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Wick's Review

Created Jun 11, 2016 03:02PM PST • Edited Jun 14, 2016 02:06AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    Now this is what a marvelous blockbuster should be. No surprise, as Marvel Entertainment always delivers. And talk about a monumental origin story, one that also harks back to existing plots! Wow. Plus, given that all the X-Men come out to play – all of them – it’s also a sequel in a way. Double wow and fully marvelous.

    X-Men: Apocalypse starts with an ancient Egyptian scene as great as the silver screen has ever delivered. (It makes the recent Gods of Egypt look like Ed Wood.) Then the rest is set in the 1980s, adroitly drawn.

    The film is pleasingly complex while still being easy to follow, even for the causal fan, unlike Avengers 2, or any number of Marvel sequels where multiple characters have their prequel stories woven together.

    I like the next-gen replacements, even if the film is stronger than the very strong cast. That cast – McAvoy, Fassbender, JLaw, Isaac, Byrne, Sheridan & Jackman among them – is quite an assemblage of moviestars.

    Where does Apocalypse stand in the pantheon of X-Men Movies? At the top, along with writer/director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg’s previous episode, 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

  3. Great 4.0
    • James McAvoy now fully owns the role of Professor Charles Xavier, the chief X-Man. While I still favor the departed Patrick Stewart as Professor X, McAvoy shows bald evidence at the end of Apocalypse that he can equal Stewart in future episodes.
    • Michael Fassbender likewise now fully owns the role of Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto. The great Fassbender is the rare actor who can play sensitive homebody and earthshaking übermensch.
    • Jennifer Lawrence has always owned the role of Raven / Mystique, she of the blue body-paint fanboy dreams. JLaw stands alone in her ability to play post-feminist physical warriors, without forgoing her traditional femininity.
    • Nicholas Hoult is inoffensive yet indistinctive as Hank McCoy / Beast, he of the blue fur.
    • Tye Sheridan comes across rather callow as Scott Summers / Cyclops. IOW, this role doesn’t display Sheridan’s considerable acting powers, as for instance he displayed alongside Matthew McConaughey in the great 2013 film Mud.
    • Sophie Turner is less insipid than Famke Janssen was as Jean Grey.
    • Lucas Till as Alex Summers / Havoc
    • Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver will make a better impression in future episodes, we hope.
    • Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler is supposed to deliver comic relief, which he does fitfully.
    • Lana Condor as Jubilee
    • Hugh Jackman’s Logan / Wolverine is always welcome.
    Other Mutants
    • Oscar Isaac is unrecognizable as übervillain Apocalypse.
    • Olivia Munn is just this side of ridiculous as Psylocke, her costume making her look like a somewhat uncomfortable dominatrix.
    • Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe / Storm
    • Ben Hardy as Angel
    • Rose Byrne jumps off screen as a CIA officer with a forgotten history. Byrne’s a star!
    • Josh Helman as Colonel William Stryker is less menacing than he should be.
    Stan Lee’s cameo

    Stan the Man and wife Joanie Lee cameo together as bystanders witnessing the launch of nuclear missiles.

  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    X-Men: Apocalypse continues the golden age of Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg’s X-Men films.

    This one visits ancient Egypt, 1980s Cairo, Auschwitz in the 80s and on and on. Speaking of modern moviedom’s fave decade, Apocalypse is very 80s, getting the hair, music and going to the mall just right.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    Simon Kinberg started as a terrific screenwriter with Mr. and Mrs. Smith and hasn’t let up since.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Thousands of crew were required to create this fantasy, including 150 stuntmen.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.1
  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Brutal 2.7
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.9
  18. Fantasy 4.4

    X-Men: Apocalypse is pure fantasy in terms of physical and biorealities, while also taking supernatural liberties with its circoreality conceits.

    Fantasy aside, the movie triggered a real kerfuffle. The billboard image of a bad mutant strangling JLaw’s Mystique was criticized for encouraging violence against women. However, the image portrays a sexless battle within a sexless movie. Plus, now that women are action heroes, they must do as action heroes do, which includes getting the stuffing kicked out of them before they inevitably triumph in the end. Most importantly, JLaw is nobody’s victim. She’s the original Tough Girl, an icon of post-feminist strength.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.2
  20. Biological Fantasy 5.0
  21. Physical Fantasy 5.0


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