I have just returned from a screening of X Men Apocalypse with my son. I mean I went with my son as opposed to my son being in it - unlike my friend Dominic Holland whose son WILL be in the next Spiderman film! My son has a lot of work to do....
I love Superhero films. I remember my grandmother taking me to see the first ever Spiderman film in 1977 (I know, I look younger than I am...) It was awful, and I loved every minute. However a year later the best Superhero film ever was made. Superman. Who didn't leave the cinema believing a man could fly? Yes it had flaws - Lois Lane's awful voice over piece, the going-back-in-time bit - but it was still incredible. Vibrant, exciting and fun. Yes fun. A word that seems to have been dropped by script writers on some of the current films.
Saying that, the film I saw prior to X Men Apocalypse was the wonderful Captain America Civil War. They got that just right. Marvel has proven time and time again that they know how to make a good superhero film; from the Tobey Maguire Spiderman films (just 1 and 2, let's forget 3 ever happened) the Captain America films, Thor (just the first one) The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy etc. They just know how to do it and know how to appeal to all ages.
But X Men Apocalypse got it wrong. This is not a film for all ages. This film is a 12A which should be a 15. It's violent, it has bad language and it's dark. Yes 'dark', the new 'fun'.
In this film, characters can't decide if they are good or bad and by the end, no one cares. Apocalypse himself looks ridiculous, as if he has badly made his own cosplay outfit by using images of Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. And, this incredible mutant, learns English in the same way as Daryl Hannah did in Splash!
Michael Fassbender, who was so good in the previous films looks embarrassed. As he should be. He is given some awful lines and a pointless story arc. At one point in the film - spoiler alert - Magneto destroys Auschwitz. yes, you read that correctly. It made no sense and was actually pretty insulting. The message seemed to be "Let's put that behind us start afresh" Surely that wasn't meant to be the point?
As I said, dark.
The recent Superman Vs Batman: Dawn Of Justice film was also dark. Dark and boring. I didn't hate that film I just found it pointless. Again no fun, again no real plot and a fight scene that ended only because both the protaganist's mothers had the same name!!
Next time countries are about go to war, let's ask the leaders for their mother's names and we could stop it before it starts.
So, talking about stopping, please, please producers/writers/directors stop making these films so dark. Bring the fun back. Let children enjoy them. You have the great power to make these films and we all know what comes with great power.....
Just let hero films be super again.