Movie Review: “X-Men: Apocalypse” – A Must See

Written by Caitlin Cooper June 03, 2016

x-men: apocalypse

2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is my favourite X-Men movie. It brought back original cast members, introduced new characters, and built upon the awesome foundation created in X-Men: First Class. The story was complex, and the action was awesome. So of course I eagerly awaited the next installment in this superhero franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, and while it lived up to my expectations in a lot of ways, I also found the main antagonist underwhelming and silly and the pacing felt a bit slow at times.

X-Men: Apocalypse, set in the 80s, shows us exactly what consequences of the time traveling in Days of Future Past. In the end credit scene, we were introduced to Apocalypse, who was treated like a god. Now, we get to know him. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is the oldest mutant, and he’s lived for so long by transferring his consciousness into the bodies of other powerful mutants, thereby gaining powers with each lifetime. He’s been trapped for centuries, but now he’s awake. And he is disgusted with our world. He wants to kill all humans and be the mutants’ god. He gathers four minions to do his dirty work: a grieving Erik (Michael Fassbender), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn). But Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Charles (James McAvoy) want to save Erik and the world from Apocalypse. With the help of new allies and students, they race to stop the destruction and killing.

“Let’s go to war.”

I really like the new X-Men films; the writing is stronger, the story is more complex and fleshed out, the cast is very talented, and the action is awesome. X-Men: Apocalypse continues in that vein, but I felt it was somewhat of a step back. Apocalypse is, to me, a ridiculous character. He does very little with his mutant abilities; he functions mostly as a person with ideas for the world and the ability to persuade people to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong, that’s dangerous. But he mostly spends his time yelling about how amazing he is and how much better the world will be once he’s done recreating it. It kind of gets old, and it made me wonder if anyone really buys the crap he spews about being a god. Is he really the first mutant? We don’t know enough about him to be sure, but he’s certainly one of the oldest. He’s only as strong as he is because he steals abilities from other mutants. His character feels overdone at times – including that awful costume -, and yet also underwhelming. Other than that and the sometimes slow pace, the film is good.

x-men: apocalypse

Erik left behind his life as Magneto and created a family. Mystique went into hiding and quietly helped young mutants escape abuse. Her character arc is well done; it’s great to see her go from being angry to being vulnerable and caring. Charles has his school with Hank (Nicholas Hoult). And his students, Jean (Sophie Turner), Scott (Tye Sheridan), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) are great additions to the story. They, along with the awesome and hilarious Quicksilver (Evan Peters), are the best parts of X-Men: Apocalypse. Jean is one of the standout characters, and the visuals of her abilities are stunning. These younger versions of well-known characters, including Mystique and Hank, are well-written and entertaining. The characters are complex and the story is really about them. And it’s about Erik learning that while he may feel alone, he isn’t. And anger isn’t the answer. I sincerely hope there will be another movies with these younger characters.

“I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul who comes to my school looking for trouble.”

X-Men: Apocalypse sees the introduction of some new cast members to the already talented cast. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler and Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers do a good job. Sophie Turner, best known for her role as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, brings her talent for dramatic roles to the table yet also plays Jean’s snarky side well. Evan Peters is back as Quicksilver and he does comedy so well. In this film he also shows a more serious and vulnerable side. The casting of those two is especially spot on. Jennifer Lawrence is great as Mystique, and she continues to bring the character from anger to vulnerability and back with ease while showing the character’s growth well. James McAvoy’s Charles has a bit less screen time in this film, but his performance is memorable. Michael Fassbender shows us a very vulnerable side to Erik, and his performance makes you feel sad for his character’s suffering. I’m sure Oscar Isaac was told to yell a lot, but the editing decision to multiply his voice was a poor one. It ruined some of his dialogue simply because the voice editing was annoying.

x-men: apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse is one of this summer’s must-see films. Sure, the antagonist is a bit silly and the pacing can be slow at times. But it’s still an awesome film with great characters portrayed by a talented cast, a riveting story, and awesome action scenes.

My Rating: 7.5/10

x-men: apocalypse

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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