X-MEN Apocalypse was released yesterday (Friday, May 20). Quays News entertainment reporter Morgan Robinson went to watch it…
The X-Men franchise is one I particularly enjoy, probably above all other superhero movie franchises so it goes without saying that I could not wait to see this film. What I got was a film I very much enjoyed, loved in parts but there were a couple of things I thought could have been done better. Do not let that, or any negative initial thoughts of critics put you off seeing the film though. Also, if you want to go in without any spoilers, I’d recommend not watching the trailer below.
If nothing else, Apocalypse clarifies what many ‘casual fans’ have been confused about since the ending of the previous X-Men outing, Days of Future Past, and that is the timeline of the films. So here’s some clarification before you go see it. With the events of Days of Future Past, the events of the original trilogy of X-Men films, X-Men (2000), X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, were erased completely. If you don’t want to confuse yourselves too much and are just a casual fan, just focus on First Class, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse for your story.
— United Agents (@UnitedAgents) May 19, 2016
Delving into the film itself, Apocalypse is definitely something a bit different from the X-Men franchise. It has a somewhat more fantastical feel to it, which may sound strange considering it’s about a load of mutants with superpowers but what I mean here is that, in all previous X-Men films, the main villain has either been a human being hell-bent on either destroying mutants (see DOFP), experimenting on them (see X2) or ‘curing’ them (see The Last Stand) or a contemporary mutant with a power-hungry outlook (see X-Men (2000) and First Class).
Apocalypse, the character, played pretty intimidatingly by Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Oscar Isaac is an all-powerful ancient God which does make the film feel like its comic book source material. By doing this though, it forces you to suspend your disbelief further than you have done watching any other previous X-Men film, as they felt more ‘real’.
There’s a reason that many consider X2 and Days of Future Past to be the best of all the X-Men films; they’re the ones where humans are the villain.
— IMAX (@IMAX) May 18, 2016
That is one overall small nit-pick I had with the film though. Apart from that, I really did enjoy it. Just seeing these characters is enough to make me smile so it wasn’t going to be difficult to like it.
Speaking of characters, a whole host of new/old characters were introduced/re-introduced to the franchise depending on how you look at it. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, Angel and Psylocke. You’ve probably heard of at least three of those characters if only from the original trilogy. They all play their part well in Apocalypse and each of those cast members did a great job with these beloved characters. Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops was a standout as was Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler. As a fan, I was really pleased with these new portrayals of these characters and that surely means a success right!?
American Horror Story’s Evan Peters once again steals the show as Quicksilver. His scene in Days of Future Past went down in superhero movie history as one of the best scenes of all time and in this one, director Bryan Singer and the SFX team manage to top it. Quicksilver has a much bigger role in Apocalypse and it looks as though he’s in prime place for a major part in further films.
The franchise’s main cast of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult are all as solid as you’d expect them to be. They just know what they’re doing with these characters now although Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto turns up the drama in this one to a height not seen in his excellent previous outings making his part in this film much better.
And we finally get to see something both us, the fans, and even the actor himself have wanted since he started playing the character, James McAvoy’s Professor X finally goes bald due to an incident with Apocalypse that I won’t spoil here.
And there is a particularly exciting cameo…but again, no spoilers.
I will say that 'X-Men: Apocalypse' is the most gleefully violent of the series. Singer has a lot of fun crushing, smashing and malching.
— Phil Gee (@MovieMoan) May 19, 2016
Thematically, the X-Men have always dealt with the idea of family and of finding yourself and those themes are again very prevalent in Apocalypse if not more so.
Simply, Bryan Singer delivers another great X-Men film and if you ask me, it should not be missed. Oh, and stay for the end credits, it may not be MCU but that doesn’t mean it’s not Marvel.
Certification – 12A
Run time – 2hr 27min
By Morgan Robinson