Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
RATING: 2.5 Stars
Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.—20th Century Fox
I remembered this film getting absolutely slammed when it came out. But I can;t be the only one that thinks to myself ‘It can’t have been THAT bad’ once enough time has passed? I think it helped that we have seen the dumpster fire that was ‘Dark Phoenix’ since then, and that set a new bar for how disappointing the X-Men franchise could be. On a rewatch, this one wasn’t quite as bad as I remember everyone saying it was. It’s not great, it’s not the best X-Men movie by a long margin, but hindsight is 20/20 and we have since seen much worse.
With the arrival of Apocalypse, there really should have been more excitement about this film. He is a great character from the comics, a fantastic villain for the often overpowered X-Men, meaning they really do have to struggle for a win for a change. In short, there was a lot of potential with this character. How they could so spectacularly drop the ball here is mind-blowing. While Oscar Isaac looks the part, his dialogue is often very clunky, and not enough time is spent getting to know the actual character.
In fact the writing throughout this entire film is pretty dire. Jokes that do not land, very heavy handed dialogue and too much exposition left me rolling my eyes quite a lot. James McAvoy and Micheal Fassbender of course do a lot of the heavy lifting in this film, they always play these roles so well, and it is such a shame to see the material that they are given to work with, and to watch them literally rehash the same argument over and over with the same results.
The end goal of Apocalypse, to destroy the world, should have been an incredibly high stakes plot, with a good amount of tension and suspense. Instead, the takes are almost too unbelievably high. There is no chance that the good guys are going to lose because then there would be no world left at all. So no more franchise, so no more money for fox. So it was never going to happen.
There are a few great things in this film, even if they aren’t done to the best of their ability. We finally get to see the original set of X-Men all together, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Jubilee, Nightcrawler, all finally meet up. Even if their interactions are cringeworthy and Jubilee once again is given literally nothing to do.
This is definitely not the worst film in the franchise, that still belongs to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But in terms of the potential it had for greatness, it might have been the most disappointing.