Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of X-Men: Apocalypse.
I personally felt that Days of Future Past already tied a nice and neat little ribbon around the franchise, and that there was no need for another movie. But here we are, with X-Men: Apocalypse, and Xavier still hasn’t lost his hair (except for maybe the last ten minutes of the film). Still for all the negative reviews it’s been getting online, it was actually a decent movie. It was…okay. First Class still tops them all for me, but this one at least, had Magneto going, “Who the f*** are you?” in an out-of-character but totally welcome way. Minor spoilers ahead!
With all the character backstories in the movie, X-Men: Apocalypse almost feels like an origin film instead of the next installment. There’s En Sabah Nur back in ancient Egypt, who for all his talk about being the one who will lead civilization away from false gods into a better world, doesn’t really look menacing enough. I mean, you have to give mad props to Oscar Isaac for trying—heaven knows he’s trying—so damn hard to be the Apocalypse the comic book fans want him to be, but in the end (even when they altered his face to keep him from looking like Ivan Ooze), it still isn’t enough. Apocalypse is supposed to be this epic villain and one look at him should make you feel like it’s, well, the apocalypse. Sadly, this movie version of the “first mutant” is immensely underwhelming and falls short of being THE supervillain the X-Men are supposed to band together against. Plus, he doesn’t even grow big unless it’s in some weird dream sequence against Charles Xavier. No threats there.
As mentioned, character backstories abound in X-Men: Apocalypse and I suppose they really need to do that since they’re trying to pass the baton to these younger mutants. At least we finally get to see a Scott Summers and a Jean Grey with more personality, and a Nightcrawler with some heart. On newcomer Angel, though, it’s like the movie just decided to slap wings on some guy and then call it a day. I always thought Angel was one of the coolest mutants ever back when I was a kid, but with this rendition, I am sorely disappointed. It doesn’t help that there are a number of forced events in the film that I feel like were there just because, like Xavier and Moira McTaggart’s thing, and a certain character getting killed off. The 80s setting also feels forced, and if it weren’t for a few hints here and there about the setting (period references like Return Of The Jedi confirming that the third movie is always the worst), the audience really won’t be able to tell that the movie isn’t set in modern times.
That said, X-Men: Apocalypse is not without its shining moments. Quicksilver once again steals the show just like he did in the last film, this time with his superspeed saving the day to the catchy tune of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. The comic-accurate costumes that they already got right in First Class but removed in Days of Future Past are now back with a vengeance, and I have to say that seeing Mystique in her classic blue and white garb is an absolute delight. There’s also Psylocke’s gratuitous boob window, by the way, and anytime we see Hugh Jackman’s lovable Wolvie on a rampage is a goosebumps-worthy treat.
What’s probably the issue here is that the hate from the online community mainly stems from the fact that X-Men: Apocalypse came out right after Captain America: Civil War, and with that kind of awesomeness, it can be pretty damn hard to follow. Apocalypse can look bloated with the ballooning new characters compared to the tightness of the opposing teams in Civil War but it’s totally unfair to pit these two films against each other as they’re about completely different things. I’ve always thought that these last three X-Men films have been all about the dichotomy between Erik and Charles, which is what makes each film a strong, emotionally charged one. In Apocalypse, however, they chalked everything up to lazy flashbacks that recount their weird bromance with each other, and when given the chance to redeem himself, Erik didn’t even get to discover that Quicksilver is his child. Boo. That would have made his change of heart during the latter part of the film more believable, instead of just wanting to destroy the world one moment and then deciding to save it the next.
Still, all this nitpicking doesn’t really take away my enjoyment of X-Men: Apocalypse. Did the Four Horsemen live up to my expectations? No. Did I wish Deadpool had a cameo in there somewhere to save the film from itself? Yes. But I grew up watching old Saturday morning cartoons of the animated Uncanny X-Men as a kid, and every time there’s a big screen adaptation of these time-honored mutants, it does and always will be a thrill, no matter what. So just go watch the film and see for yourself—and don’t forget to stay for the end credits!