Ever since the third in the trilogy of original X-Men major motion pictures, the franchise has been trying to rebuild and reinvent itself. While the first movie is largely credited with motivating the current wave of successful superhero movies, and the second film in the series was largely well received … the third movie was … not.
Then came X-Men First Class, a film even the most die-hard X geeks loved. A critical and box office success as well, First Class seemed to signal a resurgence in the brand. Meanwhile, the Marvel-produced superhero franchises: Iron Man, Thor, and Avengers, hit the scene and rewrote what superhero movies could be. Drama, action, and humor were interlaced with actual character development and interesting stories. Suddenly, folks were looking back on the X-Men series with considerably less nostalgia.
Then came Days Of Future Past. While the reaction was split on this film, it was popular, and it certainly played the epic big budget part well. Now it’s time for the third in the trilogy that set out to remake the X-Men mythos on the big screen. Would it boom or bomb?
X-Men Apocalypse may be the most ambitious superhero movie ever. Played out on a scale more epic than any before it, the look and effects just to pull off the characters eclipse limits previous producers and directors literally refused to approach.
The subject matter is as near and dear to the heart of the core fan base as this gets. The Apocalypse stories are the stuff of comic legend. The ultimate Bad Guy versus a team of Good Guys, some of whom immediately fall prey to his power and influence. It’s the dictionary definition of an epic battle between good and evil … and there are plenty of ways it could go horribly, unforgivably sideways.
Now that the first trailer has dropped, X-fans are reacting with more enthusiasm than they have for any superhero movie to date.
First, the cast looks spot on. Gone are the weird casting decisions and goofy stage makeup. Here to stay are characters who embodied the parts they were asked to play. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence are back, joined by newcomers Olivia Munn, Alexandra Shipp, and Ben Hardy – an interesting group with real acting chops.
Thrown in for good measure are fan favorites Havok (Lucas Till), Jubilee (Lana Condor) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smitt-McPhee) as well as doomed to die and be reborn a redhead, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner). Also back, Nicholas Hoult as Beast and the undisputed breakout fan favorite from the DOFP, Evan Peters as Quicksilver.
Woven in and around all the epic, world-in-the balance action, are three love stories, hinting at more grown up subject matter than some stuff in the previous movies which ended up feeling campy.
All in all, it looks like the X-Men mythos is in good hands with this group. Here’s hoping they finish strong.