Summer hasn’t officially started yet and we got ourselves another superhero movie to review. Great.
X-Men: Apocalypse is the ninth installment in the X-Men movie franchise and the third in the soft-reboot story arc behind X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Just like the previous two films, X-Men: Apocalypse serves as a prequel of sorts to the original X-Men films that came out in the early 2000s. Within the nine films, storylines based on different characters and major events have jumbled up into one big X-Men universe, which has been received by fans both negatively and positively. Though criticized for complicating the direction of the overall story, the three prequel movies have been praised for freshening up the franchise by introducing new and old characters, played by an ensemble cast of “all-star” actors, while telling important X-Men stories fans have been impatient to watch.
Let’s start of with the villain. Apocalypse is arguably one of the most menacing antagonists in Marvel, let alone the X-Men universe. Labelled as the first mutant to exist on Earth, Apocalypse leaves behind destruction through the use of his multiple powers and abilities, and with the assistance of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. I thought Oscar Isaac did a decent job in his role as the main villain but his dialogue was repetitive at times, boring me rather than frightening me. His character design was also lacking as he was presented in a basic-looking, cheap rubber suit which reminded me of a typical Power Rangers enemy.
I will admit that it was interesting to learn Apocalypse’s true ability (it is not supernatural). His power of manipulation is truly his main method of gathering the four horsemen to stand by his side and wreak havoc. But even then I thought his character development was rushed, as it took little convincing to persuade another main villain like Magneto to join his team. I was not impressed by this bad guy.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were great as always in their roles as Charles Xavier and Magneto, respectively. In this film, we get to witness Magneto in an even more tragic state as his character is damaged to the point where I have no choice but to feel sympathy for him. The one thing that I thought was needed more in X-Men: Apocalypse was the ‘Bad-Ass’ Magneto. He was so broken that, throughout the whole film, he was toyed with emotionally by Apocalypse which made him seem not so independent.
The one character I’m having trouble understanding is Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. I honestly don’t know what the studios are doing to this female supervillain. In the comics, Mystique is a regular enemy of the X-Men, but in the films she is looked upon as a hero to mutants. Just because she is played by one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses does not mean the character needs to be changed into a hero. To be fair, these films are meant to be prequels so maybe down the line we will finally see a more vicious side of her, but as of X-Men: Apocalypse, I am not liking how they are handling this character.
As for the rest of the cast, I thought everyone else did a decent to good job, but nothing outstanding. I was happy to see X-Men originals such as Jean Grey, Cyclops, and especially Nightcrawler make it to the big screen for the first time in a number of years. But just like the main villain, I thought their character developments were too rushed. I wanted more time to get to know each member of the team so I can fully invest in their story.
Besides all of that, there isn’t really much else to mention in this review. I mean, the action was pretty cool, but again, nothing outstanding. Overall, X-Men Apocalypse dragged on way too long but, interestingly enough, felt rushed in some parts. Midway through, I was ready to fall asleep. Even the big cameo appearance didn’t shock me. Maybe the fact that I watched Captain America: Civil War before this one took away my excitement for superhero movies. But then again, this film offers nothing new to the superhero movie genre. Hey, perhaps you guys will enjoy X-Men: Apocalypse, so get out there and go see for yourself. Just don’t forget to bring a pillow with you.