Friday, June 03, 2016

An X-Cellent Post

 X-Men: Apocalypse is the third of the "prequel movies" and today is my second favorite after First Class.  Don't get me wrong: the last one,  Days of Future Past, was far from terrible but you could easily argue it was an excuse to feature Hugh Jackman. The other two do just fine with cameos (which are both awesome and unnecessary but I digress...)

The two biggest complaints I've had about the franchise are the lack of even internal continuity and lack of effort. This movie clearly had the attitude they know continuity is messed up and they don't give a shit. Havok and Cyclops are brothers but inexplicably 20 years apart in age but certainly don't look it. In '83, Prof. Xavier sees CIA Moira McTaggart for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis and comments, "You haven't aged a day!" Not even James Bond is a field agent in his late '50's but whatever... (Speaking of Moira,  Rose Byrne is Tasmanian while the character is Scottish. Why cast an actress who probably could do a Scottish accent if she's just going to be American anyway?)

They finally put effort into the costumes though and it was awesome to see! One comment though: I much preferred Storm's Horseman costume to the costume she was wearing in the Danger Room at the end of the film. Xavier, or maybe McCoy, should take design tips from Apocalypse...

The casting of the younger Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm in particular were definitely upgrades; the new Nightcrawler was also great but the difference between him and Alan Cummings' version wasn't as dramatic. Psylocke and Angel were underused as was Jubilee but no one my age or older likes that character anyway... In the comics, Cyclops is the older brother while Havok is the younger and it's reflected in their personalities. Here, the reverse is true in both age and personality which was a nice touch. I suppose I should comment on Quicksilver: People claim Evan Peters is their favorite Quicksilver because he has one huge stunt piece per film and has the personality of the second Flash, Wally West.  I still prefer Aaron Taylor-Johnson's version who was actually playing Quicksilver, asshole personality and all but that's my deal...

Oscar Isaac was very good as the title villain. To me, the story combined elements of the comic fight with him and also elements with the villain Shadow King, another powerful Arab mutant who will probably never be used on his own, as referenced in Storm's introduction and Xavier's climactic astral plane battle which was a great touch.

In short, unlike other movies, you definitely do not have to watch the previous movies to understand this one. In fact, it's probably better you don't...      

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