X-Men Apocalypse (2016): Bits and pieces
by Nandia Foteini Vlachou
- When you have an actor of the charisma and caliber of Oscar Isaac, you don’t bury him under tons of blue make-up (no matter what the comic book origins) and alter his voice digitally, so as to render him unrecognizable. He was infinitely scarier simply with a beard and shaved head in Ex-Machina.
- When you have two lead actors (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) whose on-screen chemistry is pure gold (do yourselves a favor and re-watch First Class and Days of Future Past), you should automatically reject any and all scripts that force them to be apart for the duration of the film.
- The film suffers from the excessive use of CGI (much like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or even Age of Ultron), a pitfall wisely avoided by Civil War – not to mention the retro-nostalgic The Force Awakens.
- The best part of X-Men Apocalypse was undoubtedly the Quicksilver scene: even if it lacked the novelty of Quicksilver’s first appearance in Days of Future Past, its energy was still contagious and its humor jarred pleasantly with the gloom and doom of the rest of the film, jolting it into something that feigned urgency of action (it was also brilliantly scored by Sweet Dreams).
- The scene of the global nuclear disarmament was strangely affecting (Beethoven may be mostly responsible for that, though). It was filmed like a feverish interlude, the realization of some odd wishful thinking, with history turning back and humankind forced to get rid of all the murderous and self-destructive weapons it has inflicted upon itself throughout the ages. The Auschwitz scene seemed like an attempt at a similar commentary (a pity that the film did not further explore these themes), but the annihilation of the place after the fact came across as the erasure of memory. The past does not go away. We can simply efface its material remains.
PS. For someone that somehow managed to avoid all spoilers regarding the film, that Jack-in-the-box surprise worked quite well.