Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

Unlike the other three recent super hero movies that came out this year, the reviews for this movie have been incredibly mixed rather than tilting too much one way or the other. This worried me because although I do not treat Rotten Tomatoes as gospel, I have generally agreed with their consensus on the other super hero movies. I was hoping that the outcome would be different.

 

It wasn’t. My feelings on X-Men: Apocalypse are mixed. It is certainly a fun, entertaining, watchable movie but not much else.

 

The general buildup of the scenes was well done. With the overwhelming amount of ground this movie was supposed to cover, I felt fairly satisfied with how they were progressing the story, especially for the first half.

There are a lot of conveniences to the plot. However, the X-Men movies live in a universe where these conveniences are possible, so the quick explanations never felt cheap. I felt that the series of events was enjoyable to watch as well.

 

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There was a lot of nods to the previous movies and to the culture of the 80’s. Nothing wrong with a bit of crowd-pleasing material, and X-Men: Apocalypse certainly took advantage of it.

And of course, they brought back Quicksilver and gave him an entertaining scene where he stops time and messes around with stuff like the last movie.

 

What X-Men did well was entertaining the crowd. All the parts that I liked the most were the big fight scenes, the humor, and much of the big-movie-gimmicks.

 

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However, there isn’t much more to X-men: Apocalypse aside from its entertainment value. There are so many problems with this movie and I simply cannot ignore them though I wish I could.

 

The biggest problem this movie has is just how much they needed to cover. There are so many new characters that had to be shoved into this movie, even for one that’s nearly two-and-a-half hour long. At the end of the movie, I never felt connected to any of the new heroes. Jean Grey was blah, Cyclops was non-special, Nightcrawler was meh, Storm, Psylocke, Angel, there are just so many people they had to give time to along with everyone else that was already in the previous movies, and the end result is that everyone was given a surface-level amount of time.

The worst of them all was Apocalypse. Though he’s given more time than all of the other people I just mentioned, the film failed to make him a compelling villain. There was never a point where I fully bought his power and his supremacy. The movie tried, don’t get me wrong, but I’m forgetting Apocalypse even now as I type this review.

 

The only character they truly develop on a level deeper than skin was an already well-established character: Magneto. And boy oh boy, did they sabotage the potential of his scenes. There are so many moments where the true emotionality of Magneto’s character could have come to fruition, but they were accompanied with numerous flashbacks from the first two movies as if we needed to be reminded of his trauma. Yes, I get it, this has something to do about his past. I’ve seen the other two movies. Why do you feel the need to tamper with these emotional scenes? Especially since Fassbender can pull the scenes off on his own, and especially since I have this great skill called memory?

 

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There are many times in this movie where it seemed like this film was working against itself. Amid the overwhelming amount of characters, the unnecessary flashbacks, and quite a few cheesy and cliche pieces of dialogue is a movie that never quite picks up off the ground.

 

If the movie just had more self-restraint, a lot of the riffraff could have been chopped out to make room for a much better movie.

 

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I did not hate this movie. I actually had quite a bit of fun. It was a decent summer film. There is a lot of entertainment value and audience pleasing, and this movie does it well. There is never a point, however, where it attempts to be anything more. I felt the movie falling apart the longer it went on. I sincerely wish I had something better to say, but the more I analyze my personal thoughts about X-Men: Apocalypse, the more I realize that to give it anything more than an average rating would be dishonest, and I’m giving this movie a 5 out of 10.

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