I used to occasionally watch the X-Men cartoons as a kid, but all I vaguely remember is really liking Rogue. It wasn’t until Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie that I could officially call myself a fan. If you don’t love superheroes and/or want to be them, then I think there’s something a bit wrong with you. And even though some of the X-Men movies have been a little hit and miss (X-Men: The Last Stand anyone? Although I did still really enjoy it…) they’ve still been fun.
Now, X-Men: Apocalypse was always going to struggle to top its predecessor Days of Future Past, especially since that film brought together the cast of the original trilogy with the new X-Men cast, satisfying all of the fans at once. Undoubtedly, Apocalypse fails to outshine Days of Future Past, and doesn’t maintain that bleak, ‘all hope is lost’ atmosphere that the previous film did so well. But it’s still an enjoyable film and, whilst being a fan of the original trilogies, I’m enjoying the new direction the franchise is going in after Days of Future Past reset the timeline.
So let’s start with the villain. I enjoyed Apocalypse as the antagonist. I really like Oscar Isaac, he’s a brilliant actor, and he delivers Apocalypse’s grandiose rhetoric well. However, whilst I didn’t find him cheesy, I wasn’t all that afraid of him; I was never too worried that he was going to succeed. Of course, we always know the X-Men are going to triumph, after all that’s what we’ve paid to see, but I was never too worried that maybe, just this once, the villain might succeed. Even though the superheroes always win, we should still feel that fear that maybe they won’t.
However, I did enjoy the new cast of characters in this film, the next generation of mutants. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique really bores me now and I’m glad she probably won’t be coming back for another film, even though I liked her in the last two films, and especially liked the character in the original trilogy. Unfortunately, Lawrence as Mystique just doesn’t have any of that mysteriousness; the clue is in the name after all, and she proved to be pretty useless in this film. As such, I’m glad this film gave time for other characters to shine.
One of these characters was Evan Peters returning as Quicksilver. He provided some great comic relief, and also some depth. Will Magneto find out Quicksilver is his son, or won’t he? Peters plays the character exceptionally well and I hope he holds a central role in the upcoming films as he did in this one.
As for some of the others, I enjoyed Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, which was great because Jean Grey is one of my favourite X-Men and her powers were allowed to shine in the climax of the film. However, I had to force myself to remember the X-Men timeline has changed and that Jean Grey doesn’t become the Phoenix and pretty much kill everyone, as she did in The Last Stand. I think it’ll be interesting to see what lies in store for the Phoenix in the future. I hope they’ll allow Jean to reach her power’s potential without going batshit crazy again.
I also liked Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers. He encapsulated the cockiness of Cyclops, as seen in the original trilogy, but also his vulnerability. However, sometimes the rudeness just got a little bit annoying and I wondered how Jean would ever end up with such an arsehole. Hopefully that was just teenage bravado.
Yet, as I said before, what let this film down a little was the fact that I never felt like the X-Men were truly in peril. However, it was still a really enjoyable film and it didn’t shy away from some dark themes. I’ve seen this film get mixed reviews, but I don’t think it deserves the panning that some critics have given it. It was still fun and sets up the future installments for the next generation of X-Men that we know and love from the original three films, as well as the comics (obviously) and the animated TV series. So I’d say don’t pass up on this film just because it got some bad reviews; form your own opinion instead.
Have you seen X-Men: Apocalypse? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!
And sorry it took me so long to review it!