Are you ready for a Marvelous weekend? We are at Have A Blast Toys! We’ll have the Marvel Legends ‘Civil War’ figures back in stock next week. Also, we’ll be filming a Captain America video un-boxing this weekend to add to the excitement (complete with discount code)!
Today, we’re finishing TGIF with a review of another Marvel franchise ‘X-Men: Apocalypse” (better late than never).
The X-Men comics have always shot for high concept entertainment. Bryan Singer’s movie interpretations have not shied away from trying to address heavy themes. The X-Men movies have touched on tolerance, abuse of power, family, and the barriers to (and meaning) of friendship and love between very different people.
And we say trying because Singer’s last two outings have mostly missed that goal. ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ crowds out most of the potential feeling of the movie with rushed back stories, too many new characters, an over the top villain, and too much… everything. When you’re centering a plot on an all-powerful (sort of), ageless (with caveats), mutant who can also power other mutants (either by glowing eyes or pep talks, it’s not entirely clear) you go for broke. In this case, they broke… the movie.
You can actually see the parts that broke where the CGI simply doesn’t meet the scene’s expectations. There are a couple of points where you might think you’re watching ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’. (Side note: second best cartoon ever, after, you guessed it: ‘Batman: The Animated Series’.)
Fox’s Marvel (different than Marvel’s Marvel) used one movie (‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’) to hit a X-Men character reset button. They felt a reset was needed to address the continuity between the just awful ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ & quite good ‘X-Men: First Class’. The reset also allows for new young actors to fill key X-Men roles moving forward. Sadly, they threw four (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, & Nightcrawler) of those new introductions into this movie, which eliminated any time to get to know those characters or to have any real empathy with the already successful replacements (Professor Xavier, Beast, Mystique, Magneto, & Quicksilver). Plus, they added in Psylocke, Angel, Jubilee, & Moira McTaggert, and the eponymous Apocalypse.
In case you’re counting that’s 14 heroes & villains in two and half hours (not counting some characters left off for *gasp* spoilers!) Add 14 plus plot and it equals: mild incoherence.
We don’t like to recap the movie in these reviews, but as you might have gathered from the trailers Apocalypse enters the world from some where (or some time), recruits some henchmen, Professor X finds out about it, two mutants sides form, and they battle for the fate of the Earth.There are a lot of details to fill in on that synopsis but most of them don’t really register as important.
The movie’s not entirely unenjoyable. Professor X and Quicksilver have great, fun moments. It’s nice to see Magneto and Mystique, even though they both become cliché and underused in the movie. We feel like the new Cyclops might flesh out better than James Marsden’s version. Nightcrawler provides effective comic relief, but doesn’t hit the high notes of the old version. New Storm, well, old Storm was Halle Berry. That’s big shoes to fill. And we just couldn’t stop thinking “Sansa Stark” every time Jean Grey showed up.
Bottom line, if you’re an X-Men fan, you’ll probably enjoy it for the sheer X-Manyness of the whole movie. If you’re looking for action entertainment or are just curious, it’s a rental movie.
Hey, we’re a toy store, so we think the best X-Men entertainment of the summer will be the classic X-Men Marvel Legends action figure line coming soon. This Marvel Legends line-up has Deadpool, Wolverine, and a Juggernaut build a figure.
Huh, that makes us want to go watch ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’.