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Reviews Film / X Men Apocalypse

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06/19/2019 12:20:11 •••

Pretty good, considering it seems to have been put through the shredder.

Apocalypse shares a major problem with Batman v Superman: it got shredded in the editing room. While its predecessor, Days of Future Past apparently has a "Rogue Cut" with a very different storyline, I do feel that the cutting was handled well enough that you don't notice while watching the film.

Here, it's inescapable. Lots of characters don't really have arcs, have badly-truncated arcs, or otherwise just desperately need more screentime. The film is two-and-a-half hours long, and it still feels like it could use more.

And there are a number of scenes that, while occasionally objectively good, could've been sliced out of the movie to make room for them with ease. The entire Alkali Lake sequence was a real treat for the fans (and a boon to the marketeers), but it ultimately adds very little to the overall plot of the film. And letting Magneto cause so much destruction in the climax was everything critics of Man of Steel complained about and more. Heck, considering there it was the straight-up villains of that picture rather than someone we're still supposed to find sympathetic that did the killing, it works less well here than it did in that movie.

That said... it was still an eminently watchable film, and I liked it. The visuals were largely striking, even when some of them were a bit overblown. All the returning actors put in very strong performances, while most of the newer ones are pretty good too, retaining the essences of their characters while still being kids. And Apocalypse, for all the time he spends screaming, still has a striking, menacing aura to him that, paradoxically, works better when he's quietly watching what's going on. His makeup work was also fantastic.

The pacing is a bit... wonky, but never quite enough to make the film boring. And the story really needed a little more pop to match the epic scale and nature of the events occurring onscreen, particularly Apocalypse needing something like a cult of brainwashed, desperate followers more than four supercharged henchmen.

And there were a couple turns I'd hoped the story would take that it didn't, a couple missed opportunities that'd improve the movie, but that's nothing to hold against it. In the film, there's a joke that the third film in a trilogy is always the worst, but this one, though falling short of the tremendous artistic success of Days of Future Past, is still a good movie.

If you're burned out on superhero movies, it won't change your mind, but if you're not it's still worth a watch, crappy editing or no.

...And while Quicksilver might be changed beyond all recognition from his comic counterpart, he's also once again a great character in a vacuum who steals every scene he's in. I've got no complaints about turning him into the Flash.

06/06/2016 00:00:00

Personally I am not sure it is editing to blame as much as a bloated script and a director who seems to have been given perhaps a shade too much creative licence. As you say, it\'s over two hours long, and feels like chunks have been cut out of it - but how much longer would it be if these hypothetical parts were still in? A tighter focus and more streamlined storytelling could have avoided all the problems by making harsh editing and pruning unnecessary. Have Xavier abducted early on (Heck, make him a Horseman instead of the utterly pointless and wasted Psylocke or Angel) and put the focus on his young students trying to find him (and probably Mystique because Jennifer Lawrence is basically the MVP in financial terms if no other.)

And whilst Quicksilver and Nightcrawler were handled well, and even Cyclops got some -gasp!- actual depth, the Horsemen who weren\'t Michael Fassbender might very well have not even been there for all they actually did.

06/19/2019 00:00:00

...Yeah, after a rewatch, I\'mma have to disown this review. Ion and the man in the hat said it better, and more honestly.

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