X-Men: Apocalypse started playing in theaters on Memorial Day and needless to say, it did not create as big of a bang as I was hoping.
This movie was okay at best, but had the potential to be something amazing and daring for the X-Men franchise. Instead, what the audience received was another one of the standard Hollywood summer action films that leave nothing new to crave.
I am a huge Marvel fan, with the X-Men being my favorite superhero team of all time. I can make family trees of all the characters, with their real names. Due to my love for X-Men, I knew I would be judging the film a little bit harsher than some people, as these are characters and stories I love.
However, this movie went far below my expectations.
First, I would like to say, as the follow-up to the phenomenal X-Men: Days of Future Past, it was underwhelming. It featured a storyline which seemed all over the place, with huge continuity issues and slow pacing. This movie was not worth the two-year wait.
There were times during the film where I couldn’t wait for it to end: something I thought I would never think while watching my favorite heroes on screen.
The first act was slow and uneventful. Besides the opening sequence, nothing sticks out to me as being important enough to remember. Aside from a few character building scenes for Magneto, the first act left nothing to grasp onto besides loads and loads of fan service, which we’ll get to later.
By the second act, I was beginning to enjoy myself and figured the movie was finally gaining the momentum it needed to last till the third act and bring it home on a good note. However, near the last half-hour of the movie the film begins to lag on, and the flaws in the story become even more evident.
For being the title character of the film, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) was underwhelming as a villain. At times, in fact, I would forget he was there, as most of the film focuses on Xavier and his school for Gifted Youngsters.
For being the most powerful mutant in the world, the film rarely showed Apocalypse using the full scale of his powers. It also pictured him making questionable choices in a layered growling voice and awkward hand gestures. The executives should have waited a few more years before utilizing Apocalypse as the main antagonist. While Isaac did his best with the material he was given, the charisma and energy I was hoping he would bring to such an iconic villain was not present.
While the movie deserved to be better, there were diamonds in the rough.
First, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. Turner brought a new energy to the character which has not been seen on screen before, and did one of the best portrayals of a comic character on screen yet. Turner showed Jean Grey for what she truly is: a young woman with powers beyond her control, and I am excited to see not only how the character develops, but how Turner will grow with the character.
My second highlight of the movie was the fan service. I know to most people callbacks to past films and comics can be a little corny, but I love them. I like how they incorporated Magneto’s backstory into the movie, seeing Quicksilver save the day listening to music and seeing Psylocke in her purple leotard, even if she was just in the movie for a total of fifteen minutes.
To X-Men fans: You will find things enjoyable with this film. It is better than a couple of films in the franchise such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it does lack the character depth and fantastic storytelling that made both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past so great. This movie is great if you want to watch your favorite characters come to life, but do not expect to be amazed. The more you keep your hopes down, the better the movie will be.
To non-X-Men fans: This is another standard summer action movie. It’s not bad, but it does not bring anything new or compelling to the genre, and will at times seem to lag. If you want to see it, go ahead, but I will not blame you if you want to pass.