Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Issac
Release: May 18, 2016
Review Author: Tony
Rating: 3.5/5 cans of Guinness
The X-men series has been an interesting one as it’s really the grand father of all superhero series. The first film released in 2000 was the first major superhero adaptation success and green-lit many of the early superhero films of the early 2000’s. I said in my Blade review that before X-Men superhero films were not the gold mines that they are today and most up to that point had been huge flops. X-Men (2000) helped build a confidence in superhero films and fans now could see some justice brought to their favourite characters on the silver screen.
The X-Men series has had some highs and lows in terms of quality, the first film was decent while the second was vastly superior and still considered by many one of the best superhero films ever made, the third was universally hated so lets just forget about it since this series clearly wants us to. The prequels however have been the true return to the quality we hadn’t seen since the second film, First Class is still my favourite film by miles, it expertly reintroduced us to some of our favourite characters and set itself in the tumultuous time of the Cold War. Days of Future Past wasn’t quite as good although was excellent in its own right and equally ambitious in bringing in cast members from both timelines. The two wolverine spin-offs have been the true bastards of the series with The Wolverine (2013) being a rather dull affair and Wolverine: X-men Origins (2009) being one of the worst films I’ve ever seen (I’ve taken blows to the balls that I’ve enjoyed more than that movie).
I walked into the screening for X-Men: Apocalypse feeling rather uneasy, with a plethora of mixed reviews at the back of my mind and a virtually empty cinema my confidence for this movie was shaken. Having such an empty screening actually proved fruitful as the audience your sharing the film with can definitely impact your experience but here I felt the experience was solely my own. In short, X-Men: Apocalypse is far from the best entry in the series but is in itself a solid entertaining flick which I would definitely recommend any fans of the series to see for themselves.
The films biggest flaw lies within its titular villain, Apocalypse is a little too clichéd when it comes to his motivations, the usual rule the world and survival of the fittest, in fact his plans are very similar to Shaw’s from First Class. Oscar Issac is one of the best actors around right now and I was looking forward to see him play a true villain but the character is too one-dimensional never giving Issac anything to sink his teeth into. It doesn’t help that Michael Fassbender’s Magneto literally pulls the rug under him and steals every scene. Magneto is one of the best villains ever in a film, period. The layers to Magneto make him a truly fleshed out character that we feel anger towards but also pity, we are against his every action but also understand why he embarks on them. The ticket price alone is worth it just for Magneto as its Fassbender’s best performance to date as the character.
A reoccurring issue with Singer’s X-Men films is underutilized characters, there’s such a gallery of mutants in the comics and while Singer has done his best to include as many fan favourites over the years many have only shown up as glorified cameos. Unfortunately characters such as Psylocke, Storm and Angel are the latest victims sharing only a few scenes and fewer lines of dialogue, it’s a shame really and sure to annoy fans. However newcomers such as Jean Grey, Cyclops and Night Crawler (Fucking yes!!) are great additions to the cast.
The cast is great as always and even though many have less screen time than we’ve seen before each character has their moment to shine and yes there’s a new Quicksilver scene and it tops the original (Scrap the Gambit spin-off and give this guy his own movie). The action is perhaps some of the best we’ve seen in the series to date and visual eye candy seeing each mutants powers on full display. Singer maintains the superb humour that he established in the first film, I found myself chuckling and smiling quite a bit actually.
X-Men Apocalypse might be the weakest of the three prequels but not by much I still regard it as a fun entertaining movie with some stand out scenes that every X-Men fan need to see. Well worth the admission price, I’m somewhat bewildered at the negative reviews but at the end of the day the only opinion that matters is yours all I’d recommend is going see this film in the cinema and making your own mind up.
Let us know what side of the fence your on in the comments below.