X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun popcorn type movie

Convoluted story with too many characters that don't get enough time

Movie Info

Movie Name:  X-Men:  Apocalypse

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  May 9, 2016 (Premiere)/May 27, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

x-men apocalypse horsemen costumes

The Horsemen cometh

An ancient evil has been unearthed in Egypt.  A creature named En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) who could be the earliest known mutant has been revived and the world is in danger.  Professor X (James McAvoy) has been teaching his students for years, but now his students might have to become the warriors he never wanted them to be…to deal with Apocalypse and his Horsemen, the Xavier’s students must become X-Men!

Directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men:  Apocalypse is the “third” film in X-Men:  First Class film series.  Followed X-Men:  Days of Future Past in 2014, X-Men:  Apocalypse is the ninth film in the X-Men franchise (following Deadpool also released in 2016).  The movie was released to mixed reviews and a strong opening weekend.  Additional controversy surrounded a billboard which some said advocated violence toward women by showing Mystique being strangled by Apocalypse.

I am one of the rare breed of comic book movie people that overall enjoys the X-Men films more than the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Despite this, Marvel X-Men movies are always scary because they can be great or pretty bad.  X-Men:  Apocalypse leaves me torn.

x-men apocalypse quicksilver evan peters pizza dog sweet dreams

I think I’d just rather watch a Quicksilver movie that is one music video after another

The story for the movie isn’t very coherent.  There is a lot of stuff going on in the movie and it feels loaded to the max.  The whole Apocalypse story is peppered throughout the film, but it doesn’t really get going until near the end of the film…and then it doesn’t seem as epic as it should.  It has a lot of X-Men:  The Last Stand’s problems…which the film ironically mocks.

The movie also suffers the time problem.  Comics don’t age and the characters don’t either.  Characters that celebrate holiday after holiday never age a day.  This is ok in comic books because the narrative allows it…here, it is a bit weird.  The movie is supposed to be twenty years after X-Men:  First Class, but the actors don’t look older.  It is ok for Mystique and Wolverine, but the others like Lucas Till (Havok) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) it becomes problematic.

x-men apocalypse alexandra shipp storm

Well, at least we got a Storm that finally works

In addition to the age problem, the movie has too many characters and most are too interesting for the movie to have such little screen time for them.  The “stars” of the film are Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender who continue their roles from the previous films with back-up from returning actors Rose Byrne, Evan Peters (the always fun Quicksilver), Nicholas Hoult, Lucas Till, and Josh Helman.  Oscar Isaac is a good add as Apocalypse, but the character is lacking for such a great actor. Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and the underused Lana Condor are fun as the new blood at Xavier and Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, and Alexandra Shipp are also good as the Horsemen.  Other fun adds include Tomas Lemarquis (Caliban) and a blink-and-you’ll miss her cameo by Dazzler (on a record)…plus you get an obligatory appearance by Hugh Jackman (whose perving on a young Jean Grey is also problematic with the age thing).

x-men apocalypse phoenix

Well…they can’t screw the Phoenix up twice…can they?

The movie is a summer movie and has the big effects.  It is one of those movies where the death count is insane (how many people were killed in Cairo alone…much less every city destroyed by Magneto).  I do like some of the designs of the new mutants as well and despite some initial Apocalypse backlash from fans, I thought his costume was pretty faithful.

X-Men:  Apocalypse is a bit of a mess but is a popcorn movie, and I didn’t expect much from it…nor did I get much.  The movie pokes fun at X3 by calling out the third film always the worst in a trilogy (while exiting Star Wars:  Return of the Jedi).  This is even more ironic since this is essentially the third film in the new trilogy and attempting to right the wrongs of X3 involving the Phoenix and everything.  Unfortunately, X-Men:  Apocalypse does not break the third film curse.  X-Men:  Apocalypse was followed by X-Men:  Dark Phoenix in 2019.

X-Men (2000)

X2:  X-Men United (2003)

X-Men:  The Last Stand (2006)

X-Men:  First Class (2011)

X-Men:  Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men:  Dark Phoenix (2019)

Deadpool (2016)

X-Men Origins:  Wolverine Origins (2009)

The Wolverine (2013)

Logan (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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