Tuesday, 31 May 2016

x-men: apocalypse

so my brother jack (seen here rambling about horror movies) has started insisting we see every superhero movie together like it's some kind of tradition now, even the ones i'm really not that interested in. like x-men: apocalypse. 

i've never been an x-men fan. i object to the name, which seems more ridiculous given they have more women than most other superhero teams. i never thought any of them were that interesting, i mean shooting lasers out of your eyes and having claws just seem like really dull powers to me. but most of all i hate how much fucking whining they do. yeah, i get that it's a metaphor for minorities but when you scratch the surface it's a really confused metaphor in which the minorities spend most of the time fighting each other over stupid stuff and then complaining about it. i mean, i guess you could say that in their differing approaches xavier is martin luther king and magneto is malcolm x and that makes a kind of sense, but mostly i just see 'i can shoot lasers out of my eyes #fml'

my prejudices aside, i actually really enjoyed this film. there was some shit i didn't like, mostly everything that happened after the halfway point, but i'm not going to dwell on that because no doubt everyone else will. here's what i liked.

the film opens with this huge, epic scene in egypt with this fucking amazing john  ottman track that to me was channelling christopher young's hellraiser score. that's what hooked me in. i don't really know who apocalypse is in the comics (my closest guess is marvel's darkseid?), nor do i give a fuck, but i can tell you who he reminded me of. he reminded me of pinhead in the hellraiser movies. there was something about the way oscar isaac plays the character that says so much with very limited movements and dialogue. he decapitates some dudes without a second thought and clearly enjoys prolonging the suffering of others. i seriously half-expected him to start shooting chains with fucking hooks on the end at one point, he was that dark and that fucked-up. i thought he was the best bad guy i've seen in a superhero movie for a while, at least for half the film. then i think they ran out of ideas for what to do with him and he sits on a rock for like an hour until the x-men turn up to punch him with lasers.

magneto was my second favourite thing. actually no, michael fassbender as magneto, because to be honest the storyline they give him in this movie is fucking ridiculous but he pulls it off. that's the sign of a great actor - someone who can take some rather contrived situations and make you feel the emotion of the moment anyway. there's a point where this almost felt like they'd taken the script from that magneto solo movie that never happened and tried to cram it into this movie instead, and yet fassbender owns it.

i also really liked the nuclear weapon montage, mostly because of ottman fucking with beethoven on the score, but also because it was a really fucked up moment and the last point in the film where apocalypse feels like a guy who knows what he wants.

and the quicksilver part was cool, but then evan peters always was my favourite thing about american horror story.

i wish they'd given the women more to do. i mean it's cool that there are so many women in the film and they're all involved somehow, but to be honest storm and psylocke are wasted, mystique is seriously sidelined and moira mactaggert is just kind of there, mostly for no reason. i liked sophie turner's jean grey though, she played her with a level of awkwardness that almost seems unintentional at first but is actually perfect for the character.

i think what i liked is that there is weird shit in this film. batman v superman was a mess, albeit an interesting mess, and civil war was kind of too perfect and therefore not at all interesting. x-men apocalypse sits somewhere in between the two, with moments of genius undermined by moments of incredible stupidity, and yet it was the stupid moments i liked the best because it felt like if nothing else, it's a film that takes some risks.

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