X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Well here we are with the ninth movie in this franchise, if you include 2016’s ‘Deadpool’, and with a tenth on the way! So many plots, sequels, prequels, different actors playing the same characters, alternate timelines which may or may not count anymore…Jesus Christ! I’m not a fanboy of this franchise (or the comics) and I’m probably in the minority here but…what the hell is going on in this franchises timeline?? I have no clue anymore. I can’t remember the older films and I can’t be bothered to rewatch them all in order to keep up with this one (because they’re mostly boring and repetitive). And that’s the main problem with this movie series, you kinda gotta know stuff from the previous movies.

Anyway so we’re still following the timeline that started in ‘X-Men: First Class’ which was a prequel/reboot to the entire franchise (ugh!). This time we are first whisked back to ancient Egypt where the first mutant ever rules supreme. His name is En Sabar Nur, more commonly known as Apocalypse. So old Apocalypto is betrayed by his followers and gets buried alive beneath a pyramid (I think). Back in the present of 1983 dusty old Apocalypto gets discovered by locals and is awakened, or re-energised or brought back to life, whatever. Surveying the new world before him, the big purple one decides that he does not like the modern age of 1983 and all those damn Cabbage Patch Kids. So off he goes to recruit some other mutants (his four horsemen, or whatever) and destroy the world so he can build a better one. The X-Men have to stop him…and that’s it.

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OK right off the bat, what the literal fuck was that makeup job on Oscar Isaac for Apocalypse?? I heard and read the rumours all about his visual appearance being somewhat kooky and rather reminiscent of some kids flick villain, but I didn’t really think much into it. What I saw was shocking, absolutely shocking…and hilarious. Now up to this point these movies have been relatively solid visually, not great but they have tried to give these comicbook characters a realistic look which has worked OK, apart from one or two. Considering this is a new movie in 2016 I simply could not believe how poor Isaac looked in his baddie outfit. For a start it looks nothing like Apocalypse, not even close. His entire bodysuit looks terribly rubbery and squishy, no weight to it at all. Isaac isn’t a particularly large person and you can also tell here, Apocalypse is way too short and has nowhere near enough bulk to him. And finally we have the makeup job on his face, Jesus Christ! Please explain to me what went wrong! what were they thinking?! Its awful, plain and simple, you can almost see the joins, the lines, it looks fake and rubbery, and again it looks nothing like Apocalypse. In short he looks like a big purple dildo from a kids flick or TV show.

But wait there’s more terrible outfits, the cartoonish garbage keeps going. The four horsemen that Apocalypse recruits look almost as dumb as he does, well three of them. First up we have Psylocke, a sexy brunette with a skimpy costume that actually looks like something straight outta ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’, or a tacky Halloween costume. Next its Angel and his big CGI wings that Apoc transforms into metal which somehow fires metal shards? He never wears a shirt it seems, he’s kinda chunky, bit too much timber, and just looks plain idiotic. In this flick Storm is a villainess and looks more like yet another Mortal Kombat character, no the mohawk doesn’t look ‘cool’. Magneto is the final errr…horseman I guess. Of course its Michael Fassbender again but we all know he is one of the better factors in these films, and he looks good in his suit too.

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On the goodie side of things its the usual story, same actors, same characters, same look. Nicholas Hoult is Beast and again just looks like a bad makeup job. They haven’t yet managed to equal or better the look used on Kelsey Grammer in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ in my opinion. Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff might be a popular character right now but Quicksilver also looks ridiculous with his silver outfit if you ask me, and he just does the same shit as before (obviously). Nightcrawler literally just looks like a regular skinny teen with blue face paint on, possibly for Halloween again. I mean I know that’s kinda the idea but it just looks so bland and cheap. And lastly the Godawful Jennifer Lawrence is back as Mystique, although you wouldn’t think it because she’s hardly seen in her famous blue visage. Obviously she didn’t like the process or thinks she’s too big to be hidden away behind so much makeup or whatever. All the rest are fine, nothing special, usual stuff, they don’t look like clowns in other words.

Lets take a look at what we see. Apocalypse is supposedly a super powerful mutant of the ages….right? Yet he really doesn’t come across like that, hell he doesn’t even look intimidating. At one point he decapitates some local Egyptians with…sand? Yes the deadly terror that is sand, its coarse, it gets everywhere and it can apparently cut human heads off. He then merges some other local into a wall or something, eh? He does this again later with another X-Men character (can’t recall). Tries to like…meld them with a wall, because that’s a thing apparently, that’s one of his mutant powers, wall melding. He can also turn people into dust or sand, I dunno. But he only does this here and there, like why doesn’t he just turn all the X-Men into dust? (or sand).

At one point the big purple one wants to send a message to every human, so he requires Professor X. But surely he’s powerful enough to do that himself no? I don’t know all the facts about these characters but I just got the impression a mutant like Apocalypse would be able to do things like that himself. In fact I must question why he even needs any assistance from the mutants he recruited, they’re all pretty useless anyway. I’m sure the shirtless dude with metal wings will be a big help to you.

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We see Magneto lose yet another family, ugh! Yep we gotta sit through a whole load of schmaltz with the metal powered one and another faceless family that is obviously just there to be killed off and make him angry. So when these communist Polish militia accidentally kill Erik’s wife and child, he kills them with…a necklace? Oh, his wife and child get killed accidentally by a fatal arrow shot. But this arrow must be damn big because it manages to penetrate his wife, and into the child (they were holding each other).

The entire Wolverine/Weapon X cameo sequence was another laughable waste of time. Apart from being completely pointless and of no use to the plot, its obviously just crowbarred in there to appease the fanboys who probably all spaffed in their pants over it. Wolverine, in his kegs, with a load of wires and crap all over him, killing faceless soldiers in a rage. Twas in the comics and thusly recreated here to appease and possibly gauge the reaction for a violent R rated flick. I mean lets be honest here, that’s all we’ve damn well heard about for so long now, ‘I wanna see Wolverine kill people in an R rated movie‘ whine whine whine. And that’s why we have the new tenth instalment ‘Logan’, because people just wanna see Wolverine kill people with graphic violence.

In the end everything is tied up with a nice little predictable bow that we’ve all seen before now. One big cliched battle at the end where various bad guys are defeated but not killed off so they can become good guys later on. Professor X has mind battles with Apocalypse because that’s all Professor X can do in these films. Magneto was a villain here, but switches back to the good guys…again. Jean Grey unleashes her full Phoenix Force powers (I’m guessing it was) to defeat Apocalypse, she did very little else up till that point. Various X-Men use their various specific mutant powers for this and that, its all very convenient with shittonnes of deus ex machina moments. And finally the X-mansion gets obliterated…but is completely rebuilt perfectly in the end by Magneto and Jean Grey. How very safe and convenient.

This movie in general is so so poor in almost every way, its literally as if Singer and co took a large step backwards. I feel like this movie might have done way better had it come out prior to the very first X-Men movie, way back in 2000. Its virtually on par with ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ in terms of an overall substandard product or offering. This movie feels totally jokey, a absolute sin in terms of modern comicbook flicks, its incredible how this got by without any warning lights (or were there?). At this point I really can’t see where you can go with this franchise and these characters, this all felt so cliched, mundane and repetitious. Its been done, the moment has past.

4.5/10

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