X-Men: Apocalypse is about the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, and the X-Men uniting to defeat his extinction level plan.
Many of the reviews that have come out about this film have been in the right. The trailer’s made this film look so good, or at least made you excited to for it, but I think by now, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in full swing ever since 2008 with Iron Man and the failings of the DC Universe attempting to launch their own cinematic universes with Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the upcoming Suicide Squad, audiences are starting to feel a bit of superhero fatigue. Well, at least I’m starting to feel a little tired and starting to head for films not so superhero heavy or effects laden, preferring for something simpler and story driven. I only saw this new outing in the long running X-Men franchise out of the respect that I have for the series, despite how tired I’m getting of superhero films.
This is why I love Jeff Nichol’s films so much, especially Midnight Special, where you’re not bombarded by special effects and at heart, it’s a film about family, about something we can really truly relate to with that hint of something other. This is what we need in relation to superheroes, to people with extraordinary talents. Something on the smaller, realer scale instead of something so grand and obtuse where the effects of these large scale battles aren’t taken into account. It’s like they don’t care about the small guy, or if they do, they only care about the small guy in a big way.
X-Men: Apocalypse is a film with so many things happening that sometimes to count for everything happen, the cuts between the scenes are almost jarring at times as scenes are spliced together to account for everyone. There are, at times, where characters are left underdeveloped and uncared for. It makes you think why they were included in the first place if they were only to be treated as extras. This is especially evident for Olivia Munn’s Psylocke, who has the majority of her lines when she’s introduced and hardly speaks a word for the rest of the film, more like a Marvel’s Wonder Woman with her lasso and inability to be written into anymore sense than she’s required to be of aid. This was very prominent also in BvS with Wonder Woman’s character also. I had to do some research into her character post-film because I hardly knew enough about her, craving for a morsel of information I was deprived of in the film.
Angel’s death confused me at the end of the film as his character had a future counterpart played by Ben Foster in the horrible final instalment in the original X-Men trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand. His character in both these films holds a slight confusion as he was a character in his late teens in The Last Stand and appeared again to be so in Apocalypse. At least this was one downfall in the connections between the prequels and present day trilogy that I couldn’t reason. Even Days of Future Past manages to make the links a lot clearer.
Although I do agree with Sophie Turner’s casting as the young Jean Grey, and many of the casting choices of the younger counterparts of the present day X-Men characters, she really just can’t act. Her performance is deadpan and lines delivered emotionless. There was also no indication of any blossoming romance between herself and Scott Summers, whom she ends up with in the present day trilogy. There was, in what I took, some indication of the romance between herself and Wolverine in his cameo when Jean returns some of his memories to him after being released from Stryker’s clutches, but that’s it. If there was less of Jean, only showing the parts needed for her character to develop enough to connect with the present day films, and more of an emphasis on that of someone like Psylocke where this was her first outing, there could’ve been an improvement. What was done with Storm in this film could’ve been done the same with Turner’s Jean Grey although this could have also boiled down to Alexandra Shipp being a far superior actress along with poor scripting.
Out of these prequel films, First Class was the best with the following films slowly falling off the tracks. In the X-Men films to date, it stands along with the original X-Men along with X2: United.It’s worth seeing but hardly anything impressive. It will leave you tired after keeping up with so many characters but not as tired as any of Joss Whedon’s efforts with the Avenger’s films.