan Peters is great in the part and he really steals the scene when things get explosive. I didn’t think it made any sense when he took on Apocalypse alone at the end of the movie with seemingly super human strength, but I’ll excuse that in his case. He brought more to the film than most. Hugh Jackman was sorely missed but his small part was one of the greatest in the entire film. So savage and so satisfying was his kill streak through the Weapon X place. I thought his look was perfect with the head gear and the wires as he wreaked havoc through the base.

By the climax of this film I was so dissatisfied I could have walked out and cared less what else happened. I hate that, because I wanted to love this movie. Instead I left the theater wanting and wishing I had just watched Captain America Civil War for a second time instead. Civil War was a fantastic movie and managed to do exactly what this film surprisingly failed to. We did hear people clapping when the movie ended but we have no idea why. I was so disappointed I didn’t even care to see the post credits scene and didn’t wait around to see it.

I have doubts that this franchise will even move forward with whatever was shown in the post credit scenes anyway. I am probably wrong but I don’t think the movie will be successful enough to garner another film in the franchise. I think most likely the studio will move on to other properties like X-Force, New Mutants, and Deadpool with certain X-men popping up now and again like Colossus in Deadpool.

This movie failed to meet my expectations and when people ask me I will tell them so. Your time will be much better spent seeing Captain America 3 than it would watching this film.

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X-Men First Class

I would like to say some things about this movie having watched over the last weekend.  I was very critical of the film when it first came out. You can read that post here. I still stand by a couple of those statements in my initial reaction to the film but now realize I was being overly critical of others.  I think my expectations for the film were higher than I was willing to admit.  I have loved the X-Men since I was a little kid and can’t help but anticipate any incarnation in film.  I am getting more and more excited for the next X-Men movie with every bit of releasing news because it is shaping up to have all the potential of what X-Men 3 should have been.  Given that excitement I decided to revisit this film and watch it with fresh eyes.

After watching the movie again I am willing to admit I was wrong about many things.  I don’t agree after second viewing that Michael Fsssbender was overacting.  He was incredible in the part in fact and I think he is a great actor.  I also disagree with the statement that the film wasn’t engaging or interesting.  It is an interesting movie and I did find myself really tuned in when the climax was approaching. I also think that while January Jones may not have been very good in the film that it really doesn’t matter if she was or not.  She manages to look really hot in the outfits they have her dressed in and does anything else really matter? I stand by the statement that Jennifer Lawrence was miscast and not good in the film.  I know it’s blasphemous to say so now with her having just won the Academy Award but I just don’t like her. This movie is probably the biggest reason why I don’t.  I don’t like what she is wearing in this movie and I don’t like the pouty chipmunk expression on her face in most of the film. I also don’t really like that Mystique and Xavier grew up together in the film. I think the film would have been better served to have Cyclops and Iceman on the team instead of Havok and Banshee, but I guess they were looking for continuity with the other films and in that case Iceman wouldn’t have worked. I do and did like Kevin Bacon in the film despite what I said in my previous post.  I am a fan of Kevin Bacon and it was nice to see him in a significant role again. Lastly, I still stand by what I said about James McAvoy. I think he sucks and I thought he was horrible in the part. Michael Fassbender makes a great young Magneto in the shadow of the great Sir Ian McKellan, but McAvoy doesn’t do this next to Patrick Stewart.  As I said in the first review he seems to think Professor X had some kind of button on his temple that activated his power.  It makes the ridiculous actor look even stupider playing the part.

With all that being said I would like to apologize for my initial reaction.  This wasn’t a perfect movie but it was good and I found myself enjoying it the second time around.  I will probably buy it one day eventually, when I see it marked down to an overly reasonable price.  I like to be the kind of person that willingly admits when I am wrong so here you have it.  I was not right about this one and I think it is worth your time.

Movies Not To Watch

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

This was too little too late from Bryan Singer, who destroyed this franchise himself over five year ago when he dumped X-Men 3 for the hopeless Superman reboot.  I had high hopes for his return to the franchise but I have been gravely disappointed.  I think Bryan Singer is a great filmmaker but I have hated him since he ruined this franchise.  X2 was an incredible movie and a great follow up to a pretty good first film, there was no reason the third film shouldn’t be just as good as the second. Out of no where Bryan Singer decided to abandon the series and it passed through a handful of people before landing in the hands of the hack Brett Ratner.  The movie was awful, despite a very good cast it was poorly made and a completely ridiculous story. X-Men: First Class is just as bad I’m afraid, I seriously doubt there will be any follow-ups to this reboot.

X-Men is part of a universe with so many exciting characters, it makes no sense to me for there to be movies made about X-Men with made up characters in it.  The third X-men movie did this exact same thing and it was ridiculous then too.  There are literally hundreds of characters to chose from and the writers are making up a girl with fairy wings that spits fire balls? This movie is dumb, but it is especially bad for the comic book fan because it’s not even remotely what it should be.  The script was very generic, the actors were awful for the most part, and it didn’t engage me at all.  Michael Fassbender was a great Magneto but honestly, I thought he was over acting at times.  Why was Havok in the movie? January Jones and Jennifer Lawrence were both bad and poorly cast.  James McAvoy seems to be under the impression that Professor X had some kind of button on his temple that activated his powers.  I think Kevin Bacon looked good on paper, but come on, were they really taking this thing seriously?

I don’t expect a movie made about a comic book to follow the story line perfectly, but it should at least remotely follow the story that its actually based on. The third X-Men movie was just like this, no respect for the original storyline.  I knew within the first five minutes of this film that I wasn’t going to like it and I suffered through the whole thing.  Don’t make the same mistake I did, I cannot get that time or money back, go see Thor (not in 3D) instead, it’s a good Marvel movie.  X-Men: First Class did offer one scene that was awesome, and it involved an incredible and unexpected cameo. I cannot stress enough how much that was the only good part, and that doesn’t make the movie worth seeing.

UPDATE: I have made a mistake, the girl with the fairy wings, Angel Salvadore, is in fact a real character from the X-Men universe.  I don’t know this character and didn’t recognize her in an origin movie because she wasn’t created until nearly 40 years after that origin.

UPDATE 2: I am leaving this post up because it does represent my initial impression of the film but my opinion has changed since.  I wrote an updated review a year or so later after watching the film again on TV.  You can read that review here.