In the latest trend of pitting superheroes against each other, X-men delivers its own brand of ensemble action set in the ’80s.
The story teases of a proper doom and gloom with a new villain. His new powers look interesting in the beginning. If you’ve watched the 90’s cartoons or read comic books, his inclusion in the franchise is a good idea.
There are interesting visuals here, thanks to the production design, detailed costumes, and nostalgic music cues. In one scene, Quicksilver saves students in a slow-motion explosion of Xavier School to the tune of Sweet Dreams (are Made of This) by Eurythmics.
Unfortunately, as the movie progresses, it becomes apparent that this installment uses the same formula and intends to offer nothing new.
X-men: Apocalypse enlists supervillain En Sabah Nur but he’s a one-dimensional plot device to re-kindle the love-hate relationship of Erik and Charles. For all his bold proclamation of cleansing the world, the biggest damage that he could do is create a pyramid out of buildings.
Instead, he tells Magneto to fuck up the world’s electromagnetic field and do his work. Of course, this prompts Raven to step in and stop him. Elsewhere the other three supposed horsemen of the apocalypse are helping the supervillain who abandoned his initial goals for something else. The action provides some mindless entertainment, but nothing you haven’t seen before.
In the middle of all these inconsequential chaos are a new crop of actors. They are all reliable but it is evident that the movie struggles to put its many characters to good use.
In the end, the movie delivers a botched attempt at an origins story.
There are potent elements here. Validating the fear of humanity against mutants while still addressing that they’re hatred isn’t unwarranted, is a good idea to explore. A showdown between a supervillain and a bunch of mutants can deliver inventive action. The stellar cast is more than capable of elevating their characters.
Unfortunately, these are all wasted as X-men doesn’t take the story anywhere interesting.
There are four potent stories that Singer can cherry-pick from – the rise of Mystique as a leader; the futile attempt of Erik at a peaceful existence; the beginnings of Charles as a mentor and founder of X-men. Instead, he chooses the generic invasion by the latest member of Marvel’s Evil Blue Man Group (Thanos, Ronan, Electro, and the Frost Giants).
Jean was right, the third movie (since X-men: First Class) is always the worst.
X-men: The Apocalypse is a lifeless spectacle because of its inconsistent story, inconsequential chaos, and one-dimensional villain.