Our X-MEN: APOCALYPSE review breaks down the good, the bad, and the glorious parts of this summer popcorn experience!
The original X-MEN was released sixteen years ago on July 14th, 2000. It was considered a huge gamble for Fox, because never before had such a close adaptation to the comic book source material been attempted. Now nine movies into it’s cinematic universe, we’ve finally encountered one of the team’s most powerful villains, Apocalypse. Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the movie, but note, this review has heavy spoilers.
The action in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE is impressive. There are several large set pieces where heroes and baddies clash, both in pairs and in larger group battles. Each mutant is given his or her moment to shine (with the sad exception of Jubilee), and beyond Apocalypse himself, no one character felt overpowered compared to the rest of the ensemble. Also, Fox continues to do an admirable job with their casting, and the new class of X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Storm) all have a natural chemistry with each other. Finally, while the plot isn’t the strongest in the series, it works well and offers some truly awesome Easter eggs for the fans (Weapon X!).
The movie does suffer from some noticeable failings. First, there were several times when lines of dialogue tore me from the movie. Jean’s speech to Cyclops about his brother Havoc believing he would be the ‘great one’ in the family made me literally roll my eyes, and while I’ve enjoyed Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique throughout the series, I feel she would have been better served as remaining the anti-hero from the comics, as opposed to being retconned into the new leader of the X-Men. Finally, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE tries too hard to be the conclusion of the latest trilogy, as opposed to being it’s own concise movie. Xavier’s rekindled romance with Moira MacTaggert served very little purpose, and while Fassbender’s Magneto is great, he’s served as the reluctant villain turned reluctant hero one too many times. He needs to stay on the bench for a few movies.
The movie shined brightest when it stuck close to it’s comic book roots. The first time Psylocke is shown in her purple attire, I couldn’t stop smiling, and seeing the final shot of the new team in their more traditional X-Men suits was truly magnificent. They also did a fabulous job of reintroducing Jean Grey’s Phoenix. Visual effects have come a long way over the last fifteen years, and we can only hope with the success of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Fox let’s them embrace the cosmic aspect of the Phoenix Saga (I expect freaking aliens and space ships!). Also, the meta joke about the third movie in the Star Wars series being the worst was priceless given the negative reception of X-MEN THE LAST STAND. Finally, while I admit I didn’t immediately place the Essex Corp. post-credit tease, as soon as I realized they planned on introducing Mister Sinister, my body did a little happy dance. Cable in DEADPOOL 2 and OLD MAN WOLVERINE, here we come!
So there you have it. Let us know what you thought of the movie in the comments, plug in your own review rating below, and keep it here for all the latest superhero movie news!