In case you guys have been wondering what I’ve been doing, well, my timetable repeatedly failed to match with my family’s when it came to viewing both cuts of the film. That being said, I did finally get around to watching the movie’s “Rogue Cut” the day before I started writing this post (I’m beginning the writing of this post on Sunday the 9th of June), and I now have no excuse to postpone it any longer. So, let’s get to it.
Before I get to the creative differences between cuts, here’s what I think of the film as a whole: It’s the best “X-Men” movie yet. The story’s stakes are off the charts, keeping you constantly on the edge of your seat, and the emotional subtext and characterization are some of the series’ best. True, some characters struggle to gain an identity, but ultimately, there’s more than enough here to keep you both excited and engaged to your fullest potential as an audience member. It’s a harrowing time at the movies, but there’s enough substance at hand to make it feel worth it beyond a cheap thrill.
Story Grade: 98% (A+)
As I said before, some characters struggle to gain an identity, even major ones like Kitty, but when push came to shove, this creative team made all the right sacrifices of who to include prominently and who not to, to the point that even Storm, as poorly implemented as she is into the movie as a whole, comes full circle as a character as her time in the apocalyptic future rears its ugly head. This was a great way to send Halle Berry’s time in the role off. And who they did choose to include prominently never waste the audience’s time, with all of them feeling well-utilized and all of them getting a chance for glory and/or our sympathy. I honestly don’t know what else to say about it, except “It’s absolutely brilliant.”
Characterization Grade: 95% (A)
Script Grade: 95% (A)
Direction Grade: 95% (A)
They’re all excellent. However, I’m still going to dock eight points for Halle Berry. (Singer, what’chu on?)
Acting Grade: 92% (A-)
There’s almost too many good things to count about this area, so I’ll just grade it.
Action Grade: 100% (A+)
Again, it’s got story stakes off the charts, rich emotional subtext and excellently staged action. What more can I say? (Wait until the final thoughts to get angry.)
Execution Grade: 98% (A+)
This film easily stands up as a film in and of itself the best of all films in the series. And it went a long way in making it feel like the less-than-stellar plot developments of “The Last Stand” were worth wading through. Just make sure you see at least “First Class” before you see this one, as a lot of the film does rely on knowledge of previous events in that film.
Honestly, though, I can’t decide which cut of the film I prefer, but I will say that both cuts have something in them that makes it seem like they should be the one you see first when you see the movie as a solo entity. The Rogue Cut has a scene that I think should’ve been in the theatrical cut between Hank and Raven, while the theatrical cut has a much more focused story. As much as I applaud Rogue’s presence in the film in some way, she barely does a thing within the context of this movie’s story besides getting rescued and taking over for Kitty. (Also, how is Kitty still alive when the Sentinels infiltrate the base? Shouldn’t she have bled out by then?) But ultimately, color me the most impressed I’ve ever been from any film in this series and I can’t recommend the movie enough.
Final Grade: 96% (A)
I humbly apologize for not seeing all the films on schedule, but I’m finally seeing “Apocalypse” today, so I’ll post a review tomorrow. Till then!