There’s been a lot of negative talk about this latest installment in Fox’s X-Men movies, but then again there always has. The negativity comes from die hard X-Men fans who are angry that Marvel doesn’t have the rights at the moment. I’m a die hard X-Men fan of old, and while I see the critics’ points, I also look at it from a writing standpoint as well.
Could the movies be better? Absolutely. Should the core characters be closer to their comic book counterparts? Yes… 100%. But I finally feel like while stupid mistakes or downright ignorance of the source material is done on the writer/directors parts, I believe they are listening and trying to make it right.
You see, there are a total of 9 X-Men movies in this continuity now with more in development. The earlier ones left a bad taste in many people’s mouths who are comic fans. The last movie (Days of Future Past) hit a semi-reset button on most of what is wrong with the series. While Apocalypse is not perfect by any means, it certainly is the first movie truly headed in the right direction with the characters.
Here is my spoiler filled review of the movie, so if you just want to know my overall rating, then skip to the bottom paragraph. I will discuss the continuity issues and fan problems, but the positive as well. Feel free to comment.
Professor Charles Xavier: James McAvoy continues to be an excellent choice for the leader of the X-Men, and for the first time we really get to see him do battle with a foe on a mental level. His fight inside Apocalypse’s mind caused a few geekgasms. My only question here is if Apocalypse is the one who causes Xavier to lose his hair, then did Xavier and the X-Men face off against him in the original continuity? If so, then who was the main team of X-Men? Where was Stryker and company in that timeline? It’s a plot hole that needs to be ignored to make the series complete, but I can’t see past it as a fan wanting to know what happened to his hair originally. I did love the full circle with him and Magneto here. Their speech at the end was verbatim the same speech between the two in the first X movie.
Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: Michael Fassbender owns the role again far surpassing what his predecessor did. He felt like Magneto in this movie, and as one of Apocalypse’s horsemen I feel he was utilized well. Here comes my issue. We already know Quicksilver is his son. In this movie he has a daughter, but it is not Scarlet Witch. At the very least, Bryan Singer and company could have done what Marvel did in the Avengers AOU and used her quickly. It would have upset less fans and been a nice way to acknowledge what Marvel did to their quicksilver. In other words, when Magneto’s daughter died, all they had to do was claim that her name was Wanda and make her powers something other than talking to the animals, but more akin to her comic counterpart. It’s stupid I know, but I just did not like that this whole chapter of Magneto’s history was basically thrown away. I do however like that Magneto has been set up to be a hero character as one interpretation of him in the comics had him as leader of the X-Men. With Wolverine departing the movie world soon he’d be a great new focus.
Raven Darkholme / Mystique: Ugh where do I begin? When Rebecca R. played the role I was upset that she had basically no dialogue and was just a henchman of sorts. But Rebecca played the role well in terms of Mystique’s sexuality and her cold hearted killer personality. So WTF is Jennifer Lawrence doing? Her version of the character was barely blue in this movie. She had none of that cold heartedness. And unlike the fact that I liked Magneto’s heroics, I do NOT like her as a hero at all. She has no place with the X-Men unless for some deceptive purpose. I just don’t buy her in the role, and it is ashame to see what the original trilogy’s Mystique has been downsized to. (Not downsized in terms of role, but character)
En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse: Oscar Issac stole the show. Apocalypse was my favorite villain in all of Marvel comics. That being said I took issue and pleasure in seeing him on screen. Issac portrayed easily the best villain in the X-Men series of movies yet. He had purpose and echoed much of what he was about in the source material. I would have liked him to have been a little bit bigger than the other characters, but his intentions overshadowed all of that. His abilities to manipulate and rearrange matter was done well, and his recruitment of the horsemen was not far off from how he did it in the comics. Actually if anything the way that he altered Archangel especially made more sense in the films. My issue comes with his technology. Because of rights issues Fox ignored the fact that his armor and pyramid tech was of alien origin. Well okay, maybe they didn’t ignore it, but failed to mention it. After all they did not say anything about it. The audience is just led to believe he had it whether by his own creation or something else. Also in the comics we never really see how his lazarus chamber worked, so the transference of his soul to a new body was acceptable where I was originally upset about hearing this. My problem is less with Apocalypse and more with his horsemen. None of them seemed dedicated to his cause (as evidenced by their betrayal or abandonment of him). Except Archangel of course. I don’t know how they will top him as a villain because you really got to feel his threat. His look and voice also made me happy and I was not pleased when I’d first started seeing and hearing him in trailers.
Hank McCoy / Beast: While I like Nicholas Holt in the role, and that he finally doesn’t look like CGI garbage like he did in First Class, I absolutely despise the lack of his true form. He’s still taking a serum to make him look normal, and then when he does become Beast again he’s in a flight suit most of the time. Still his character seems close to the comics, but I’d like to hear more obscure quoting of classical literature, as this version of Beast is more of a genius and less of a genius with classic appreciation.
Moira MacTaggart: Other than being happy with her role in this movie I was glad that they set up the introduction of her son. Singer has said that he’d like to make Proteus a villain in a future film, so it was only logical to acknowledge she had a son here. My issue is that her son was also the son of Charles Xavier in the comics, so why not just mention that he had a son with her? or since the father wasn’t in the pictures does that mean that she was indeed pregnant with Xavier’s son the last time we saw her? I guess time will tell, but it was a good way to bring her back into the fold.
Scott Summers / Cyclops: FINALLY! Cyclops isn’t a sissy. In the original trilogy he was overshadowed by Wolverine and portrayed as a crybaby. Here we got the classic leader of the X-Men with his actual 90s comic book costume at the end. I’m overly happy with this version being introduced.
Jean Grey: I feel like we’ve been down this road with Jean, but she was ruined by Last Stand and even her appearance in Wolverine 2. This gives her a fresh start and a younger face to go with it. The chemistry between her and Cyclops is perfect, and there was even that nod to her and Logan’s connection as well. I was surprised that they decided to foreshadow the Dark Phoenix aspect of her character. I’m not sure I care to see the Dark Phoenix saga portrayed on screen as I was never a big fan of it, but after Last Stand I could see why they’d want to leave the possibility open. It also was thrilling to see her final attack on Apocalypse in her Phoenix mode.
Ororo Munroe/ Storm: Haircut? I hated that hair in the comics and I do in the movie, but for the 80s it made sense, but the true focus is that finally we got a true Storm. Halle Berry was awful in the role. I can’t say that enough. But Alexandra Shipp has brought life back to the character from her accent to her origins. I can’t wait to see more of her.
Psylocke: Another character that was ruined in the Last Stand was finally brought front and center in the right way. While her role was not a huge one it was meant to introduce her to audiences in a way that she will be remembered. Olivia Munn is not only gorgeous in the role, but she did a great job, and they left it open for her to be there for Deadpool or any other number of X roles.
Alex Summers/Havok: One issue that the new timeline creates is one of age. Havok in this movie has to be 40 years old, while Cyclops is 20 years younger. It does happen sure, but they fail to address why aging doesn’t seem to affect the mutants on a normal level. All that aside I think his death was chosen wisely as it set up his younger brother’s role as leader and with a purpose. RIP Havok and your terrible 80s mullet.
Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver: Okay so you still have a really bad outfit (semi acceptable by the end of the movie), but every second he spends on screen is pure pleasure. Quicksilver stole the show again.
Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler: I was surprised to see Nightcrawler work so well in this movie. He was as much comic relief as Quicksilver and was a very crucial part to the team. And like Cyclops seeing him in his 90s comic garb brought moments of joy to me.
Colonel William Stryker: I think his role in the movie felt strange. Aside from the fact that in the first Wolverine movie Stryker was older looking he didn’t age much here. For the mutants I can accept that sort of, but he’s a normal human. All that aside I want to know how he got a hold of Logan for the Weapon X program. Mystique had grabbed him in the guise of Stryker at the end of the last movie, so did she just deliver Logan to Stryker’s doorstep and tell him to go all Weapon X with him? There is a flaw here that I’m not sure is worth talking about because it really doesn’t affect anything, but as a viewer it’d be nice to know.
Warren Worthington III / Angel / Archangel: As angel I felt he was more fun to watch, but we didn’t get his wealthy background here, which was a little upsetting. That is one thing that Last Stand got right. Angel’s transformation into Archangel was cool to watch, as it visually stood out as a memorable scene, but it’s as if Singer has a problem with the color blue. Like Mystique and Beast, Archangel never gets his blue skin. At the least I’d have liked them to make him paler, but instead we got some strange tattoo like strands on his face. Also disappointing was the decision to kill him off. He was badass in the fight scenes, and I’d have liked to see him in an X-Force movie at some point. Too bad.
Jubilee: Knowing that this was going to be in the 80s Fox had the perfect opportunity to utilize this character, and while she had a decent amount of small role screen time we never actually saw her use her abilities. Hopefully they correct this in the next one, but the decision was probably made to reduce the amount of overcrowding of characters.
Weapon X: Yes! Yes! Yes! We will be getting an R rated wolverine movie and this was the perfect setup for classic wolverine. For the first time we really got to see him go on a berserker killing spree and all the animalistic rage was let loose. Even the Weapon X head gear proved that some semblance of the comic pages can come to life. Now to hopefully see him in his suit at some point. My question is how much did Jean reveal to him in their brief mental bond. She said she helped him remember, so is this Wolverine knowing who he is or is he still Logan looking for his past? Time will tell.
Caliban: The decision to include him in the movie was wise, and though he didn’t get enough screen time they definitely portrayed him correctly as far as powers go. The question I have is that since he can sense and track other mutants why didn’t Apocalypse take him with them? It seems he was tracking his horsemen recruits, so were they returning to Caliban after each portal jump?
CAMEO ROLES: Stan Lee appeared in the most serious cameo he’s ever done, and with his real life wife too. It’s always a pleasure to see him in these movies even if forced in at times, but he didn’t feel forced here and worked well. Dazzler was on the cover of a record album, but I am still holding out hope for Taylor Swift or someone to make a cameo as her at some point. The Blob kept with his original trilogy storyline in that he was in a fighting circuit. We don’t see much of him other than his defeat, but got the classic Blob spandex and all, so it was a welcome addition and well placed. Pestilence, Famine, War, & Death were introduced in the beginning in ancient Egypt and while not much was shown of them and their abilities it was a more dedicated set of horsemen than Apocalypse got in the 80s. This brings to question why they were so much more dedicated and if Apocalypse was the first mutant, then where did these 4 get their powers? Were they too mutants or did he create them much in the same way that he enhanced the others’ powers? Sentinels appeared in the danger room sequence which makes one wonder how and why Xavier kept some of the mutant hunting robots, but it was still a cool cameo.
That end credits scene: The man from the “Essex Corporation” was collecting samples of blood. Weapon X’s was the vial showed here so we can conclude a few things… 1) Mr. Sinister aka Nathaniel Essex will be a villain in one of the next movies. He is a character known for his genetic tampering. With Logan’s blood this can only lead to one conclusion… Hugh Jackman is said to be retiring from the role after Wolverine 3. I’ve no desire to see them recast this role, but this would be a way to do it… however the best way to do it is to introduce X-23. In the comics she is Wolverine’s clone/daughter. It would still give a wolverine character and not negate all that Hugh has done, since he afterall was the man practically carrying this series.
Where do they go from here?
This is an important question, so here’s some thought. There is still plenty they can do. We know there is going to be a Legion tv series. Deadpool will be teaming with Cable in the sequel of the former. X-Force is in the works, presumably with the team: Deadpool, Cable, Psylocke, X-23 & Gamit? Perhaps that is how Sinister will be brought in as a villain. Of course a Gambit movie is also in the works, which I wonder what can be done here. We still have the Brood, Dark Phoenix saga, & Shiar (Singer has stated he wants to take the X-Men to space). And then there is the Savage land that has been unused, but perhaps can be the base of operations for Sinister. And could (going out on a limb here) the Avengers Infinity War bring a merger of different Earths where we get an Avengers/X-men crossover? Actors on both sides have voiced interest.
Final analysis: X-Men Apocalypse is not perfect by any means, but it does help to bring in some people who’ve been so hateful of this series because they were die hard fans. It has also replaced X-Men 2 as my favorite of the whole franchise (Deadpool being the exception, as nothing will touch that anytime soon at least in the Fox-men universe). With a threat that felt genuine, the introduction of characters true to the source, and a story that kept viewers surprised and on edge, I give the movie 4 out of 5 on my ratings scale. What did you think? Comment below and thanks for reading.
Fox studios has just released its seventh movie in the massively popular X-Men franchise, and it looks to be another hit based on ticket sales. One of the biggest complaints by comic book fans about Fox’s version of the X-Men is that it strays too far from the comics and there are so many continuity issues. I’m tired of going to blogs and hearing someone say “Marvel needs the rights to X-Men back”. I’m telling you right now, that while I want to see X-men with Marvel characters on screen, if they do this it wouldn’t be a good thing at this time. Why? Because everyone who isn’t a comic fan knows what the movies have brought to our eye. Don’t forget that Bryan Singer brought us X-Men and X2: X-Men United at a time where comic book movies were just becoming popular. X-2 is one of the BEST of the whole franchise.
Then X-Men The Last Stand came along. I enjoyed that movie for its high points, but I do acknowledge its flaws. Of course at the end of that movie, the only confirmed “Death” was that of Jean Grey. We never saw Cyclops’ body, and his glasses were left floating in the air. To me, this always meant that she never killed him. Everyone got their powers back that lost them, and Professor X transferred his mind to a new body.
Of course, this was followed by the X-Men Origins Wolverine. Again, there were parts that were strong, but what they did with all these characters left a bad taste in most people’s mouths. X-Men First Class and The Wolverine finally came about and reinstilled energy in the franchise. It gave faith back to those who had lost it, except for the whiny die hard X-Men comic fans who can’t imagine that the movies won’t be EXACTLY what they read in the pages. Those are the same people who claim that the Avengers is a perfect comic movie, and yet don’t realize that most of what Marvel has put on the screen has strayed from core source material.
I’m one of those fans who is a comic fan AND a movie lover. I go into these with a very open mind, and yes I get upset when I see certain things that don’t do justice. When I saw some of the trailers for Days Of Future Past I shook my head. Then I started hearing talk about it and became enraged. “Why would they do this and ruin it more?” I learned my lesson however to NEVER assume anything from a trailer. Everything this movie presented corrected most of what people whined about, while creating another flaw that is gladly accepted over the appaling other ones that were there and are now gone. From here on out in this review there will be MAJOR SPOILERS. I’m also going to speculate where this will take the franchise. If you want to know my review, scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating.
The future we are given to kick off the movie is dismal and dark. We are shown over and over how deadly the sentinels are, and presented with some moderately graphic death scenes. It is everything that I pictured the future to be in this story. Then we go to the past, which picks up a few years after the First Class movie. It’s the 1970s, and the X-Men aren’t even together anymore. Two different periods of time, and both very effective. Let’s check out the characters involved.
Wolverine/Logan: One flaw I found with Wolverine is that they don’t explain how, after the events of The Wolverine, that he has metal on his claws again. We can only assume from a comment made by a young Magneto, that the older Magneto put the metal back. It makes sense and probably would have confused anyone that didn’t see The Wolverine as to why they just let this go. It’s implied, but not flat out explained. Regardless, Hugh Jackman continues to own this role. He’s at his largest in body size, and you can tell he genuinely cares about the role. Whether talking about the old Logan or the pre-Weapon X young counterpart, Wolverine is cleverly used here. In his future version we see yellow and blue in his “costume” as a little nod to his classic comic book outfit. Another Easter egg thrown in was when Magneto impales him with the rebar and bends it around his body. This closely resembles the scene in the comics when Magneto stripped the adamantium from Logan’s bones. My only issue with Logan here is that he is pulled out of the water after what is obviously a few hours at minimum, and he suddenly just starts coughing the water from his lungs. Does his healing factor just do that? Every few minutes the lungs try to work? If so, then that could be an eternally painful death for Wolverine were that the case. I don’t know what it is, but it is a scary thought.
Professor Xavier: Patrick Stewart’s portrayal in the future is classic. He’s always done well in this role, and I loved that he had a hover chair as well. James McAvoy not only could pass off looking like a younger Patrick Stewart, but he equally owns the part. I was kind of turned off at first by the self pity he was wallowing in, and the fact that Hank made a drug to help him to walk might explain how Xavier could walk in his brief cameo at the end of Origins Wolverine. Then again, because his face was so badly CGIed in Origins, perhaps it was supposed to be a projected image of himself just like he did with Mystique in the airport. DOFP was more of an established origin for Professor X than first class was because he also accepts that he will become the man he was meant to be.
Magneto / Erik Lensherr: Ian McKellen had little screen time in the future, but like everyone I felt he was utilized well. If he had a little more dialogue I’d have been happier, but maybe less is more, and they sent him off well. Michael Fassbender easily became the villain in this more than almost the sentinels. I liked the nod to him being Quicksilver’s father, and the plastic prison that will again become a part of X2. I am wondering how far magnetism can go however. Does he have an engineering background where he suddenly knows how to control robots? I can see him gaining control of the sentinels (he did often in the comics), but he sort of just let’s them loose on the “mutants”. He’s a mutant too, so why wouldn’t it just attack him? I also thought it was flawed that he was just able to leave at the end. Xavier should have stopped him. Wouldn’t the government people who watched Mystique stand up against him suddenly believe that they helped him escape if he could have been stopped? Or did Xavier place a thought in their minds?
Raven Darkholme / Mystique: Jennifer Lawrence is a MUCH better Mystique than her predecessor, and she looks equally as menacing. The fight choreography of the character and her becoming the unpredictable “hero” really had me smile. I was glad that they did what they did with her. My question is this…. does her appearance as Stryker at the end mean that she killed him? I have a theory about this that I’ll mention in my speculation at the end.
Storm: Of all the characters in the X movies, Halle Berry was never one of my favorite choices to play a role. Storm was sent off well here as well. She didn’t need much dialogue. They gave her shorter hair (a mowhawk would have been a good nod, but what she had was nice). Her taking out the Sentinel carriers the way that she did showed how powerful she really can be, and her impalement by the sentinel’s spear hand was a relief. My favorite part is that Logan flat out tells a younger Xavier to remember Storm and seek her out along with Scott and Jean. That means most likely a recast as younger versions in the next movie.
Rogue, Cyclops, & Jean Grey: Their cameos as well as Kelsey Grammar as Beast was a great way to acknowledge all of the past mistakes. It means that them being there confirms that the everything is open for the future. Origins Wolverine, X-men, X2, The Last Stand, & The Wolverine will no longer happen. They can literally do anything with a younger cast and the results of this movie give us a fresh beginning, only keeping First Class & DOFP (the past elements) as something that is continuity.
Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat: Ellen Page had a minor, but significant role. Her time phasing powers are not part of the comics, but being as she was the one to go back in time in the comics instead of Logan, I felt this was a good way to include her in the whole segment. There was no other way to do this because of all of the prior continuity errors, and adding a mental time phase to her existing phase powers felt naturally logical. I also liked the slight nod at the end to her and Colossus’ relationship from the comics.
Hank McCoy / Beast: One of my issues before seeing this movie was hearing that Hank would be very “Hulk” like and only turn to beast when he became angry. The way they explain it is redeemable though. He created a serum to give him the appearance, but he obviously will embrace his inner beast as Grammar is in full Beast makeup at the end. It’s a good tool to use, but I hope they get rid of this for the next movie.
Bolivar Trask: Bryan Singer explained that this is not Trask from X2. So who is Trask from X2? Is he Peter Dinklage’s son? Doubtful. I guess he is just another Trask. Aside from this continuity issue, Trask was perfect. His purpose and usage was not over or underdone. The slight change from the comics is that the future is caused by Senator Kelly’s assassination. In this case, they had to change it to Bolivar Trask because Kelly was already established in X-1, and there couldn’t have been a better substitute for character swaps.
William Stryker: He is only a major in military rank in this one, and there IS a continuity flaw with him. In Origins Wolverine, Stryker and Logan met during Vietnam. Here it is a few years later and it doesn’t seem like he knows him at all when he sees him. The mention of his son Jason was nice (Jason Stryker was the mutant “Mastermind” in X2 who cast illusions into Xavier’s mind). His purpose could have been filled by any other military character. Why they chose to throw him in and cause another continuity issue is beyond me, but at this point I’ll bet they were just trigger happy with the cameos. I really wish they hadn’t used him.
Quicksilver / Pietro “Peter” Maximoff: Nightcrawler was my favorite in an X-film so far, but Quicksilver has replaced him. At first I hated the costume he wore from the ads, but now it makes sense after seeing it. His main scene was so beautifully executed and the nod to him being Magneto’s son was awesome too. As much faith as I have in Marvel for cinematic excellence, I don’t know how their Quicksilver will top this one. I can’t wait to see more of him in Apocalypse.
Cameo X-Men: While most of these had no or little dialogue, they were all utilized well. Bishop was awesome! Colossus finally got some epic battle time. Blink’s powers looked awesome, so much so that I made sure I wasn’t blinking so I could fully capture what was going on. Sunspot and Warpath were nice additions, though were of very little use. The same could almost be said about Iceman, but we finally got to see his ice slide move, which gave plenty of chills I’m sure. Havok, Toad, Ink, & Spyke had a fun little scene and I wonder where they will be headed off to.
Mystery mutants: If anyone knows who the white haired guy was at the beginning, who found the X symbol and then was killed, please let me know. I assumed this was a young Cable, but it could have just been a generic mutant. Also, Bryan singer confirmed that the little sister with Pietro was NOT his twin, Scarlet Witch. But if not her, then perhaps it was younger sister, Lorna Dane? I know that might be a stretch, but it is the movies, and since Polaris (Lorna Dane) is also the daughter of Magneto, maybe they planned that.
Sentinels: This was just plain awesome. The Sentinels in the 1970s reminded me of watching the old cartoon from the 90s. They were fun to watch destroy and I waited for the “Surrender Mutant” line of dialogue somewhere, but it never happened. In the future, the Nimrod sentinels were downright terrifying. Just plain amazing!
The Chris Clairmont (He wrote DOFP storyline in the comics) cameo, and mentions of other characters here and there were fun easter eggs for any comic book fan, but my favorite was En Sabah Nur. I have wanted to see Apocalypse as a villain since Xmen 1. Now we are getting him. His post credits scene had my jaw dropping, and I noticed that his 4 horsemen were sitting in the background while the young mutant pharaoh built the pyramids. I cannot wait til Apocalypse.
My only real regret with this movie is that they killed Azazel and White Queen. The problem isn’t with Azazel, because he could have impregnated Mystique somewhere along the way and still had Nightcrawler. The issue is with Emma. With her dead, there is no way she’d ever be a part of the X-Men later down the line. It’s nothing that will make me lose sleep, but they could have thought of another way.
Now that I’ve exhausted my opinions of the characters and plots, I want to speculate on where this could all lead based on what we know as fact from where we stand at the end of Days of Future past. X-Men Apocalypse will have Xavier’s new recruits taking on Apocalypse and his horsemen. Who will be with Xavier? They set it up for a young Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey to accompany Professor X and Beast. It is also confirmed that Quicksilver and maybe Scarlet Witch will play a role somehow, in addition to Gambit, played by Channing Tatum. We also know that it takes place in the 1980s. Who will the horsemen be? Here’s my theory… I think Mystique killed Stryker and rescued Logan from the water. Why? She is working for Apocalypse who has been watching from the sidelines. Wolverine will get metal back on his bones, but not from Weapon X now… instead he will become the Horseman of death. There was a brief stint in the comics where this happened. Making Logan a bad guy would be so smart because it will really put the team to the test, and he finally won’t be a hero. Wolverine, Mystique and two others as horsemen (sorry, no archangel, because he’d be too young in the 80s). I also believe that Nathanial Essex would be a servant to Apocalypse, setting up the next movie where he could be Mr. Sinister and take young cyke and jean.
Wolverine 3: With no weapon X program, he’d probably (after being released from Apocalypse’s control) join up with Alpha Flight. They could take on Omega Red and have Sabretooth return to turn against his “brother”, Jimmy (Wolverine’s birth name).
Deadpool: MAKE THIS MOVIE RATED “R” and Give Ryan Reynolds the chance to show what he has as this character.
Sorry for such a lengthy review. I’m sure I even missed stuff, but there was just so much scale to this movie. After just over 2 hours, I felt I could have watched another 2 hours and not gotten tired. This was non-stop action and suspense from the beginning until the end, and executed really well. While fixing a plethora of mistakes, they created only 2 real flaws, and neither of them matter. I have to rate this at a 9 out of 10 sCrypt coffins. What did you think of the movie? Did I leave something out? Where do you see it going from here? Fox has earned the rights to use these characters and I am not disappointed by the scope of what they’ve accomplished. Well done, Singer and crew.
Just to state where I stand with the X-Men movies, I’ll say that I’ve been entertained thoroughly, but am well aware of the issues and flaws they have made. X-Men 3 the last stand was bad because of the errors made, but in the end none of it mattered because Cyclops was never shown as killed, Jean is the Phoenix and has come back before, Xavier transferred his mind to another body that looked just like him, and the mutants that had lost their powers all got them back. With X-men Origins Wolverine, we got a whole mess of things, and while I enjoyed the story, I felt they crammed way too much in, destroyed what we knew of Deadpool, and had terrible fake plastic claws with too much ridiculous CGI. The other 3 movies I loved (particularly X-2 and First Class, the prior being my favorite).
So where does The Wolverine come in? Let me tell you, I was really skeptical going in. Origins left a bad taste in my mouth, and let’s face it the trailers for The Wolverine had me upset. I didn’t want to see a completely CG looking bullet train fight, and With Silver Samurai being a robot?!?!? WTF?!?! Thankfully, I was wrong on BOTH of these accounts. Warning there are major spoilers ahead, so if you want my rating skip to the last paragraph.
First with the negative:
1) VIPER: Why? Why? Why? There was no need (I mean ABSOLUTELY NO NEED) to make her a mutant. It served no purpose. She would have been just as deadly as a toxin making biochemist, as she was made here. Her powers were pointless, and other than the green outfit, she didn’t resemble her comic counterpart in looks.
2) Explaining the tapping of the healing factor. Silver Samurai drilled into Logan’s bone to steal his healing, but it isn’t explained how that works or how it just reversed once those drills were removed.
3) Wait, there was no #3… Yes I said it. If I had to pick something, I’d just say that I wish the 12 minutes of extra footage that would have made this movie a bloody rated R, would have been there, but I guess I’ll be okay with waiting for the DVD to see this.
My brother did point out that he did not like the CGI bear in the beginning, but I honestly didn’t have a problem with it because at times, it looked really cool, and I’m a more forgiving person when it comes to that.
And on to the positive:
1) Silver Samurai: Although he was altered slightly from the comics (in this case, being an adamantium suit of armor, I LOVED what they did. Yashida (the elderly one) was still this character, and I enjoyed that he used his technology to work with Adamantium, so much so that he was able to create a superheated lightsaber type sword to cut through the nearly indestructable metal.
2) Japan and the Japanese story ark: Sure, they altered some things (Yukio was never a mutant in the comics), but what they changed served a purpose. Yukio having a minor ability actually needed to be in this movie otherwise it wouldn’t have flowed as well, and certain things wouldn’t have worked (I.E. Yashida still being alive, and wolverine cutting out his own heart).
3) No healing factor: This, along with the constant emotional drama he had going on, made Logan an extremely deadly weapon. He killed. He killed a lot. He was very violent, and you got to see his berzerker rage kick in through most of the action sequences. My spine tingles thinking of how awesome the fights were.
4) Shingen, Mariko, and the Yashida Jr.: Okay, I’m getting lazy on the third one’s first name, but his part was so small it was only to serve a purpose. The three of them seemed to be taken right from the pages of the comics. Mariko was beautiful. She looked almost exactly like certain artwork done of her in the past, and she was a good companion for Logan.
5) Jean Grey: Yes, she’s back, only in his dreams…. or is she? I’m wondering if a part of the dark phoenix transferred itself to Logan’s mind when he killed her in X3. It seemed so much more than a dream at points, but helped to progress the story. Also, her part was much larger than the simple cameo I thought she’d have. Plus, I’ll never have a problem seeing Famke Jansen on screen. Especially when her cleavage is so prominently shown.
6) Bone Claws: I have no problem at all with where this story left us. He still has an adamantium skeleton, and is deadly regardless of whether his claws are metal or not. I actually like that they did this because of it making him a little more human. Besides, he did get his healing factor back, so why not give him a slight disadvantage?
7) The mid credits Scene: Magneto and Xavier showing up with Trask industries plastered all over the screen? Wolverine acknowledging that he wants to know how it is possible (referring to the results of X3), and Xavier telling him that famous line from X1? Magneto as an ally? This perfectly set up and led into X-Men Days of Future Past.
So where do we go from here? Well, we know DOFP is coming. We know they’ve announced an X-Force movie with Apocalypse as a villain. My dream lineup for this would be (Cable, Deadpool, Archangel, Domino, and Cyclops). They could fix the rest of the problems people have with the X films and assist in the reboot of the franchise alongside DOFP with this. (Sinister taking Cyclops right before the moment of his “Death” in X-3. Angel being taken by apocalypse.) Downside is that using Psylocke wouldn’t be smart because she was already in X-3. All that speculation and wishful thinking aside, where do we go with Wolverine? Should it end here? It would be a good last solo outing, but can they do more? They left it open. I’d like to see a movie that takes place between this and DOFP. He and Yukio go to Canada and meet the Alpha Flight. Together they take on Omega Red. Sabretooth returns, and they address the lack of communication between the two in X1. This time, he wants to kill Logan’s new friends (just like the team in Origins), and in the end Yukio stays with Alpha Flight. It is the ONLY what I think they can go to top this movie or be on par with it, and I’d welcome it.
My analysis? The Wolverine had great performances all around. The story was solid. It was a love story with PLENTY OF WOLVERINE RAGE ACTION. And I think it made up for any mistakes made in the past, though like I mentioned, it is not perfect. It Does however now kick X-2 into second place, and The Wolverine is now my favorite of the X-Films (even though it doesn’t feel like an X-film at all.) I’m giving it an 8 out of 10, only for the reason that Viper still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended). Kudos to Hugh Jackman, Fox, and all involved. What did you think?