The latest installment of the most inconsistent Superhero franchise, in my opinion, X-Men: Apocalypse, arrived in a year with several other huge comic book adaptations so it had to do a lot to stand out. Unfortunately, it was probably the most forgettable of the lot.
X-Men: Apocalypse supposedly takes place in the 80s, roughly a decade after the previous film, yet somehow none of the characters have aged at all. The X-Men face their most dangerous foe yet once again in the form of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) who seeks to destroy most of the world’s population which you’d expect from someone with a name like that.
Despite my mocking tone I didn’t think the film was actually that bad. However, it made the bigger mistake of being boring and at times just seemed a little confused. The film has a brilliant main cast with arguably three of the world’s most talented actors in James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Oscar Isaac. Unfortunately, Magneto (Fassbender) has the most confusing character arc as he goes back to being evil before changing sides in the final act as he has done in most of the X-Men films.
Xavier (McAvoy) spends most of the film doing very little and Apocalypse is evil seemingly just because he has to be which in a way is refreshing because most supervillains have a convoluted revenge plot. The film instead focuses on Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and turns her into a leader figure which doesn’t really fit with the rest of her character arc. This could be due to poor writing or poor directing because very few superhero films have had a cast as strong as this but failed to yield any good performances.
In every other aspect, the film is acceptable. The film looks fine and the action is okay which has regularly been one of the worst aspects of the franchise. However, when there is very little to praise, it doesn’t matter that there is very little to criticise it for. The film is so distinctly average I would have preferred it if it had been incredibly moronic or ridiculously over the top because at least I wouldn’t have been bored.
This must surely mark the end of Bryan Singer’s involvement with the franchise which he helped launch 16 years ago. The nature of the film demonstrates that he is seemingly disinterested competing with either Marvel or DC’s cinematic universe. On the bright side this could be the opportunity for the rights to go back to Marvel which seems likely seeing as the end of this film leaves the franchise nowhere to go.
2 out of 5