TL;DR – Ok straight off the bat this is not as good as the last two, but it is still a pretty good outing for the X-Men, and leagues ahead of the Last Stand
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. there is a post credit scene
So here we are with the six main film in the X-Men franchise, we’ve had one franchise killer, we’ve had one reboot, and a resurgence, so can Apocalypse continue the strong trend of First Class and Days of Future Past? Well no. Now I’m not saying it is a bad film or indeed that it is pulling a Spectre, for indeed it is quite good, it is just not quite as good as its predecessors.
So it has been 10 years since the Days of Future Past, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) has finally set up his School for good this time with Hank (Nicholas Hoult), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has been hiding out in communist Poland settling down with a family, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is now on a one-woman mission to free Mutants in trouble, oh and the most powerful mutant in history Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is about to be woken up to reign destruction down on all, thanks, Moira (Rose Byrne).
This is a good film because so much of it just works, we have the return of some familiar, if younger, characters with Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), indeed Nightcrawler is a standout thought the film. There are some really good action sequences, with the opening montage in Ancient Egypt being maybe the best mutant sequence we have seen in the entire franchise. Also every time Quicksilver (Evan Peters) is on the screen you know it is going to be good. Most of the CGI is quite good with particle effects that would have been impossible to do not that long ago. This is one of the stronger performances I have seen of Michael Fassbender, both he and James McAvoy get the characters of Professor X and Magneto, and it really helps sell their motivations. There were some interesting new characters, it was good to see a more international focus for the film, with most of it happening outside of the USA, and if you think I am going to give you bonus points for using Jubilee’s (Lana Condor) classic costume from the animated TV series, then you were correct.
However, while this is a good film, there a number of things that stop it from being a great film. Something felt a bit off with Mystique and Beast’s prosthetics, they looked a bit faker than the last movies, it’s really a bit odd. Also, and maybe this is more superhero fatigue in me than just this movie, but I am getting tired of the destruction porn. This is the way many movies in this general almost fetishize the destruction of buildings and cities. It might just be the leftover annoyance of Batman v Superman or indeed maybe the fact that Civil War showed you can do a superhero film without ripping a city to pieces. I only bring this up because the film really glosses over the about of deaths that would be happening, like all those buildings were just empty shells, I would say the death toll would be in the millions for this film. Also, Apocalypse just does not work as a bad guy for me in this film, he was completely lacking any charisma or presence. Look I know Oscar Isaac can do charisma and presence, see Star Wars, and I don’t know if it was the direction or the prosthetics that let him down, but it was a good thing he was surrounded by other more interesting characters like Psylocke (Olivia Munn). Also, we all like Stan Lee Cameos, but this one was really off-putting, as it really messed with the tone of the scene. Finally, AND MAJOR SPOILER WARNING, the reveal of WX should have been the best part of the entire film, but he looked so stupid in that fake plastic looking headpiece that it undercut all the badassness of the sequence, seriously what were they thinking, it looked like it was a plastic toy from the 70s, also the big bad’s plan made no sense what so ever.
So, in the end, do I recommend X-Men Apocalypse, yes, I think there is enough of a good film there that you will enjoy yourself, but what it does not do is hold up with the best of the franchise, X-Men 2, Days of Future Past and Deadpool. But that being said, I am still very interested to see where they go from here because they are catching up to X-Men 1 in the timeline.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed by – Bryan Singer
Screenplay by – Simon Kinberg
Story by – Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris & Simon Kinberg
Based on – X-Men by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Starring – James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Munn, Evan Peters, Alexandra Shipp, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Josh Helman & Hugh Jackman
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: 14A; Ireland: 12A; NZ: M; UK: 12a, USA: PG-13