Review of X-Men: Apocalypse

xmenapocalpse

X-Men: Apocalypse is a superhero period piece set in the early eighties. Sounds like a dream come true if you are a mid-thirties comic book geek. Not only does the film feature an abundance of Marvel characters, but you also get a slew of nostalgic references such as Pac-Man and Knight Rider playing on the telly. Taking place several years after Days of Future Past, we get to see how Charles Xavier has converted his mansion home into a school that tutors young mutants. Meanwhile his old pal Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) is lying low in Poland, hoping to avoid retribution for his past misdeeds. Unfortunately for Magneto his hopes of starting a new life are wrecked when the police murder his wife and daughter. Convinced once again that mutants and humans cannot live in peace he joins forces with a group who are plotting to unleash an apocalypse upon mankind.

OVERVIEW

For those of you not acquainted with Marvel comic lore, Apocalypse is the super-villain name of En Sabah Nur – the world’s first mutant. Although the history books won’t tell you this, he ruled ancient Egypt until his followers rebelled and locked him away in a tomb. After a lengthy slumber (even longer than my naps after a wild Friday night) he awakens in the 1980s. Motivated to reclaim his throne, Apocalypse plans to cause a massive natural disaster that will eradicate most life on Earth. From the ashes he can then rebuild his kingdom using any survivors who swear allegiance to him. Apocalypse recruits four horsemen to aid him with his endeavour, whose ranks include Erik the master of magnetism, Storm who can control the weather, a flying pit-fighter named Angel and sexy psychic ninja Psylocke.

20th Century Fox do not own the Avengers rights so it falls on the X-Men to save Earth from peril. The team includes some familiar faces including furry genius Beast. Mystique also returns to help her former rivals against a common foe. A bored looking Jennifer Lawrence plays the character. Jen, if you feel action flicks are beneath you please piss off. You aren’t all that great and Rebecca Romijn looked far hotter in the blue makeup. Anyways, complimenting the old guard are some new fledgling X-Men who I presume are being groomed to front future films. The trio of heroes in training consist of Havoc’s brother Cyclops, German teleporter Nightcrawler and redhead telepath Jean Grey. All of them fear the powers they have been born with, but will need to embrace those gifts if they are to protect the world.

VERDICT

My rating for X-Men: Apocalypse is three and a half stars. Overall it was much better than the reviews I have read suggested. X-Men: Apocalypse may not be a top tier superhero film, but it’s far superior to X3: The Last Stand. I liked how menacing Apocalypse is. Despite being powerful enough to defeat the X-Men singlehandedly, he prefers instead to coerce others to do his bidding. Sadly positioning Apocalypse as chief antagonist relegates Magneto to the role of lackey. A bit of a waste, as Michael Fassbender’s take on the character is superb. Fox Studios should resurrect the idea of giving Magneto his own solo film. He’d make for a more compelling anti-hero than the overexposed Wolverine. If you can’t get enough of Hugh Jackman don’t worry though because he makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in one scene.

X-Men: Apocalypse’s biggest fault would have to be that it falls into the trap of throwing too many characters into the mix. The end result is insufficient time to develop any of the new faces, even if the film runs for over two hours. I personally think X-Men works best when you focus on a core group and their relationships with each other. Spectacular visuals do however disguise the lack of depth. For the second successive film Quicksilver steals the show with a fleet of foot rescue. The sequence where he dashes into a burning building is worth the price of admission alone. Bryan Singer has done a commendable job adapting X-Men for the big screen. Even if the movies aren’t flawless they handle the source material better than Fantastic Four’s live action efforts. Someone should sue the filmmakers for false advertising. The 2015 FF was anything but fantastic.

22 thoughts on “Review of X-Men: Apocalypse

    • A problem the old X-Men movies suffered from is that they packed The Last Stand with tons of characters and wasted them all. For me Apocalypse gets away with having a big cast, but next time I hope they just stick with following the new youngsters they introduced in this film.

  1. I too enjoyed the movie and initially said it was as good as Days of Future Past. I can see now it’s not BUT it’s still a pretty good X-Men movie. Hopefully next time the new Angel and Psylocke will get more material to work with besides “cool misled underlings of the big bad”.

    • They nailed the look of Psylocke and Angel, but weren’t on point when it came to their personalities. I’ll forgive their lack of screen time if this film was just an introduction so they can flesh out the characters more in follow up flicks.

      • I’m sure they’ll get more to do next time should the Dark Phoenix Saga be the focus. That or Mister Sinister will be the big bad.

  2. I didn’t see this, but I’m happy to hear that someone else is kind of annoyed by Jennifer Lawrence. Seems overrated to me. I also think I’d have a hard time watching Jean Gray in this movie and not seeing Sansa Stark (maybe that’s not fair, but when the whole world knows you for your work in one really popular show that’s just how it is, I guess.)

  3. That annoys me that J-Law doesn’t do Mystique’s character justice. Hunger Games made ma fan, but then other things (like seeing a glimpse of how she is in real life) lessened that fervor. Totally agree with you. If she’s legitimately bored, she needs to do something else. Nothing irks me more than hearing that. Something similar happened with the actor who replaced the late, great Richard Harris as Dumbledore. He literally admitted to just saying his lines, because he didn’t care about the character, thus proving what many of us suspected grrrr.

      • I couldn’t agree more. At the very least do your job properly! I think comparatively about Dame Maggie Smith who was fighting cancer during the making of the movies. She was going through treatments and was in extreme pain, but she played Prof. McGonagall beautifully (I also love her as the dowager countess on Downton Abbey). This is obviously not to put down anyone who has cancer and can’t do that, because I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to, but she was sick and did her job even better than someone who couldn’t claim that and who blatantly said he just didn’t care. That pisses me off so much.

      • I can get that Jennifer Lawrence is only doing these films because she signed a contract before the Hunger Games made her a big name, but still, if you’re going to do something, you do it well, and you put yourself into it. The distance she maintains here just highlights a lack of professionalism.

  4. Man, that image preview or whatever you call it on the video. Why are you glaring and yelling at me?! Is it because I haven’t seen the movie? Click the video? Just stop giving me that look!

  5. Glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t bought into the J-Law hype. She was good in “Winter’s Bone” and I thought she had tremendous promise but then she got famous and disappeared up her own arse while Hollywood held it open for her.

    I’m actively boycotting her films ever since she won the 2012 Best Actress Oscar over Emmanuelle Riva for “Armor” so I won’t watch this film anyway, but I agree with your assessment that Rebecca Romijn was a better Mystique. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • I don’t like her after seeing how arrogant and rude she can be during interviews. My disdain isn’t enough to boycott Lawrence’s films though, because that would in effect be punishing everyone else who worked on the movie.

  6. Nice review man and I agree with your rating. The movie wasn’t as bad as the critics made it out to be and there were some great moments from quicksilver to some of the intense scenes with magneto.

    I had hoped it would surpass days of future past but that’s tough to do future past really was excellent.

    The question I”m wondering is what are they going to do with the young main x men they introduced.

    Also I wanted to know what was feelings about them using the Phoenix force to defeat apocalypse or at least show a bit of its power?

    Do you think it was a good idea for apocalypse to get killed?

    Personally I think they should hav done mr. sinister for the third movie then apocalypse it would have been a good lead in into the apocalsypse movie. I just hope the Phoenix forc isn’t the next movie if they do another with the main cast. They should learn from last stand. They need to build that storyline out through a couple more movies but that’s just my take.

    • I presume the young X-Men they introduced will replace the old guard either due to age or because certain actors won’t want to reprise their roles in future films.

      Apocalypse is so powerful that it makes sense that a Phoenix level character would be needed to bring him down. I am not a fan of villains getting killed off, but it happens in a ton of movies (whether they are made by Fox, Warner Bros or Marvel.)

      I personally hope they don’t do Dark Phoenix in the next film. They already did Phoenix in The Last Stand (even if they butchered it) so I would rather they adapt a different comic story. Mr Sinister would be cool, although I believe he is being saved for Logan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s