Days of Future Past made
quite the gutsy move two years ago to completely reset the whole timeline,
making every movie outside it and First
Class completely irrelevant. High risk equaled high reward in that instance
as it worked like a charm. Now with Apocalypse
we are continuing that new timeline. We’ve jumped 10 years into the future
as we’re in the early 80’s in this movie, yet no one has seemed to age a day.
But eh, that’s more of a nitpick than anything. The X-Men Academy has grown,
though, and we have a whole crap ton of new characters to introduce. And by new
I mean old because we’re bringing back a lot of the classic characters that we
screwed up on or killed in the first trilogy. And we have Apocalypse, who is
quite possibly the first mutant ever as he originated from Ancient Egypt and
got trapped down in the ground. But now he’s back and his powers are both
unlimited and super confusing. I don’t really know what they are or why he
doesn’t use some of them in certain situations. More on that in second. But
anways, the story here is that Apocalypse has decided to start… yes, you guess
it, the apocalypse! Surprise, surprise! But before he does that he has to
travel the world and recruit a partially lame group of horsemen to join him,
because, well, I don’t know. Habit, I suppose? But since the end of the world
is a bad thing, our X-Men have to stop him and that’s our movie!
As you could tell with that, there is a lot of setting up in this movie. It’s not all bad, though. All of the introductions flowed well in the movie, it was just like watching all of the middle episodes in a season of a TV show. Joining this new cast was Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Nightcrawler, Angel, Storm, and Psylocke. Out of those, Olivia Munn as Psylocke was the only one who wasn’t super young. She’s 35 years old. Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Scott Summers), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) are all either 19 or 20. Ben Hardy (Angel) and Alexandra Shipp (Storm) aren’t too much older at 24 or 25. Putting that into perspective, these actors were as young as four years old with the first X-Men came out in 2000. I bet that makes you feel old. So it’s a young cast, but I really like it. All these kids to a fantastic job in their roles, especially the three that start out on the good side, that being Jean Grey, Scott Summers, and Nightcrawler. A significant portion of screen time is devoted to all three and I thought they carried the movie pretty well. Storm, Angel, and Psylocke are three of our four horsemen that are recruited. Storm I loved. The other two did good, but they were mostly useless. I mean, they looked cool and had fun powers, but they added nothing to the plot
Because the movie feels the need to spend all of this time
setting up everything, it’s quite a long time before we get to our actual conflict.
Which, I’m sorry, I didn’t like. The introduction to Apocalypse in that first minute
or two was amazing. But Apocalypse as a villain was actually kinda dumb. I don't have any problem with his look and he sounds menacing. But his plan? Spend the first half
of the movie recruiting three random mutants as horsemen that don’t help him at
all and Magneto as the fourth. Magneto is all he needed. But I guess he is
obsessed with the number four. And he makes sure to dress them all in the most
sexy and sleek-looking outfits. After he’s
recruited these horsemen, what’s the next part of his plan? Destroy the world.
Why? I don’t know. Because he’s Apocalypse and that’s what he does? That’s all
I got really. Honestly, villain deciding
to destroy the world is about as cliché as it gets. Sometimes bigger doesn’t
always mean better. It’s worse when you have a villain like Apocalypse
following the most cliché villain story without even having a good reason to.
Magneto has good motivations. Not Apocalypse. And like I said earlier, his
powers don’t make sense. If he can turn anything he wants into sand and kill a
group of people with the snap of a finger, why does he need four horsemen and
why doesn’t he use those powers against the X-Men?
That said, I still don’t hate this movie. Rotten
Tomatoes has this in the 40 percent range and that’s way too low. I don’t quite
know how I would rank them, but here’s how Rotten Tomatoes does: 1- X-Men: Days of Future Past (91%); 2- X-Men: First Class (87%); 3- X2: X-Men
United (86%); 4- X-Men (81%); 5- The Wolverine (70%); 6- X-Men: The Last Stand (58%); 7- X-Men: Apocalypse (47%); 8- X-Men Origins: Wolverine (38%). Most of
those scores I can buy. Not Apocalypse.
I think it should be in the 70 range. There's a lot to love here. We have great new characters. Returning characters do good. I didn't mention the technical stuff much in this review, but the visuals are great and the score good. The action, when it finally happens, is a ton of fun. There’s plenty of
emotion. Yes, I agree that Apocalypse is a bad villain with a cliché plan. And yes, they spent a bit too much time setting things up. But overall I left with a good impression of the movie. If you
are a fan of the X-Men movies, then I would definitely recommend checking this out this weekend! It’s not as good as Days of Future Past, but that was a difficult act to follow. In
terms of superhero movies from this year, it’s not as good as Civil War or Deadpool, but I'd put it ahead of Batman v. Superman. My grade for X-Men: Apocalypse is a 7/10.