Lets kick this review off with some numbers (I did a little bit of googling): X-Men: Apocalypse is the 9th film in the X-Men series (if you count Wolverine and Deadpool), the 7th film to have X-Men in the title, the 4th directed by Bryan Singer and the 3rd film that features the younger cast introduced in X-Men: First Class.
It’s that last number that ends up being little ironic. Early in Apocalypse a group of young mutants sneak out of school to watch Return of the Jedi, and we see them coming out talking about how the third film always being the one that sucks. This almost certainly refers to X-Men: The Last Stand, the first X-Men film not directed by Brian Singer, but in a cruel twist of fate ends up being egg on their faces with Apocalypse being the third film for the younger cast…
So I guess you can read between the lines and figure out that for me, Apocalypse wasn’t the X-Men film I was looking for.
Having fallen in love with Singer’s first two X-Men films on their release, I have struggled with this new cast, and I just can’t stand Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. If I’m brutally honest, I really just can’t stand Jennifer Lawrence. But hey, the film had some nice new guys, such as the main bad guy Apocalypse, who was cool to begin with but by the end of the film, well, lets not get into spoilers yet.
Probably the best part of the film was seeing a bit more of Magneto played by the always great Michael Fassbender. In fact the entire first half of the film was good because we were seeing some of the history of the key characters in the X-Men universe, and how they got to have such awesome powers.
What should have been the best part of the film, and the part I was most looking forward to, was seeing Wolverine in action again, but sadly this panned out at a poor attempt to please fans of the original X-Men films in a similar way that JJ did with the now immortal line: Chewie, we’re home. Where JJ succeeded Singer crashed and burned.
Other than the ironic joke about the third film sucking, there was plenty of funny moments to keep the film light, but again humour has already been done way better in the previous X-Men film Deadpool.
The biggest problem with X-Men: Apocalypse is that it goes from potentially one of the best recent superhero films to a muddled by the numbers special effects reel in the second half. I’m not sure how else you can run these stories, but it always seems to come down to half the world being destroyed, but at the last minute someone steps in and saves the day. Or at least saves half the population of the world. Which leads me to wondering if X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t just a victim of an over saturation of Superhero films. Maybe if The Avengers series of films hadn’t been so successful, or even if Deadpool hadn’t come out, then Apocalypse might have felt much more impressive.
Rating: M Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb.