Launch: Mai 2016

Distribuitor: Odeon Film

Name: X-Men: Apocalypse

Directed by: Brian Singer

Script: Simon Kinberg

By Flavius

Ever since “Batman v Superman” happened, it seems the super hero genre is under severe scrutiny. Critics are all over the place with pretty much every new release, grades are lower than expected. Is this some sort of ripple effect? I don’t doubt the reviews, especially the ones made by independent film critics. “X-Men: Apocalypse” got some mixed reactions across the globe and after seeing it during the Romanian press release, I have to say I partially understand why. But it is by no means a five grader. We don’t usually use our spoiler review card here at F must see, but in order to properly defend this movie, we pulled it out of our sleeve.

So without any further divagation, let’s deep dive into the F must see spoiler rich review.

!!!!Warning spoilers ahead!!!!

The thing about Apocalypse is that he is probably the biggest villain in X-Men lore. The area of effect of his god like powers is just as enormous as the death toll he leaves behind. It was surely a challenge in itself, to bring this being on screen and give him enough depth, believability and power, while keeping him within the “doable with a few serious sacrifices” zone. The film wastes no time and throws us at the core of his founding mythos. Simon Kinberg’s script plays many of the comic book or animated series cards, even if some of these elements seem to be approached from a different angle. Here, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) Is capable of absorbing mutant powers as his spirit transcends his from one body to the next, via a solar powered rite of passage, closely guarded by the four horsemen. He is betrayed during his rule in ancient Egypt and buried alive. As soon as he awakens he plans to wreak havoc on the traitorous humanity.

I appreciated Kinberg’s attention in building up the story arc on the shoulders of each central character individual founding mythos. I loved the scenes where En Sabah Nur chooses and exalts his new “horsemen”, these scenes are dripping with geek joy. I loved their gathering in Auschwitz, where he motivates Magneto into destruction and genocide. Apocalypse draws on Storm’s fight for survival, on Psylocke’s need to free herself of the mutant tracker Caliban, on Angel’s anarchic, violent nature and on Magneto’s long history of abuse by humans. We get quite a bit of Erik Lehnsherr’s new life including his amazingly gifted daughter, as a prequel to this. I was so sad to see her die, given her potential as a future X-Men, but her death works great as a motivating factor. I will generally not complain about any of the shots involving the “four horsemen”. Under the influence of their new master and his taste in fashion, Angel, Storm, Magneto and the saliva draining Psylocke, look amazing.

However somewhere along the line of storytelling, relevant exposition and arc building, the pace slows to a painful crawl, takes become repetitive, dialogues seem overly elaborated and explained. Singer leaves absolutely nothing untold, unexplained and painted on the wall, to the point where you almost feel like choking on popcorn. There is simply no subtlety in the foreshadowing of the Dark Phoenix saga, the future (and past?) Wolverine and other such elements. This lack of tact falls flat on an already overburdened narrative. But after two hours of back and forth, spiked with rare visual and action treats like the X Mansion scene (the big brother to the Magneto escape scene in “Days of Future Past”), or the long Hugh Jackman cameo (tributary to the Weapon X comic, madness and helmet and all) as the slice n’ dice master, the rhythm picks up and the final thirty minutes reward your patience in a big way.

I felt like Singer was asking a lot, but he also gave a lot more in return.

If you make it through the clumsy narrative construct of the first half, if you resist the painfully slow progression of the story arc, riddled with a back and forth between relentlessly overt exposition dialogues, if you find enough patience to cross the finish line to the last thirty minutes of this film, then „X-Men: Apocalypse” will reward you with one of the most intense, gritty, immersive, visually and psychologically mind-blowing, carousel like epilogues of the super hero genre. It’s a grand finale that will give you goosebumps. It’s a montagne russe with damaged brakes, during an ice bucket challenge.

X-Men-Apocalypse-launch-quad-posterThe X-Men fight the four horsemen under the guidance of a reformed Raven (Jenifer Lawrence), who’s soul was saved by her own choices and relentless quest to free subjugated mutants all over the globe. Quicksilver makes a punching bag out of En Sabah Nur for a few hilarious minutes. The clash between Angel and Nightcrawler, teased in the first part of the film, the fight between Psylocke and Beast and especially the faceoff between Professor X, Jean Grey and Apocalypse in the mental realm, all of these are amazing to look at. Fight choreography and CGI, sound effects and camera angles all executed exemplary. Xavier screaming for Jean to unleash her full potential, ends up in a fiery display of superpower as Phoenix manifests to the awe and finality of En Sabah Nur. All this while Cyclops, Storm and Magneto pour lightning, energy and metal hell on his physical body.

X-Men-Apocalypse-Trailer-1-En-Sabah-NurUltimately I left the theatre feeling challenged and rewarded. I felt and still feel like this is a great X-Men movie. All of the main protagonists had time to shine, acting was solid, there were a ton of nods to the previous chapters, even entire lines of dialogue intelligently rewritten into the new timeline. Everything seemed to fall like the final piece of a huge puzzle, paving the way for the continuation of the franchise.

The only dent in this armor is obviously the script. If I would put the script for “X-Men: Apocalypse” into a graph, it would look like an almost flat line with abrupt crescendos, followed by an even longer flat line ending into a chart breaking, ceiling piercing tip. The rhythm and pace of this disaster script is just so broken.

Da word from F must see, is “X-Men: Apocalypse” what it’s supposed to be?

Long standing fans of the franchise will find enough to be happy with in this film, even if it is plagued by a convoluted, overly exposed script. The fact is, compared to “Batman v Superman”, there are no reasons to explain how this could happen. Simon Kinberg and Brian Singer just didn’t connect, they simply fked up. Several segments of this film are amazing on their own, but as a whole the storyline of “X-Men: Apocalypse” feels unpolished.

It’s not a bad film, it’s not worthy of the low grades it gets, but it certainly didn’t reach the maximum potential it had and it certainly didn’t top “Days of Future Past”.