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I just decided: I’m probably not going to see X-Men: Apocalypse. Not in an, “I’ll never watch that dreck,” sort of way. I have, after all, seen all three of the four Transformers films, and we knew what that was after the first one. But not in theaters.

There wasn’t a guarantee I was going to, but here’s the sentence that sealed it: “Here is a movie that gets the details right while getting the big stuff — pacing, emotional investment, dialogue — largely wrong.” (via NPR)

I’m tired of big budget blockbuster films getting made with shitty scripts. I’m a semiprofessional story development professional, and while telling a good story is definitely a hard thing to do, having basic structure, plot development, character arcs, and decent dialogue shouldn’t be the nigh-impossible ask that it seems to be with summer blockbusters, especially of the superhero variety. And Bryan Singer, who directed Apocalypse, has made good X-Men movies! But apparently this ain’t one.

So I’m opting out. I’m not going to pay a studio money just to see characters I like on the big screen. I’m not going to pay them to indulge my superhero fantasies if they’re going to do a lousy job of it. To be honest, I’m hardly holding on with some of the MCU, because in most of their movies there’s a distinct formula that only a few are allowed to buck.

Don’t suppose it’s just that I can’t sit through a mediocre movie, either. I reviewed films professionally for nearly two years, on top of a lot of other work developing scripts. I’ve seen some truly abysmal movies, and some truly abysmal examples of plot, dialogue, and characterization, and I’ve (if I can say it about myself) often found constructive channels for that criticism.

But being part of the conversation what might have saved Apocalypse just isn’t interesting enough to me to go spend $15 and two hours.

I’ll wait ’til it hits any number of streaming services. Maybe I’ll have a look at it and give a few thoughts on what could have made it better then.

(And in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the creativity of their marketing campaign.)

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