Wednesday, June 1, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

It's a little late, but oh well. Critics generally aren't happy with it, fans seem to like it, so what's the deal with this film? Is it good? Bad? Somewhere in the middle? Everyone seems to have a different opinion on Bryan Singer's fourth X-Men film, so here's mine. Click on to find out.

Set ten years after the events of Days of Future Past, (Well, the past half of the Future Past) an ancient evil has returned to destroy humanity in order to allow mutants to rule the Earth. He has four followers that are ready to serve him, and the only thing that can stop him is the X-Men.

So, I like that plot quite a bit. The stakes are enormous in this film, and though you don't always feel that, it's still true. This is accented by the really entertaining action sequences. Bryan Singer is a director who knows how to handle action extremely well, and this film is no exception. He can handle a lot of moving parts really well, for sure.

The performances were also exceptional. Especially Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse. He was incredible as the character, and he continues to prove himself as a great actor. Everyone was great, though. I don't think there were any that stood out to me as poor, even if some simply didn't have enough time to shine.

Another thing I really liked about this film was the characters. They're all interesting and well developed. And one thing I really loved was that I completely understood every character's motivations and why they were on the side they were on. I feel that the best comic book films do that, and this one did that quite well. I'd like to take this chance to talk about a few of those characters.

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) almost steals the show a few times. The guy's a fantastic actor, and the character really is compelling. I loved pretty much every moment he was on screen, and he had many of the best moments of the film for sure.

Next up is Magneto (Michael Fassbender). And wow. What a performance. Erik just wants to get out of the controversy, but he ends up kind of getting pulled back in. And all of this is extremely heartfelt and compelling. He's conflicted and he's broken, and he's quite dangerous. And I really appreciated the depth of his character.

One of my favorite parts of the film was Cyclops and Jean Gray. I've never really been a Cyclops fan in the comics, but this film made me like him. I also really liked the way his origin was told, and it felt very natural and interesting. I also loved seeing the beginnings of his relationship with Jean and the way they interacted. Jean was also great. Sophie Turner gave a great performance, and I'm really excited to see where her character goes in future films.

Most characters were great, though. I liked Moira quite a bit, but I must admit I liked her more in First Class. Evan Peters was once again great in the role of Quicksilver, Nightcrawler was a ton of fun, and Beast was more like the Beast from the comics. Which I really appreciated.

Mystique was... there. One thing that really bothered me about the trailers was that she seemed to be leading the X-Men. I mean... why is Mystique leading the X-Men? Because she's Jennifer Lawrence? To be honest, it's not so bad. She mostly just kinda helps out, but her performance felt fairly phoned in to me. I'm pretty sure she doesn't really want to be there either.

Apocalypse' horsemen didn't get a lot of time, really. So while Alexandra Shipp gave a wonderful performance as Storm, we didn't get to spend very much time with her character. Again, I'm looking forward to where we go with her.

Apocalypse himself is a bit of a mixed bag, honestly. Isaac gives a fantastic performance for sure, and he looks great, but while they build him up to be a really intimidating villain, that sort of falls apart in the third act, where he never really seems to live up to his potential. People seem to be thinking he's cliche, but I think people saying that are missing the point of Apocalypse. He's the ultimate cliche villain, and always has been. Especially in the comics. He wants to destroy the world because he feels it's his right. Not because of some tragic backstory that makes you feel for him. He's definitely not supposed to be relatable.

Probably the biggest problem with the film is that it feels somewhat disjointed. It has a lot of moving parts, and they don't really come together like they should, leaving it less than cohesive. It's ultimately a lot of really great things in a pretty good movie. Several times something would happen that made me say "I want to see THAT movie." But this one never fully lived up to the potential of many of those moments.

I guess that kind of sums up X-Men: Apocalypse. A lot of impressive things that never seem to live up to their potential. It wastes some characters, has a mediocre villain, and a plot that's pretty disjointed. Still, though, the characters and their motivations really help to ground the film and make it quite enjoyable. And, of course, the action sequences are what we've come to expect. Singer knows how to direct X-Men action.

Final Score: 3.5/5

So that's it. There are quite a few spoilers to discuss, so look for my spoiler review to come very soon. For now, let me know what you thought of the movie down in the comments, and I'll see you next time here at

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