Film Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

| May 21, 2016

All Images: 20th Century Fox

Words by Ryan Grice

Director: Bryan Singer
Simon Kinberg & Bryan Singer
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac and Rose Byrne
En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse), the world’s first mutant, comes out of a 3000+ year hibernation to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting earth and it’s up to the un-unified X-Men, young and old, to stop him and his four horsemen.

THE original X-Men trilogy had come and gone by 2006 making it one of, if not the first major comic book film franchise, and as such it can be forgiven for being relatively average. But after the release of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2005 and 2008, there really was no excuse any more. So why is it that we still have never had a decent X-Men film?

High-profile actors and many excellent characters have featured in the now eight film(semi-discontinuous) arc, but none of it has been enough to outweigh poor writing, out-dated stunt work, and bad-looking CGI. The first 15-20 minutes of this film is where it shines; Apocalypse’s origin(ish), followed by delicate and interesting portraits of each character from Days of Future Past painted in a sort of ‘where are they now’ style that feels necessary due to the 10-year gap in the story and the fact that the previous film ended in the future rather than the present of this storyline (confused yet?). Of course you’re not allowed to question the fact that the previous film came out two years ago but all of the characters are apparently 10 years older now.

Magneto’s arc feels wholly disingenuous in a constant back and forth of hating the world and being a man of morals that we have seen in every X-Men movie, and is a gross waste of Michael Fassbender’s talent. Thankfully the same cannot be said of James McAvoy, though his romance with Rose Byrne’s Moira Mactaggert feels a little vague for all but the most dedicated fans as the viewer is required to recall details of a loose romance from five years ago.

The supporting cast is HUGE, but all manage to find some way to disappoint whether it be due to digression from the source material or a complete lack of depth and purpose. Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse has an introduction that is engaging, but the intrigue of the character pretty much ends there. His presence over the succeeding two hours, even when on-screen, is so minimal that the role could almost have been played by anyone. Again this is a gross waste of talent. It seems absurd to mention, but is it worth questioning the film’s PG13/M15 rating and whether this affected Isaac’s ability to flesh out the evil of the character? And why do three of his horsemen get fancy uniforms but Olivia Munn’s Psylocke is de-clothed to a point of overt objectification?

The story mostly feels disjointed with plot points that fail to make the impact they are obviously supposed to and there are several elements that are clearly just a set-up for future sequels. Just like the unfortunate Batman V Superman, too much is crammed into a single outing and there is a weird mixture of origin story and reboot occurring simultaneously that seems to make little sense. There are a number of other issues with the film that won’t be outlined here due to their spoiler-heavy nature, but one can suffice to say that this isn’t a “terrible” way to spend two hours, but even with the highest of optimism, don’t expect much. The first post-credit scene is mildly exciting.

MM: 5/10 OR Time for a reboot, Fox. (A real one)

Watch the official trailer:

Official poster:

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Category: FEATURED, FILM, Uncategorized

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