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  • Nicholas Cipher

Review: 'X-Men' short on characters, long on special effects

I took a trip down to the Kula Samba recently to check up on "X-Men Apocalypse" to see if Fox and director Bryan Singer could continue the recent revival of the X-men movie franchise.

It opens on a jarring note that felt more like the start of a DVD than the start of a major blockbuster. One of the things this movie does best is give us a Scott Summers A.K.A. – Cyclops - who isn’t less likeable than the main antagonist, which is something even the comics struggle with from time to time.

His elder brother Havok is also in this movie, but his only major contributions could be filled by pretty much anyone in a costume.

One of the stand-out moments of the previous film, "Days of Future Past," was a sequence involving Quicksilver using his ability in a way where we can actually see his actions instead of a silver blur. The follow-up scene in this movie manages to blow the other one out of the water. Given more space to work with, Evan Peters perfectly blends the action with small character moments that make the scene more memorable than if it had been just a pretty effect.

The real failure of this movie starts showing in the second act after we have all the intense drama showing off our major characters. The movie isn’t really sure what to do with them for awhile. The dramatic set up to the final act, however, starts to bring it back around.

The conclusion itself is very messy - a series of coincidences, logic jumps, and flat out absurd decision-making leads into a Deus Ex Machina whose limp justification directly contradicts all sorts of established continuity and made my inner geek just ask how, but more importantly, why?

All in all, many actors put in solid if not revolutionary performances, but the new actors aren’t allowed to add more than a little spice of their own to lead the plot anywhere. The Wolverine cameo was altogether rushed and without a real point besides to say don’t forget this guy exists, which at this point would be like forgetting how to spell your name given all the exposure Logan has received.

I would be remiss to complain about the short-comings of the script this long and not give a major thumbs up to the people behind the physical aspect of the film - the lighting, sets, shots, and effects are all superbly well done, which isn’t a given even in our era of major super hero blockbusters.

All in all, it’s nowhere as bad as some of its predecessors in this franchise or contemporaries in the genre but it is a sure sign that Fox is truly out of ideas for these characters.

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