X-Men: Apocalypse is a mess. That can be ok sometimes, because some of the best movies of all time are a little messy, and even some of the biggest messes are captivating or interesting in spite of their flaws. But Apocalypse is just a mess with nothing to redeem it. The previous main film in the X-Men series (now 9 movies, depending on how you count), Days of Future Past, was also a mess, but that was partly by design. It went out of its way in an attempt to have it all, combining the original cast with the First Class reboot cast in one extravaganza, with the saga’s most popular character, Wolverine, at the center, and the result had its moments seemingly in spite of itself. This follow-up doesn’t attempt anything nearly as bold or ambitious, yet it fails to deliver on nearly every front. It’s flash and spectacle filled with no substance, yet even the flash and spectacle are generally uninteresting. It tells a story that isn’t worth telling that tries to pander both to comic-book geeks and to simple fans of the movies, yet none of those moments have any impact. It’s filled with actors who often very clearly would rather be in any other movie than this one. It tries to give us something new while retreading some of the same plotlines we’ve already seen in the last 16 years of X-Men movies, but disregards what made the X-Men so special in the first place, all while ignoring any of the basic logic or continuity required for mutli-film sagas in general or the history of this franchise in particular. X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t necessarily aggressively or offensively bad, it’s just generally pointless, and, with the exception of two scenes, utterly forgettable.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is the best X-Men film in over a decade and one of the biggest and most ambitious film events since The Avengers. It’s technically the seventh film in the series, including the original trilogy, two Wolverine spin offs and one prequel/reboot, and it pulls from all of those films to create a complex, interesting conglomeration featuring almost every actor who’s ever had anything to do with X-Men in any way. It’s based on one of the most popular stories from the comics, and it borrows heavily from films like The Terminator and Back to the Future. And while Days of Future Past is generally a success, it tries to include so much that it often loses focus and isn’t as compelling as those first X-Men films years ago. It’s great to see so many familiar faces, and the film has moments of brilliance, but I couldn’t help feeling while I watched it like I would have preferred something different.
Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found trailers to be endlessly fascinating.
Those of you who saw Thor: The Dark World last weekend were treated to an unusual trailer for the next X-Men movie. It’s a trailer that’s different than what I expected, which I think serves it well. Take a look, and read on for my thoughts: