2/10 As a longtime fan of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men” franchise that spanned 20 years, it hurts to see that the very last movie in the franchise will be their worst one. Makes me wish that “Logan” would have been the final film of the franchise. I believe the X-Men are now in good hands with Marvel but it is going to take a lot to wash the taste of this out of my mouth. There are two big problems with this steaming pile of garbage. The first is the script and the second is all of the behind the scenes drama that took place. Regarding the script, the issue is that these characters are all bad. Not a single one of them is developed (we get to hear them all at various points tell one story of who they hurt and that’s all the development on them we get), no one has a character arc where we see them grow or change, cheesy lines are abundant, there are so many lapses in logic involving the plot, etc. The characters are either total jerks or if they are nice, we still never get to know them enough to give a damn about them. When I think about the X-Men characters from all of the other films they are extremely memorable and enjoyable. These teenagers feel like they are out of an MTV soap opera, which makes the casting of Henry Zaga (a walking Abercrombie & Fitch model void of any personality) make sense. There are talented actors in this movie but none of them give solid performances (probably hard to act well when the script is used toilet paper) and several of them have very questionable accents. The majority of films in the franchise come in at over two hours long. At one hour and 38 minutes long, this movie is by far the shortest, leaving virtually no time for anything to be developed. A lesbian relationship that would have been developed could have been something special but since it has no development, it feels extremely forced in and unnecessary to the plot. A platonic friendship would have worked better with the time constraints that the movie has. As for the behind the scenes drama, co-writer and director Josh Boone wanted a film that was half horror and half John Hughes. The movie is 90% horror so when we get that 10% John Hughes, happy-go-lucky montage, it feels so out of place. The shift in tone from horror to sappy teen partying back to horror is extremely jarring and clunky. The henchmen in the movie look like they were rejected video game characters from “Silent Hill”. Speaking of video games, the battle at the finale felt like a boss fight from a PS2 game. I had absolutely no emotional connection to this movie. A character loses their father at the beginning of the movie but we don’t care because we know nothing about him or their relationship. So many things don’t make sense. Who funds this prison? Why is only one person running the entire facility? In one scene Anya-Taylor Joy’s character just randomly has a spray paint can but where did she get it? In another scene we get a throwaway line that she spiked Alice Braga’s character’s drink so she is asleep. How the Hell did Joy get access to some kind of roofie? When she gets attacked, she doesn’t use any of her powers to fight back until much later, which felt very out of character for her to not fight back, despite being full of fear. The score is completely forgettable and most of the special effects did not look good. There are too many problems to list off before this review turns into a novel. The only mild positives were that the suffering doesn’t last long since the movie is short and well-paced. A few of the visuals work and the idea of bringing horror to an “X-Men” movie is an intriguing one. Chalk it up to studio meddling, Josh Boone making poor decisions or both. Any way you slice it, if you are eager to return to cinemas, like “Unhinged”, this is not the movie you want to go back for.
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