Initially I was pretty excited about X-Men: Apocalypse. Bryan Singer back once again to direct the franchise he helped jump start, the always stellar Oscar Issac as the super baddie Apocalypse, the eternally hot Olivia Munn as Psylocke. Yes! Then came a slew of mediocre trailers. Oddly enough though, what really muffled my enthusiasm was a recent viewing of X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut. I found it to be fairly terrible (bad pacing, too many characters and subplots), and it left me feeling like Singer in full control may not be the right move after all. Uh oh.
I hope you’re ready for X-MEN: PLOT-POCALYPSE. Young versions of Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm and Angel all get introductions of varying depth. Moira, the CIA agent from X-Men: First Class, gets tossed back into the mix with Professor X. Mystique is now a mercenary and that’s sort of explored. Magneto’s newfound “normal” life gets a bit of screen time. Psylocke gets a brief moment. Apocalypse gets an intro, and then a re-intro later before setting out to acquire his four horseman. Quicksilver is back with his own personal mission. There’s even a cameo from that one guy (and his infamous buddy) who you know just has to be in the movie (and has briefly been shown in the trailers). Holy cow. I’m not even sure if that’s everything. Seriously, there are so many character intros/re-intros/updates and subplots and whatever that the movie’s first two hours really drag. No worries though, right? There’s a memorable fight with Apocalypse at the end! Well, no, not really. That, CG-heavy, completely mundane conclusion is actually the weakest part of the film. Sorry, friends.
While X-Men: Apocalypse is no where near as terrible as X-Men: The Last Stand, it’s not particularly good either. It certainly looks like a legit X-Men film (more so than any of the ones that have come before it, and I expect that hardcore fans will love this), but Apocalypse is simply bogged down and made dull by its over-abundance of characters and the obtuse way it attempts to not only lay the groundwork for future entries in the series, but also to “cleverly” connect it to previous movies. See it if you’re a mega-fan, but even then you should keep your expectations firmly in check.
PS – If you’re curious about the cast – they’re all OK at best in the film. Can’t say it’s their fault though, as none of them are really given a chance to shine since the movie has far too much crap going on at all times.
One Last Thought:
X-Men Apocalypse baffled me to the point where I honestly don’t even know what I want out of an X-Men film anymore. Might be time to give the franchise a breather.