It took me a minute to decide how to review this movie because there are some comic readers that want to hold back from seeing a comic movie from the perspective of a comic reader. After watching Comic Book Girl 19’s review where she had no problem coming from the perspective of a comic reader, I’ve decided that I wanted to do that too. She pointed out that we now live in a post Avengers world and it’s high time that everyone else who makes comic based movies get with that program. This sort of thing seems to upset a few DC fans who can’t admit that they’ve been dropping the ball on most comic movies since Batman & Robin came out. As I pointed out in another review, the difference between what Marvel does and what everyone else does is that Marvel seems to make their movies from a purely comic book point of view. This is seriously the problem with most X-Men movies. There’s this need to come from the false idea that some amount of realism needs to be injected into everything. Because people can catch on fire and not get burned, or get amazing powers from getting bit by a radioactive bug instead of getting sick. It happens all the time.
I know what they mean, that they should have real world problems and real world events despite the fact your main character shoots laser beams out their eyes. The problem with this notion is no one wants this and no one cares. People want to see a good movie that takes them away from reality for at least 90 minutes. They want to see that comic character or cartoon character or character from a book do what they do in the medium they were introduced in. That’s all. If you put it with a good story and stop trying to make everything “realistic” you’ll be fine. Middle Earth is not real, but there’s a reason why those movies get such universal love.
Bryan Singer does not read the comics and has gone on record more than once saying that the comics are not required. But Bryan Singer is a good director. His X-Men movies are not on the level of the first Daredevil or Electra or Catwoman. I cannot believe that he cannot handle multiple characters because Usual Suspects was completely character drive by a nice number of characters required to tell the story in full. The problem is simple, Bryan Singer does not have a sense of what the X-Men are and maybe he should get one, or give the director’s chair to someone who does. Because the X-Men comics are source material, it’s lasted since 1963 so I think it’s safe to say there’s a good reason. Comic readers don’t just buy them willy-nilly, it does have to actually be good for it to sell.
So it’s no surprise that Bryan Singer thought Apocalypse was a great idea for a villain. If you only go by the cartoon or just glance at any set of X-Men books he pops up all the time. Of course his Scott Summers (Cyclops) is all fucked up, if you don’t take time to look up the character you think he shoots lasers out his eyes and is the leader for some reason. Magneto and Xavier are characters that have reached outside the comic niche so the general public has a sense of what they are and why their conflict represents. The rest of the X-Men? If you want to be honest even the comics never portray them as realistic.
You’ve just turned 14 and suddenly you discover that you can run faster then sound. How would you not use that to have fun? Suddenly you discover you can control the weather. Who is going to catch you in an alley and be able to do anything to a girl that can put a lightening bolt up your ass? I don’t know what the fuck kind of Angel that was supposed to be, but he’s supposed to be the son of a billionaire, not a homeless alcoholic fighting in a cage match. (Then again they got him wrong in X-Men 3, so why be surprised their “edgy” direction didn’t work either.
And Mystique. . .let’s talk about Mystique. Summed up to her basic parts, she’s an asshole whose lived too long and get bored to easily. In the comics she’s been around since at least the 1800’s but an after effect of her shape changing abilities is she can literally control her own aging process. She can also change into anything the fuck she wants to when she has to. She’s not limited to human shapes – that’s why she can transform clothed. Injuring her is next to impossible because she can simply heal using her shaping changing ability. Her only redemption is she is 100% down for the mutant cause only she might side with Xavier, Magneto or Apocalypse depending on where the wind in blowing. They had a good motivation for her in First Class and Days of Future Past, then threw it out the window with X-Men Apocalypse. She is not a hero, and should never be portrayed as a hero. If they had her character progress to be what she is in the comics I bet Jennifer Lawrence would have kick ass with that role.
Aside from the X-Men not being the X-Men the villain motivation was kind of dumb. The whole problem with the “destroy the world” idea is once you destroy it what do you rule? A cinder? The Mad Max mutants that come after? Some people complained that there were too many side plots, and I would have agreed if anything in this movie actually resembled a side plot, or a plot. The Magneto side plot was so obvious I’m surprised they did not have the characters in red shirts from the first frame you encountered them. Sophie Turner wasn’t bad but they were doing the same thing with the Jean Grey character they did in the last set of X-Movies.
I think the people making X-Men would benefit from sitting down and actually reading an X-Men comic, especially the Chris Claremont/John Byrne All New X-Men from 98 to at least issue 50. I believe getting a sense of and having more respect for the source material would elevator movies like X-Men Apocalypse from “meh” to at least pretty damn good.