‘X-Men Apocalypse’ fall short of previous films, but sets up new cast, adventure
The X-Men are back and this time face one of first mutants, nicknamed Apocalypse, who is bent on wiping out the humans and ruling the Earth. X-Men: Apocalypse brings back James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and adds some new faces: Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan top the list.
Separated after Days of Future Past, Xavier is running the school while Erik (Magneto) is trying to lead a normal life with a wife and daughter. Lawrence’s Mystique is laying low, viewed as a hero among the young mutants. In Egypt Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is awoken and his God complex is offensive and at time stoic rather than intimidating.
The plan is to recruit four powerful mutants to become his Four Horsemen and devastate the Earth. Angel (Ben Hardy), Alexandra Shipp’s young version of Storm, Olivia Munn as the sexy Psylocke and Fassbender’s Magneto fit the bill.
The strength of the film is moving each of the familiar characters forward in their individual stories while introducing new mutants: Turner’s powerful Jean Grey, Sheridan as Cyclops when his powers are just manifesting and an immature Nightcrawler played by Kodi Smit-McPhee.
X-Men: Apocalypse just lacks any punch. Isaac’s titular villain is bland like Christopher Eccleston as Malekith (they may be powerful but the audience doesn’t care because we know they are going to lose.) Evan Peters’ Quicksilver has another amazing scene and offers a great relief from the tension created by director Bryan Singer.
Singer needs to move on, which should and will scare X-Men fans. The characters are getting developed, but the ensemble cast is just overwhelming and the result is just hollow and empty. Apocalypse has a massive final battle, but with minimal action compared to Marvel films.
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) does show up in berserker style and sets up a nice scene with Jean, but he’s sorely missed in this outing. Nicholas Hoult is a forgotten man as Beast is of little consequence and could have been any number of X-Men characters.
There is a post-credits scene, but only hardcore comic book fans will even get the reference.
X-Men: Apocalypse receives 3 stars out of 5 stars
Unlike superhero films, X-Men continues to be more about the characters, the mutant abuse and soap opera. Sadly, this chapter forgot to keep up the action and intensity to stay interested.