Captain America’s Civil War Fizzles; X-Men Apocalypse Drops Bombs
After releasing the 13th film of their Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, “Civil War,” Hollywood’s movie making cronies are once again laughing all the way to the bank. And why wouldn’t they be - they just treated you and I like an ATM machine for the Nth time.
The Avengers franchise, which has bilked worldwide moviegoers to the tune of $10 billion over the last 8-years, still can’t seem to figure out which heroes get to stay in and fight and which don’t. Some of the movies in this series have just one superhero versus another villain, like Iron-Man 1, 2, or 3 for example. But in the next film, there’s 6 or 7 good guys fighting simultaneously – as if half the cast was sitting on a beach somewhere sipping mai tai’s while Robert Downey, Jr. was in the trenches taking grenades.
With about 10 one-off type movies under their belts, this entire franchise has become a complete mishmash of fantasy and full-on human money extraction. Furthermore, anyone with half a brain must be asking themselves how the non-super hero characters (like Hawkeye, Black Widow, or Falcon) haven’t been killed off already. Picture this for a moment: The Hulk vs. Falcon, Falcon dead in 2-seconds. Thor, the demi-god vs. the spy Black Widow. Bye bye Scarlett Johansson. Scarlet Witch, the telekinetic head case vs. Hawkeye, the futuristic Robinhood. I’m starting to see a pattern here.
In Civil War, a fictional member of the US Department of State comes straight out and asks the group – “do you know where Thor and Banner (The Hulk) are?” Funny, I was asking myself the same question. Meanwhile, just for kicks – this time the director’s toss in a couple new characters, Black Panther – a Wakandan Prince who wears a suit made out of vibranium, and a kiddie version of Spider-man, both of whom siphon off precious minutes to get dragged into this Marvel money making machine.
I mean, give me a break, how many different versions of Spider-man can there be? I guess the writer’s were hoping that if they made him a snarky teenager chocked full of quips we would forget the fact that Tobey Maguire and that other guy (whatever his name was) weren’t playing Spider-man.
For those of you who sat through this horrendously lengthy superhero flick, you’re probably kind of wishing you could get a refund on your 2-hours and 17-minutes. The whole premise is that Captain America, the super soldier – has a full-on man crush for his good buddy, Bucky (aka Winter Soldier), who has been trying to punch his way through the series for the better part of 2 films. The Winter Soldier gets framed for blowing up the UN – and in comes the Black Panther who tries to avenge the loss of his father, the King of Wakanda. Meanwhile, Iron-man is trying to avenge the loss of his mother, and Captain America is just trying to keep his first mate out of trouble.
The bottom line is, if you’ve already seen it – you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you might want to hit the sauce before the movie starts (see page 10 for help with that).
X-Men’s Apocalypse Worth A Watch
Like the Avengers, this series pretty much suffers the exact same routine. Unlike the Avengers though, the X-Men franchise began 16-years ago and shot itself in the arm when it ran out of timeline. If the movie X-Men “The Last Stand” (2006) was really the last stand, the cronies had to drum up more moola by going back in time. George Lucas, is that you?
Apocalypse begins in the early 1980’s, after both the Cuban Missile Crisis in X-Men “First Class,” and the sentinel destroyers in X-Men “Days of Future Past.” This time the first mutant, “Apocalypse” awakens from his near death slumber to wreak havoc on the world. You realize pretty early on that he’s action packed with powers, but if that’s the case the movie should have ended in about 7-minutes.
With different actors playing young or old versions of the same characters, the entire X-Men storyline becomes convoluted. Imagine if they cast Justin Timberlake as a young Wolverine, that sort of thing. In fact, the only exception to this franchise has been Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, who makes a brief yet bloody cameo in Apocalypse.
For all its CGI wizardry, Apocalypse did one thing incredibly well – the character Quicksilver, the son of Magneto, pulls off a pretty slick slow-motion scene that took nearly a month to shoot. If you don’t get a chuckle out this sequence, nothing else in the movie will matter. In the hidden scene that appears at the end of the credits, you get a hint of what’s to come next time: Mr. Sinister, another super-duper bad guy – which should signal the end of the X-Men ultra big budget flicks until they find another timeline to piggy back off of.
When in doubt, go watch Deadpool, Marvel’s 2015 hit. At least it was R-rated, gory, and raunchy. So what’s next? The Avengers vs. The X-Men? Let’s just blow it all up already. Any takers?