X-MEN APOCALYPSE Review: Why Can’t They All Be Like DEADPOOL?


Only MILD SPOILERS  ahead. There’s nothing here that you couldn’t surmise from the trailer.

Even as a huge Comic Book Movie Fan who has Marvel leanings, X-Men is one of those franchises I’ve never really cared for. X-2  is fine, I do really like First Class, but Days of Future Past and The Wolverine are simply okay. The 1st X-Men ages terribly, while  X-Men 3: The Last Stand and X-Men: Wolverine Origins are completely unwatchable. Deadpool is by the far the best film in Fox’s X-Men Universe, but that’s because it’s the only film that doesn’t feel stale and clichéd. (Did I miss any?)

That being said, I don’t feel I have a mutant prejudice. I want these movies to be good, I really do.  Deadpool  and First Class (and The Wolverine… sort of…) proved that these characters can work, but only when they are treated as unique, genre films that avoid the generic superhero formula that the other X-Men films follow. Deadpool was a whole new spin on the superhero genre as a whole; a deconstruction of the genre, if you will. First Class used Pre-Magneto Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) as a Bond type assassin, hunting down Nazi’s before the film slipped into classic origin story territory. The Wolverine had limited mutants and was more Samurai movie than Superhero.xmen0002Even the best of the other 6 X-Men movies were average superhero films that brought nothing new to the table; not terrible (Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were terrible, actually), but not  memorable either, repeating storylines like the Weapon X program, the antagonistic “friendship” between Professor X and Magneto, and “love” triangle between Wolverine, Cyclops, and Jean Grey. Unfortunately, the latest outing, X-Men: Apocalypse is no exception, repeating yet again, many of these same story beats.

Repetition is what hits Apocalypse the hardest. Part of the problem is that the original X-Men trilogy and X-Men Origins: Wolverine used up many interesting characters just to cram new mutants into every movie, without any thought or plan put in place to continue their storyline like what Marvel has done with even minor characters like Scarlet Witch and Vision. They’re using Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey again? Yup, but this time it’s the origin (groan…). Haven’t I seen Nightcrawler, Angel, and Havok before? Again, yes, but they were one dimensional characters abandoned in the sequels that followed their initial appearance. X-Men Apocalypse Review Michael Fassbender as Magneto ErikAs alluded to earlier with my comments about Magneto having an almost 007 like adventure in the 1st half of First Class, I’ve always found Michael Fassbender’s version to be  the most interesting character in the X-Men Movie Universe (aside from ANY character from Deadpool), but here he has nothing to do. Sure, we see him with a new family that he loses (he says it right in the trailer to James McAvoy’s Professor Charlies Xavier in the trailer, so that ain’t a spoiler!), but how is this new trauma necessary when we’ve seen him losing his mother at Auschwitz twice before (with flashbacks again in this movie, for a 3rd go around)? Fassbender’s version of Magneto has been less interesting each film he’s in, so at this point his decision to go with the bad guy, and his on-again/off-again friendship with Charles are incredibly overplayed and uninteresting.

But Magneto’s just the tip of the iceberg: the film has a giant villain problem (and that’s not a reference to Apocalypse growing giant in the trailer). These bad guys are boring. Angel (Ben Hardy), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) might as well not be in the movie at all. They’re left with nothing to do but pose during the dull and uninspired action scene that finally ends the film. X-Men Apocalypse Review All the VillainsEven worse, Apocalypse is just a boring villain, plain and simple. He wants to create a world where only Mutants survive? I haven’t seen that in about half the X-Men movies already…  Oscar Isaac does nothing to elevate the part, easily making this his worst film (because he’s usually so great!). And what exactly are his super powers? I’ve seen the movie but I couldn’t tell you what he can do and what he can’t.

The heroes are stronger than the villains, as far as characterization and giving them something to do, but even this department is repetitive as hell. Oh no, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) can’t control her powers, just the same as X-Men and X-2, and she’s not even given an origin (thankfully?). We see nearly the exact same scene of Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) getting his powers that was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And though I couldn’t wait for the Wolverine scene from the end of the final trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, it did give us the most animalistic version of the character, but it’s literally the same Weapon X escape we’ve seen twice before!X-Men Apocalypse Review Wolverine Hugh JackmanI apologize for repeating myself, but this movie is completely repetitive on every level and I guess I want to drive that point home. Oh boy, another Quicksilver scene set to a rock song. There’s Jenifer Lawrence using her star power to avoid the Blue Paint, negating the lesson she learned in First Class about being comfortable showing her true, blue self.  Oh, but here’s something new… we’ve never seen Professor X’s hair literally fall out of his head. That’s about as fresh as this movie gets.

Simply put, Apocalypse is not a bad movie, but it gives us nothing new and suffers from a weak villain and incredibly weak action. Director Bryan Singer is doing the bare minimum to bring you a safe Superhero Film that doesn’t take any risks or attempt to subvert the genre. This is the superhero genre at its most generic.

So, I will continue to wait until Fox can show me on the screen, what makes these characters so interesting in a comic panel. Except for Deadpool. Did I say I liked Deadpool? I like Deadpool.

5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

 

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Trailer


Another great X-MEN trailer!

(And this time it isn’t Pete Holmes firing an ‘Ex-Men’.)

The one time Wolverine was allowed to say 'Fuck.'
The one time Wolverine was allowed to say ‘Fuck.’

Unfortunately, trailers for all the X-MEN movies have looked amazballs, but only X-MEN: FIRST CLASS has delivered. Which is odd, because Wolverine is the best of the X-Men, and he is literally in FIRST CLASS for a single line.

THE WOLVERINE was okay, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to FIRST CLASS.

Perhaps, combining the best X-Men cast, that of FIRST CLASS, with some extreme Wolverine action will be the perfect cocktail.

My favorite of the X-Men actors, Michael Fassbender as Magneto.
My favorite of the X-Men actors, Michael Fassbender as youthful Magneto.

Continue reading “X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Trailer”

This Week In MARVEL NOW! – 2/6/13 Releases – With Nick


Marvel NOW!I don’t mean to step on Media Monster’s toes (he does Weekly Comic Picks… nearly weekly), but I am really into Marvel NOW! right… er… now.

So, I’ve decided to write a (perhaps) weekly column on all the Marvel NOW! comics I read each week because…

a) A second opinion never hurts.

b) I subscribe to a great deal of the Marvel NOW! titles, with some exceptions including X-MEN titles and FANTASTIC FOUR.

c) Did I mention I’m really into Marvel NOW!?

Sorry, Miles.
Sorry, Miles.

d) I’m not caught up on my IDW, DC, and non-Marvel NOW! Marvel titles.

While Media Monster simply picks his favorite titles each month, I’ll give you a run down of what happens each issue, following it up with a mini-review of my own. Like with my previous Marvel NOW! post, I will only be discussing titles that got rebooted along with Marvel NOW! Anything started prior to that, like AVENGING SPIDER-MAN, HAWKEYE, or AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, or any books in the Ultimate Universe like SPIDER-MAN starring Miles Morales, will not be discussed.

AVENGERS #5: SUPERGUARDIAN

Avengers Now #5Previously: AVENGERS is really confusing right NOW! (See what I did there?)

Following the first three-issue arc involving a creative/destructive force on Mars, Issue #4 focused a little on the aftermath; both villains and heroes racing to either quarantine or benefit from sectors of Earth hit with the evolution spawning virus from Mars. Hyperion was introduced, yet this week’s issue seems to relate little to the four that came before.

Synopsis: Like Issue #4, this issue focuses on the origin of a hero. Izzy finds a pair of glasses in a corn field in Iowa. Putting them on, she becomes a Smasher, the first human Subguardian in the history of the planet Chandilar. The story jumps around from Izzy’s first journey to Chandilar to the present where she has rallied the Avengers to help defend the planet.

Of course, the Avengers are successful and the planet is saved. Afterward, we learn (via flashback) that after she received her gift, Izzy was given an Avengers card by her grandfather who served with Captain America in his youth. Izzy is promoted to Superguardian, again, the first Earthling to ever achieve this rank. Meanwhile, the other Superguardians have come to a startling conclusion; the force they fought back was not attacking their planet, rather it was fleeing something far more terrifying and powerful.

Judgement: While AVENGERS issues 1-3 were fairly straightforward in their storytelling, issues 4 & 5 seem unnecessarily complex, almost like the writer is simply trying to imitate unconventional storytellers like Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino. I don’t like how the previous storyline was all but dropped for the issue, with the exception of a nearly pointless page on which Tony Stark interacts with Blackveil, the next evolution of man whom was a result of the incident on Mars.

AVENGERS seems to be building up to something much bigger, setting up characters like Hyperion and Superguardian Smasher Izzy, but until the fruits of Marvel NOW!’s labor are evident, I label this book my least favorite out of the titles I currently read from Marvel NOW!

Rating – DON’T READ.

THE FEARLESS DEFENDERS #1

Fearless Defenders #1Synopsis: The era of a brand new Defenders team has begun. Though recently rebooted in 2012 with Dr. Strange, Red She-Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer, and Iron Fist, NOW! brings a brand new version with completely different characters, starting with Valkyrie and Misty Knight.

The action starts with Misty Knight rescuing relics that belong in a museum, Indiana Jones style (her employer Dr. Annabelle Riggs “grew up watching a lot of Indiana Jones”) from a heavily guarded ship. She’s not the only one after ancient treasures, as the ship is destroyed by an attack helicopter, but not before she escapes with a miniature statue. The helicopter baddies are able to salvage an ancient skeleton, one which will somehow bring about a massacre.

Fearless Defenders 1 PageBack at the White Mountain National Forest, Annabelle Riggs (she watches Indiana Jones and shares a last name with my favorite buddy cop, I may be in love…) examines the statue at an Asgardian burial site, accidentally activating a song that awakens all the dead vikings. Misty Knight does her best to fight off the hoard but is only successful once Valkyrie arrives to help. Following their battle, Valkyrie leaves to consult the all-mother, with Misty Knight and Riggs tagging along.

Judgement: I’ve never heard of any of these characters, but so far I dig the book. Valkyrie is basically a female version of Thor; officially a Shieldmaiden, “gatherer of fallen warriors.” Misty Knight is a ninja with a bionic arm called Satan Claw, a “Stark Industries Cybernetic Replica.” And Dr. Annabelle Riggs is a lesbian, making out with Valkyrie after she is saved… so maybe she is not the girl for me after all. 😦Fearless Defenders Love

The action is solid, the characters interesting, and a threat looms large as the corpse secured by the villains is causing the Doommaidens to rise, which Valkyrie admits is her fault.

We’ll see where the book goes in coming months, who else joins the team, but for now my curiosity is peaked, even if I’m not one with a history for “girl power.”

Rating – MAYBE READ…

Iron Man 6IRON MAN # 6 : THE GODKILLER 1 of 3

Previously: Iron Man retrieved all five missing Extremis kits, creating new foes along the way. Seeing what types of enhancements the kits resulted in, Tony Stark decided to push himself farther, designing a suit for deep space travel. So Stark set out on his intergalactic adventure, all set with a new A.I. called P.E.P.P.E.R., with all the personality traits of Stark Industries CEO Pepper Potts.

Synopsis: After defending the Voldi Tear in deep space from a “predatory mechanoid pirate fleet” Tony flirts with a purple-skinned alien at the Voldi Citadel of Rapture. The two decide to retreat to her room, as it is Tony’s birthday, after all. Upon removing his armor,  miss Purple-Skin vomits; facial hair is apparently a disgusting taboo in this sector.

Booted out before he even has a chance to shave, Stark is quickly arrested by the authorities for Deicide. Labeled the Godkiller, Stark is being held for killing the Void Falcon… or as we know it on Earth… The Phoenix (Iron Man had to slay the nearly unstoppable force to save the Earth in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN).

Judgement: Not a lot happens this issue. Considering this is part one of a three issue arc, I expected more to happen to Stark than a three page space fight (two of which were a splash page), some flirting, and then arrest. In fact, this issue was mostly flirting.Iron Man 6 Splash Page

While it’s the 3rd worst title of the week (which also makes it the 4th best, I guess…), I still like the direction IRON MAN has taken with Marvel NOW! While still bogged down in AvX aftermath, it is interesting to see the great threat that was the Phoenix from an alien perspective. And there are some real fun moments including Tony’s STAR TREK reference where he exclaims that “the purple space girl thing has its appeal too.”

Rating – MAYBE READ…

Continue reading “This Week In MARVEL NOW! – 2/6/13 Releases – With Nick”