X-Men Apocalypse Review

apocalypse reviewWARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

X-Men: Apocalypse opened overseas on May 18th and domestically May 26th. Thus far it has not garnered the critical acclaim or box office success as several of its predecessors. Some have called this film a “franchise killing disaster” and that very well may be true.

Summary/Plot: This film begins with a promising prologue set in ancient Egypt.  It is followed by a series of introductory table-setting scenes for what turns out to be the vast majority of the run time. We cut between the “new kids” moments and our new villain, Apocalypse.  But then comes Xavier’s first confrontation with Apocalypse and you realize the movie is almost over.  It is not a secret the reliance on Magneto (Ian McKellen or Michael Fassbender) as a source of conflict has been the franchise’s long term Achilles heel.  We find Magneto in hiding with a wife and daughter. However, after Magneto uses his powers, he is hunted by local authorities and his family is killed in the ensuing chaos. In what is probably the most touching part of the film Fassbender does a fantastic job showing the transition in Magneto. Magneto is then recruited by Apocalypse to help him in his “world ending” plot. They are not alone however; they are accompanied by Psylocke, Storm and Angel. Three exceptional mutants who were given less screen time than Magneto’s daughter. However, Apocalypse and his horsemen are thwarted by the X-men in the end with a little help from Magneto. 7/10

Cinematography:  The cinematography at times was fantastic and at other times was completely lacking. The Quicksilver seen, although one can argue it was unnecessary, was still visually stunning. However some of the major action sequences especially the third act were so cataclysmic they zapped the film of any tension.  There was far too much destruction for so little recourse. Overall the effects and cinematography as a whole are good. 7/10

Characterization:  Characterization is where Brian Singer typically shines. This movie desperately lacked characterization and in this case the writers and directors are to blame. Isaac, Fassbender, and McAvoy did an excellent job with what they were given. There were just too many lingering questions about character motivations. The three horsemen (Storm, Psylocke and Angel) have very little back story. What is Apocalypse’s end goal? This film wastes the talent of some of our most talented modern actors. I also have to take points off because you cannot have Jubilee in the film and not let her use her powers. 5/10

Conclusion: X-Men Apocalypse is overcrowded and attempts to tell too many stories. 1. Charles Xavier is successful running his school. 2. Mystique is rescuing mutants (including Nightcrawler) and struggling with being seen as a hero. 3. Scott Summers and Jean Gray learn how to use their mutant abilities and their fledgling relationship is explored. Also Jean begins to access the dark side of her powers. 4. Magneto has settled down and is trying to live a normal life. Bottom line, there are too many stories and too little characterization.

Final Score: 6.3

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