This weekend my wife and I went out to see X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).
I don't think it was as bad as the low Rotten Tomatoes score, although I understand some of the gripes about a lot of killing at a whim and a scene at Auschwitz that just doesn't work. I imagine the director had a great speech he gave to investors and actors to make the scene seem like it would land with poignancy and character development while being respectful of history, but those sentiments didn't make it on the screen.
It's certainly not a problematic movie like X-Men 3 but it did have one of the little issues superhero movies have had lately. Luckily, it is not one of the issues that ruins a movie, but seriously, the movie has the world "Apocalypse" in the title and a character says an apocalypse is coming but the character is never use by that name. This has been an issue in a few other movies lately like "Robin" in the Dark Knight Rises, or "Vision" in Age of Ultron. There seems to be a fear of using characters comic book names, which might come from the awkwardness of code names used in X-Men First Class where characters sit around a table thinking of names for themselves. It's starting to swing the other way and it's a little awkward when they go out of their way not to use their comic names.
Aside from these things, this was a good X-Men movie that falls just behind many of the MCU movies. Batman v. Superman was an okay movie, but Apocalypse is quite a bit better in the competition of high expectation, bad review super hero movies. I believe the line between good and bad superhero movies is probably Man of Steel. It's good quality, good special effects, a bit of a story but not one that's overly engaging and the characters sink the movie while the destruction doesn't seem to have any consequences. It's not the worst superhero movie but it just isn't good.
On the other side of Man of Steel for bad but almost good are Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 2 as they both felt like they needed just a little more to be good (and on a good day Iron Man 2 can feel like a not bad movie to me). Additionally, the first movie that's good but was on the verge of bad would be Captain America: The First Avenger, or The Dark Knight Rises. The worst superhero movies probably lead The Hulk, or include The Thing, and the best is a matter of greater debate. Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's The Avengers, or maybe Big Hero 6 could land as the best but there are a whole of great super hero movies from just the last ten years.
In the MCU+, this movie lands chronologically after X-Men Origins: Wolverine and before Iron Man. That is pretty much decided by whether Wolverine has metal claws or bone claws, then there is a rather large gap, currently, in the MCU+ chronology until the first current day Marvel movie of the MCU+. And there is more to come. Sadly there is just one more Marvel movie on tap for the year. Please join me in a moment of silence until the next blog post...