Superhero movie number four for 2016 and still two to go. It’s getting a bit much, don’t you think? —said no one ever.
Life seems to have improved for our merry band of mutants; Charles’ school is flourishing, Eric has settled down and Raven is considered a hero amongst mutants. But when an ancient and seemingly all-powerful mutant wakes up after a millennia-long powernap, shit goes south, fast. Dubbed as Apocalypse, our blue-gray-purple friend is displeased with the current state of the world. Thus he sets out to recruit his four Horsemen and bring about a new world order.
Where Marvel is considered too childish and DC too somber, the “new” X-men franchise found the perfect middle ground. In the last two X-Men movies, Fox was able to handle intricate and relatable themes, but in a way that was fun to watch. It’s what set them apart from the competition —before Civil War that is— and they went for the same approach in their latest entry, Apocalypse.
There is lots to love in this movie. The solid groundwork from previous films provide the perfect stage for antagonist Apocalypse. Fassbender and McAvoy still have the greatest chemistry in the genre; and new entries Cyclops, Dark Phoenix and Nightcrawler show great potential for future installments. It’s audacious in its scale and further improves on the already excellent X-Men universe.
Despite having some comedy bits that would go extremely well with some wine, the movie does have some genuinely funny moments. Overall, the cast works great together and succeeds in making the characters feel familiar. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be friends with a mind-reading Stark, a teleporting smurf and a staring contest champion.
Unfortunately this is yet another case where less would have been more. In its attempt to juggle several storylines while setting up future movies, X-Men: Apocalypse skips the basics. The characters are driven by motivations that are less believable than my New Year’s resolutions, which lasted about twenty minutes. Especially Apocalypse and his Horsemen, who are incredibly underwhelming as the main villains. The entire conflict in this film relies more on their CGI rampage—and Jennifer Lawrence—than it does on the tension between humans and mutants, which has been building for decennia.
And then there’s The Flas—I mean Quicksilver, a character that turned into an instant fan-favorite after just one scene in Days of Future Past. Logically he was given some extra screen time in the sequel. And as it goes with everything popular, Fox outplays its hand and gives the silver Roadrunner one scene too many. Talking about popular characters, how do you ruin the most iconic villain/anti-hero in the X-Men universe? Give him yet another sob story, which he didn’t need, put him in the spotlight and then just shrug it all off at the end like nothing happened.
In the end, director Bryan Singer wasn’t able to follow in his own footsteps after the formidable Days of Future Past. He delivers an overstuffed movie with poorly developed characters. And obviously my intro was a hoax because superhero fatigue looms heavily over this movie. Though it’s not all bad; X-Men: Apocalypse is colorful, funny at times and ballsy. It’s a spectacular film that’s more appetizing to comic book fans than movie fans, but will still get the general audience excited for sequels.
X-Men: Apocalypse is the movie equivalent of a:
Pretty to look at, casual fun, proper entertainment. You’ll probably see it again at some point. You know…If you’re in the mood.
Suitable for: Anyone who needs to know how Charles Xavier turns bald.
Not suitable for: movie critics
Writer/Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac
Duration: 144 minutes