Monday, June 27, 2016

Independence Day Resurgence Review

Just got back from watching Independence Day Resurgence. NO SPOILERS

Image result for independence day resurgence movie poster

      Let me start off by saying going into this movie I absolutely loved and grew up watching the first Independence Day as a kid growing up in the 1990's. I remember the first time I became aware of the movie's existence when my mother took me to KB Toys and I saw the action figures for the first movie which looked pretty badass for their time. I bought the Will Smith action figure along with one of the alien action figures as a kid. I saw commercials for the movie that summer and watched it on VHS when it came out on home video. I thought it was just about one of the most incredible things I've ever seen growing up as a kid and watched it hundreds of times, even going as far as buying the special edition DVD. Growing up, I always imagined that someday they'd make a sequel to the first film especially when I heard rumors of it in the early 2000's but it never materialized. When they officially announced the sequel in 2014, I was skeptical about it because of the lack of Will Smith's involvement in the sequel. When I saw the first trailer for it that premiered with Star Wars: Force Awakens, I got excited especially when they threw in President Whitmore's speech from the first movie into the mix. A speech that still gives me chills to this day, I was instantly hooked with this sequel following it's production and marketing closely. I felt the studio made a terrible mistake holding the film back from critics prior to its release because it gave audiences the impression they knew they had a flop on their hands and didn't believe in the movie. I felt regardless of the films quality, they should've marketed the movie to the max given the history of this film and what it's a sequel to. A sequel to Independence Day should be huge and a film that moviegoers of all walks of life should line up to see. A lot of horrible things have been said about this sequel since it's been released with the majority of the public denouncing it as not only an unnecessary sequel to the original film but a poor cash in of people's nostalgia of all the years of watching the original. While Resurgence is far from being a perfect movie, it honestly isn't the train wreck that many people make it out to be, and is actually an entertaining movie.
      Independence Day Resurgence is the type of film in which you don't go into it expecting rocket science or an Oscar bait film like Gosford Park, but you go for the ride essentially. For two hours you go into this movie and shut your brain off to all it's plot holes and logical gaps to have a great time with all the destruction and mayhem. The first Independence Day worked because it was essentially the ideal popcorn movie with great special effects that were a technological breakthrough for the time they were created, strong and believable performances from it's main actors such as Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum with Bill Pullmans famous 4th Of July speech still delivering chills to this day, and the filmmakers essentially owning an already established alien invasion theme that was done before previously but not on the kind of grand epic scope that both films directors Roland Emmerich and Dean Delvin brought to the first film. The original still holds up to this day as being one of the greatest disaster films of all time as well as one of the defining movies of the 1990s. Perhaps the sequel never had any chance of equaling that success especially with the omission of Will Smith, perhaps expectations placed upon it were too high as audiences wanted the exact same thing they got 20 years prior without realizing that was never gonna happen as both movies are different look and feel wise, but that doesn't mean it has no shot of still being a good movie on it's own right. Resurgence is a movie that understands very well that type of film it is and makes no effort to become anything greater than being just a popcorn blockbuster that delivers some good old fashioned alien invasion nostalgia from the 1990's. The film holds no greater crime than being just as silly and over the top as it's predecessor but somehow it's deemed to be an insult to audiences and cinema itself. That statement is simply false as the film is a visual feast that should be seen on the big screen to witness it's scope while providing strong nostalgic connections to the first movie. It can be argues that the newer characters while they look appealing are rather cardboard and poorly developed such as Liam Hemsworth's character whose obviously the replacement for Will Smith in this installment. While Hemsworth doesn't deliver a bad performance, his character simply isn't as compelling nor as engaging as Smith's character and neither is Dylan Hiller, the son of Will Smith's character Captain Stephen Hiller. While it's interesting that the filmmakers chose to tell the story of the sequel through the lenses of Hiller's son, his character doesn't give us the feeling that he's truly hurt by the death of his father and his mother played by Vivica A. Fox isn't given enough material to make us believe she's his coach in regards to carrying on his father's legacy. In more blatant terms, the newer characters come across as being rather flat in comparison to the older characters we've grown to love and respect over the last 20 years. They are serviceable characters in the end but not people you go home and still be thinking about long after the film is over, not like someone of Bill Pullmans characters caliber (He makes a great president). Subplots involving a romance between an American pilot and a beautiful Chinese female pilot as well as the relationship between her and her father isn't fully fleshed out enough to make us genuinely care about them.  Even the heavily publicized female president played by Sela Ward comes off as being interesting but her character isn't fully fleshed out to give her a chance at being as great of a Presidential figure as Bill Pullman's President Whitmore in the first film. The latter is brought back into this movie as a more broken down figure from where we left him at with the aliens haunting his dreams and sending him messages of their return. Pullman brings his A game back to the role that made him an iconic figure but his character is limited by plot constraints. Maika Monroe plays the President's now grown up daughter seen previously as a child in the first movie as the person taking care of the older Whitmore as well as providing a love interest for Hemsworth's character, the only problem is the latter is never fully fleshed out to make us truly care. Jeff Goldblum returns and is easily the film's main highlight as he brings his nerdy yet witty persona back to the role of David Levinson, showing the audience where his character ended up 20 years later along with his never aging father played equally great by Judd Hirsch. Perhaps the most surprising reprisal of a character from the first film is Brent Spiner's Dr. Okun from the first Independence Day which many fans of the first movie presumed to be dead. His return in the sequel is more than welcome as he is both hilarious and one of the film's main strengths with an intriguing plot twist to his character regarding his sexual orientation. Okun like Pullmans character. both experience visions and codes that signify the return of the aliens from the previous film and both inform the new set of characters of what's coming. The arrival of the aliens is much quicker and swift than what was shown in the 1996 movie with the ships being much bigger and the chaos being equally as exciting and affective, even though the true suspense of their arrival is missing from this movie
       Wherea's Independence Day Resurgence doesn't exactly contain the same amount of heart the first movie had, it still has moments that make us care for the safety of the older characters especially Judd Hirsch's character when he first see's the aliens arrival while riding his boat in the ocean or Vivica A Fox's character. The aliens from the first movie make their return here and look as badass as ever, even being shown getting in on the action outside of being locked in their spacecrafts. The climactic battle with the alien queen herself is one of the film's main highlights with the queen's appearance being so effective you become instantly mad that the studio failed to generate action figures for her character and the rest of the movie's cast and spacecrafts. Another main problem the film contained which explains some of the key issues of the film such as the newer characters being underdeveloped, is the pacing of the film which moves rather fast and doesn't take as much time developing the newer characters and plot like the original 2.5 hour movie did. One almost wonders if it was the studio's doing that forced Emmerich to cut the movie down to 2 hours instead of the rumored 150 minute time but whatever the reason is, the movie ended up being too short and needed more time to grow and develop.

      While it may seem that this reviewer didn't enjoy the film, that's not the case as the film ultimately is a fun ride in theaters but one can't help but feel the movie should've been bigger and better both financially and quality wise. Independence Day Resurgence is a movie that gets far too much bashing than it deserves but it still manages to be a decent way to kill two hours with Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Roland Emmerich, and Dean Delvin doing what they do best. The film was never mean't to be anything more than a nostalgic piece that reminds viewers of the awesomeness they received 20 years prior but also a passing of the torch to a new generation by reintroducing the story with the same characters now older and wiser looking over the new generation of characters. The technological aspect of the film remains the prime reason to see it in theaters as both that aspect of it and the return of several key characters carry the film as the newer characters suffer from either having their proper character development time cut out of the movie or just being poorly written. While one understands the rift between Jesse Usher's character and Liam Hemsworth's in the movie, one feels that it wasn't a logical reason for their grudge and it would've been more powerful to have Hiller's son be mad at Hemsworth's character because he accidentally got his father killed. Now THAT would've been a way more dramatic approach than a silly rift between the two because one almost got the other killed accidentally. In conclusion, Resurgence is a decent popcorn summer blockbuster that deserves a chance to succeed and be seen on the big screen but it also possesses several key flaws such as rushed pacing, lack of strong character development with newer characters, and weaker writing than the previous film that holds it back from being as good or better than the 1996 landmark blockbuster classic. Is the movie perfect? No, not at all. Is it the worst movie of the summer thus far? No way, that title proudly goes to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. Does the movie satisfy as a reasonable piece of entertainment and a decent sequel to the first film? Yes, the movie is a fun rollercoaster ride and feels like a solid part ll to the first film even if Will Smith's presence was missed here (His character was killed off due to the actors failure to return). As entertaining as this sequel is, one feels that it wasn't a sequel that needed to take 20 years to make as such a wait leaves you with wanting more which the end of the film promises by setting up a third film regarding intergalactic war on the basis that this one does well enough to secure another chapter. With the way this movies been received and performing since it's release domestically, that promise is looking more like a pipe dream now. Independence Day Resurgence is clearly not everyone's cup of tea but it's far from being the disaster many critics and audience members portray it as being. The spectacle of the film is worth seeing on the big screen but only on the condition that one essentially shuts off their brain and goes along for the ride.

Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics
Image result for independence day resurgence movie pics

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows Review

So I finally got to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows.


      Let me start by saying that since I was a kid I've been a fan of the Ninja Turtles up until present time with me growing up on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy as well as the cartoon television show that used to air on Saturday mornings. I had the action figures for the Ninja Turtles and even watched the FOX live action television show that aired in the afternoon back in the late 90s. The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is not only the best Ninja Turtles film to this day but a great family drama. It got everything right about the Turtles and showed Shredder and Splinter in a far better light than what Michael Bay's new versions of the Turtles present them as. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ll: The Secret Of The Ooze wasn't as good as the first movie but remained a strong sequel giving the fans more answers to how the Turtles were created and Super Shredder was a blast. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lll was unquestionably the worst Ninja Turtles film of the original trilogy but still maintained the heart of the originals, though Shredder's absence was felt and the time travel subplot feeling a tad corny. The 2007 live action movie was fun but didn't leave much of an impact like the original live action movies did with it's audience. Upon hearing news that Michael Bay was going to produce a new set of Ninja Turtles movies, I was not thrilled because I witnessed how the latter Transformers sequels turned out to be as well as it's disrespect of the source material. Despite holding my reservations towards the 2014 film, I still went into the theater to watch it as a Turtles fan and came out profoundly disappointed and frustrated. I found the punch lines the Turtles delivered to not only be dry of any humor or wit, but their physical appearances didn't sell me either as they looked creepy and too bloated. Megan Fox was a horrific miscast as April O Neil and the characterizations of Splinter and Shredder were way off from what the comics portray them as being and what the audiences remember from the past films. Going into the newest Turtles film, I had little hope that this film would satisfy me as a fan after what I witnessed in August 2014 but hearing comments such as the film being an improvement over the last film made me a tad curious to see if such a claim was true, and once again i'm sad to report that it's not true, the movie still sucks.

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows comes across to me as being a much wasted opportunity from what it could be as a film within the franchise. This could've been the Ninja Turtles film that defined the whole film series as a whole and become every Ninja Turtles fanboy's dream come true if it was handled right. Granted the film isn't as frustrating as the first movie, it's still hardly better as it possesses many problems of it's own which followed from the first movie onto this films production. The first main issue is Megan Fox once again playing April O' Neil and getting more screen time than the Turtles at certain points. Megan Fox may look good on the big screen but she lacks the talent, the brains, and the charm to pull off what could've been such an engrossing and empowering character. Anyone who watches the animated Ninja Turtles cartoon and even the previous movies knows the full potential of this character and to see her wasted away not just by Fox but the poor direction she's given is really heartbreaking. The second problem is the Turtles lack true emotional moments of depth and characterization making them distinct from each other and giving the audience a sense of who each one of them is. What made the original movies so special and still enjoyable to this day is the amount of heart they possessed making you care a great deal about each member of the family especially Ralph and Michaelangelo. Here you don't really get a sense of the Turtles personalities, and Splinter is completely wasted as a character. What appeared to be a dominating force in the previous films and a Mr. Miyagi type of father figure is completely absent here as Splinter comes off as being rather ridiculous and cardboard. His physical presence feels uninspired and lazy as the 90's Splinter looks and acts far superior. Watching this movie will make older fans miss the days of practical effects. The same argument for Splinter's lack of screen time can be said for Shredder, who never really gets a chance to truly shine like the way he did in the 1990s films or even the cartoon. When Shredder finally gets suited up and is shown to be in his original true form, he's removed from the screen in such a quick fashion that the audience is left wondering what happened. The acting from Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockman is painfully overdone and comes across as being forced to fit the atmosphere of this being a family film. I blame the director of the film Dave Green more so than Perry because he's just playing the part the way he was instructed to do so. The character inclusions of Beebop and Rocksteady carry a great deal of potential for the film as fans get to see these characters on the big screen for the first time ever, but ultimately they crash and burn as being live action adaptations of their cartoon personalities. These two are not just unfunny, they're embarrassing when you look at the source material and the tremendous potential they had in terms of being brought onto the film. Casey Jones is another case of a great character being wasted as Stephen Amell does the best job with the material he's given, but the audience can't help but find Elias Kotea's performance of Jones from the original 1990's film to be far superior in both characterization and performance. Laura Linney does a good job as playing a female Commissionar Gordon type of character in this film as she originally views the Ninja Turtles to be criminals and untrustworthy but later grows to respect them as undisclosed heroes. While that subplot may sound promising on paper, the ultimate execution of it is extremely poor making the audience not become invested in her character or motives. One of the few main highlights of the movie is the central villain in the Ninja Turtle universe named Krang being done effectively and looking awesome on the big screen as he may be the only character that remains faithful to the original one from the cartoon, however his Technodrome was not very impressive.
      What the main problem appears to be with the new Ninja Turtles movies, is that even though they look better on the big screen visually in comparison to their predecessors they lack the heart of the original films as well as the characterizations of each key player, and a legit story that allows the audience to become engaged and invested in the character's well-being. The film is essentially all flash but no substance making it come across as being more frustrating than entertaining. Dave Green appears to be going through the motions directing this one as he doesn't take the time to flesh out any of these characters but would rather focus on visuals and imitating Michael Bay shots during action sequences. The films climax also feels like it took direct inspiration from other big budget films such as Avengers, every Transformers film with an action-packed climax, and Man Of Steel with how the destruction of the city. For fans who grew up with these characters and were hoping to see them reimagined on the big screen in the 21st century in a way that honors the past interpretations but moves to the next step in evolution, these films are very disappointing as they reek of being missed opportunities. These are not films that want to travel down the exact same path as the source material but feel more commercialized to bring in large audiences of children to make a quick buck from. While the filmmakers may have accomplished that task if that was their sole purpose behind making these movies, these films will not be remembered by true fans of the source material 10 years from now as the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies (especially the 1990's film), have a much stronger chance of going down as childhood classics then these. The best option going forward since this movie has made significantly less than it's predecessor which can be attributed to bad word of mouth from both movies is to wait several years and not bring the Ninja Turtles back to the big screen unless they have passionate filmmakers behind it who want to improve on the mistakes of these movies and make the films more honorable not just to fans but to the source material, then maybe well finally get the Ninja Turtles movies we've been waiting for. While the original trilogy is a fun set of films, they aren't perfect as the technology at the time and significantly lower budgets held them back from really breaking out and showing audiences some cool stuff with these characters. If they can find a way to ditch Michael Bay and get filmmakers behind the next one with a passion for telling this story and truly caring about these characters, then we can perhaps get some truly amazing Ninja Turtles films, but until the day that happens, true fans will stick to the animated show, the comics, and the original trilogy to get the satisfaction that these movies failed to provide for us that grew up with these characters.

      It may seem as if I went into this movie fully expecting to hate it as my review of the movie is unapologetically brutal towards it, that is not the case. I went into this movie with hope that somehow with as many problems the previous installment had, they would find a way to win me over as a fan of the Turtles for these new set of films and make it at the very least enjoyable, I never got that while watching the movies. I truly cared about the Turtles in the past but can't really find myself to become invested in the one's presented here as they don't appear to have personalities of their own that make them compelling. The film will please and thrill young children who grew up after the run of the Original trilogy and cartoons not really knowing about the past history of the Turtles prior, and perhaps that's what the filmmakers were aiming for with the new generation, but for us fans who were around when the Turtles were at their prime and partying with Vanilla Ice, it's extremely painful and heartbreaking to see what's being put on the screen. I pray that one day the Turtles be given their glory again by future filmmakers who truly care about these characters and their story but for now, I will stick to watching the Original films. Major thumbs down from this Ninja Turtles fan.

Our characters for this evening:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

X-Men Apocalypse Review

Just got back from the theater from watching X-Men: Apocalypse. SPOILER FREE

      Before going into my thoughts regarding Apocalypse, I felt that it was best to go back and quickly give you my thoughts on the X-Men series as a whole. Growing up as a fan of the X-Men universe in the 1990's, I like many was a huge fan of the FOX animated television show and collected all the toys that came out for it during that era. I also played the videogames that came out on SEGA for the X-Men including the Spiderman and X-Men game. One of the main things that draws me to the X-Men universe, is the storyline of a group of people with special capabilities trying to be accepted into society but faces rejection from humanity yet they choose to fight for humanity as well as protecting themselves. The themes that run rampant throughout the show and movies such as discrimination, hatred, love, acceptance, and balancing ones lifestyle with their newfound capabilities are what's fascinating about the X-Men storyline, and ultimately was what drew me into this group of heroes. I was excited when the first X-Men movie came out in the summer 2000, and thought it was a solid first installment in what looked to be a promising newborn superhero franchise. The movie was not perfect but given the $75 million budget Bryan Singer had to play with, they did pretty good under the conditions the filmmakers were given. X2 still remains one of the greatest superhero movies ever made and one of the rare sequels that outshines the original film. It was bigger, more epic in scope, better shot cinematography wise with a much stronger score from John Ottman, and the cast was stronger performance wise in that film as everyone felt like they eased into their roles more comfortably especially Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. X-Men 3 was a trainwreck of a film storywise and ultimately heartbreaking given the potential it had and what the Phoenix storyline could've been. Bryan Singer leaving X-Men 3 to do Superman Returns was a huge mistake and it shows when you watch The Last Stand as the movie felt rushed, and the killing off of characters such as Cyclops, Professor X, and Jean Grey was a slap in the face to the fans and the emotional storyline Singer was developing with the first two films. First Class was a breath of fresh air for the X-Men universe and got the ball rolling in terms of the franchise returning to form but it wasn't until Days Of Future Past where the series was put back on the map full circle. First Class and Days Of Future Past did a great job iof not only rebooting the series but also cleansing the mistakes of the past while giving Bryan Singer the opportunity to make things right with Apocalypse such as giving Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey proper reintroductions to the series and fleshing their characters out which wasn't the case with Singers original X-Men trilogy (Cyclops and Storm were severely underused in those movies). And now two years after the release of Days Of  Future Past, we arrive at the release of the much anticipated Apocalypse. A lot has been said about this movie both good and bad but ont thing is for certain, this is the biggest X-Men movie ever in regards to scope and premise. While being bigger in scope and plot is not a bad thing in any sense, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's better.

      X-Men: Apocalypse despite it's flaws is an enjoyable summer blockbuster and proves to be a worthy installment in the First Class trilogy as well as the X-Men series as a whole. It is not as good of an X-Men movie as Days Of Future Past and isn't as well fleshed out story wise as First Class but it works as being it's own installment in what is overall a pretty strong trio of X-Men films. What makes Apocalypse a significant film in this trilogy and the first six X-Men films as a whole, is that this is the film that takes place after the resetting of the timeline from where the last movie ended. One could almost watch this film right after First Class with the way that film ended and not need the middle film but it's because of that middle film that we have the chance to see familiar characters return and become more fleshed out than what was previously shown to us like Cyclops for example. Cyclops is given his full due in this movie and despite being whiny at times is well played by actor Tye Sheridan, giving off a younger persona of James Marsden, the actor who played Cyclops in the original Bryan Singer trilogy. Sophie Turner does a very good job as Jean Grey in this film despite not looking much like a younger Famke Janssen, but she holds her own in the role playing a more aggressive Jean Grey compared to the shy and aggressive one Famke played, and her Pheonix storyline is handled much better in comparison to Brett Ratner's Last Stand. Alexandra Shipp does a fine job playing a younger Storm and looks like a younger version of Halle Berry's character but where she starts off being a much better fleshed out Storm begins to take a backseat near the films third act to just hiding out and watching the carnage unfold during the films big climatic battle. Other new characters such as Nightcrawler played by Kodi Smit-McPhee are played very well but still can't quite match the level of awesomeness Alan Cumming brought to the role in X2: X-Men United, although Ben Hardy as Angel does a fine job of being an improved version of the Angel shown in The Last Stand played previously by Ben Foster. Evan Peters does a great job once again as Quicksilver in a larger role this time around, even going as far as playing a pivotal role in the films main storyline. Olivia Munn shined in her supporting role as Psylocke making her character appealing as well as drop dead gorgeous. With the new additions to the cast doing admirable jobs of playing the younger versions of the characters, the returning cast such as James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, and Rose Byrne as Moira all deliver strong performances with Fassbender being given some great moments to shine as Magneto. One terrific example of Magneto being given his due is a scene in the forest where the audience is given a much better and clearer understanding of why he despises humans so much and why he chooses to go the Malcom X route in regards to society and mutants coexisting. The score from John Ottman is also an improvement over the work he did for Days Of Future Past giving the film more of an emotional core to it than the previous movies, especially when it comes to the dramatic parts of the film such as Magnetos big scene in the forest.

      Where the film has many positive points about it, there also lies some issues with the movie with regards to it's main villain Apocalypse played by Oscar Isaac. Despite the character coming off as being strangely similar to Power Rangers: The Movies Ivan Ooze in regards to his physical appearance, Isaac does a great job playing the character even if Apocalypse somehow feels a bit underwhelming as being the main villain the entire X-Men series has been building up to. That's not to say he isn't a dominating force in the movie as his presence is felt in the film but the filmmakers seem to be having trouble deciding on whether he's the true villain of the story or Magneto is. Magneto on some level receives more character depth than Apocalypse with Apocalypse general plotline being he wants to wipe out the human race so that Mutants can reign as he feels the weak rules the world and all humans are good for is killing each other off. With Magneto things are more complex as he's shown trying to adapt to human nature since becoming a fugitive at the end of Days Of  Future Past but that doesn't last very long once his identity is discovered. Magnetos subplot is where the film truly flourishes as a movie because Singer begs the audience to ask the question of whether Magneto is really a bad guy/extremist or someone whose been hurt by the human race multiple times and has lost all hope that mutants can ever be accepted by human nature and just prefers that mutants be the species to take over. The problem with Apocalypse and Magneto's storyline being in the same film, is that it feels like Singer isn't sure what story he wants to tell as the narrative feels uneven at times and the pacing becomes tough especially when the film introduces the characters of Cyclops, Storm, Jean, Nightcrawler, Apocalypse and his four horseman, while diving into Magneto's arc. Apocalypse is a movie that tries to have it all in one film but having too much begins to weigh it down as it feels a bit overwhelming at times. There's no doubt that Bryan Singer went into this film with great anticipation having seen how well Days Of Future Past was well received hoping to top it but in the end, he doesn't because the film is overly ambitious. This is a film that is by no means a bad movie, but it isn't as great as it could've been because the main problem is it isn't exactly sure which direction it wants to go with the storyline whether it's Apocalypse or Magnetos show. Apocalypse will spawn many Ivan Ooze has returned jokes and punchlines as his plot feels a big similar to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie except it's handled much better in this movie and he does approve to be an effective villain, it's just that even though he is the clear choice of antagonist in the film, he still feels a bit empty in regards to motive and character development.

     Overall Apocalypse isn't deserving of the vicious beating it took from critics especially on rottentomatoes but it isn't as great of an X-Men film as it could've been had Singer just allowed the film to have a more clear cut narrative. The film delivers in the action and spectacle department as the films visual set pieces such as the big destruction scene in the films third act looks terrific on the big screen and will excite X-Men fans. As far as the series goes, this one feels like it's not only a good closure to the First Class trilogy but also to the original X-Men one as the timeline is reset and Professor Xs and Magneto's storyline is essentially complete. Is Apocalypse the greatest X-Men movie ever made? No, its the biggest in regards to scope but it suffers from being overstuffed, slow pacing at times especially during the first act, and questionable plot elements such as William Strykers sudden appearance into the story and Apocalypse being able to destroy the world a total of four times in the movie but doesn't. Apocalypse is a flawed film but the issues aren't enough to bring it down from being an extremely entertaining, enjoyable, and ultimately a worthy installment in the First Class trilogy. A joke was made in the film about the characters watching Return of the Jedi in theaters during it's initial run in the 1980's and how the third film of the franchise is usually the worst one of the trio. While that joke was intended to poke fun at the obvious choice of the worst installment in the X-Men franchise with The Last Stand, the same also applies here as this one isn't as air tight storywise as the other two films but carries a great deal of entertainment and fun. If you can get past the fact that Apocalypse reminding you too much of Ivan Ooze, the uneven narrative at times, and questionable plot elements that arise throughout the film then you will have a great time with this movie. While this is probably a sign that Singer should take a break and pursue other projects to clear his mind before returning to future X-Men films, Apocalypse still leaves a strong impression on X-men fans for better or worse. It's not as great of a superhero film as Captain America: Civil War but it's also not the film Batman Vs Superman turned out to be as it handles the crowded narrative and overstuffing of characters a lot better than that film. Apocalypse deserves a watch from every X-Men fan but it will also be the one that divides many with the direction Singer chose to take the story but hey, I liked it. Hugh Jackmans cameo as Wolverine, Magneto's big forest moment, and Quicksilvers scene stealing moment in the Xavier mansion alone are worth the price of admission. 

Our characters for Apocalypse.