Film Review: X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypse is a decent conclusion to the superhero sequel trilogy. Bryan Singer’s film is a little overlong, but entertains nevertheless.
In the 1980s, Professor Xavier’s school has more students, and there is a relative peace after the mutant activity in the 1960s. When an ancient mutant is resurrected, the X-Men must reform to defeat this new threat…
After the success of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, there was a fear that X-Men: Apocalypse may go the same way as the previous trilogy’s third film (X-Men: The Last Stand). Thankfully, director, producer and co-writer Bryan Singer eschews this, delivering an entertaining superhero blockbuster that neatly completes the series.
X-Men: Apocalypse focuses on the emergence of the first mutant, and the impact this has on Charles Xavier’s band of X-Men. The film has a tricky job to do; the narrative must focus on fighting this threat whilst also plugging the gaps to lead the film on to the original trilogy. For the most part, X-Men: Apocalypse does a decent job. The protagonists are given a colossal antagonist, and the film introduces characters that have dominant roles in the original franchise. Nonetheless, a sharper pace would have been welcome. At almost two and a half hours, there are minor cuts that could have been made to help the film continue its momentum.
X-Men: Apocalypse sees well-known characters from the franchise in a 1980s world. There are lots of pop culture reference, and the soundtrack is great in setting the scene. A sequence involving Quicksilver is a particular highlight. The introduction of relationships in the younger selves of famous characters is well executed, and more of a draw than the antagonist. Apocalypse himself functions as a reason for the X-Men to become re-engaged; there is not much to their deadly nemesis in terms of rationale.
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence reprise their roles well. Evan Peters is a joy to watch as Quicksilver, whilst Sophie Turner is decent as a young Jean Grey. Special effects are abundant, but convincing overall. Certain sequences lend themselves to the 3D format.
X-Men: Apocalypse is not a superhero classic, but wraps up the series of prequels effectively. The film is enjoyable, if not innovative.