From X-Men to Wonderland….was it memorial? Memorial Day is an important day to remember our Veterans and troops that protect us. So for many Americans, we get the day off. One of the luxuries is that Hollywood opens up the summer blockbusters during Memorial Day Weekend. How did these two blockbuster movies do?
Bryan Singer who has directed the bulk of the X-men movies continues the prequel movies of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. After defeating the sentinals in the prior film, Xavier has overcome his depressive ways from the prior film and has his school up and running again. Magneto is living in Poland under a different name with a wife and a daughter. Raven is on a mission to save captured mutants, when Moira Mactaggart, Xavier’s old crush ends up finding the buried place of Apocalypse. Apocalypse is one of the first mutants that can transfer to different bodies to maintain alive. Maggie accidently allowed the sunlight to wake up Apocalypse from the thousand’s of years asleep.
While Apocalypse is regaining his strength and confused how much the world had changed, he felt like he needed to cleanse the earth, and to do so, he needs his four horsemen.
It was great to see the storyline of Magneto. Michael Fassbender really made Magneto into a character one can feel for. The origin story of Scott and Jean Grey also did justice, and made the movie tolerable while watching.
What didn’t Work:
First off, as a critic, I look at two aspects in a film. The first thing I look at is the quality and the second aspect I look at is the entertaining value. This X-Men film felt like it missed the mark on both aspects. I was disappointed with the enemy Apocalypse. He is suppose to be so lethal as Thanos in the Avengers storylines, and it seem like Apocalypse played by Oscar Isaac (which surprised me because he is an excellent actor) acted as if he is an old man that could only read the history through TV and enhance other mutants powers. Since it was the era of the 80’s, I hope he wasn’t getting all his info from MTV and the Simpsons…though The Simpsons were pretty acruate…back on topic, Apocalypse was almost like a parasite that drains everything around him. He didn’t seem threatening and unbeatable, but more like an annoy tic. It also seemed like Raven/Mystique became a super hero and a leader to revolt against Apocalypse which seemed uncharacteristic of her role in X-Men and felt like I was watching Hunger Games rather than X-Men. The movie was a light hearted script at times and really didn’t mesh the script with the characters in the film as great as the prior two that Singer has come out with in the past.
Jean Grey said it right in this film “The third film in is usually the worse.” This third prequel was a complete dud. It was really great at times, and really stunk all around it. That is why I give it 2 Stars.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice returns from her adventures across the world. Traveling in for father’s ship, she had aventures like escaping Pirates and discovering different cultures. She comes back to England and finds that her partner had died and his son Hamish who she rejected to marry in the prior film has taken over the family business. He had persuaded Alice’s mother to sell there shares of the business to him and also the deed of the house. By this, Hamish tried to force Alice to sign over the ship to save her mothers home.
At the same time that Alice returns to England, she also found the portal back to Wonderland. Absalom brought her back as the Mad Hatter because he is sick and the whole group is worried about him. Alice visits the Mad Hatter and finds out that he believes his family is stil alive. Alice like the Wonderland group doesn’t believe him either. Alice realizes if she doesn’t find a way to get his family back to him, then he will die. By saving him, she has to visit Time (who is an actual being) and figure how to go back in time to save his family (what a tongue twister)!
The first thing I liked was the moral of the story. The movie talks how the family unit is important. It also talks about telling the truth, or making up for our mistakes in the past. It is good to see a movie with a positive message for the viewers. It feels like we are missing that in a lot of films today. The other thing that worked was the beautifully creative imagination that surrounded the film for the most part.
What didn’t Work:
When Director Tim Burton did the first Alice and Wonderland, he brought the story to life and knocked it out of the park. James Bobin who directing ‘Through the Looking Glass’ felt like he pushed the creativity to hard, and at the same time felt like portions of Neverland looked like London? Also why would no one believe the hatter’s story before? He thought they were dead, but when he tells them they aren’t, they just don’t believe him. IT’S WONDERLAND! The possible of impossibility is in there gene pool! It just felt like a story was forced to be made with no real importance. In other words, the storyline was so far fetch that this would happen now about the Hatter, it felt like a story just to make a movie. The only other thing is that Time is dependent on a magical ball, and the Red Queen is free to rule her own area? C’mon! Really!
If it wasn’t for many of the contradictions in this film compared to the prior film, and a storyline that seems pointless for the most part, the moral of the story was great, and the illusions were creative, it fell short and dragged. I give it 1 ½ stars.
I just hope that we don’t see a trend with the blockbusters to follow this summer. However both movies struck out doesn’t mean that these franchises are over. I hope they continue on because they still have potential. Like the summer movies, give them a chance, and hopefully we will have great films to come.