Firstly: it’s not that bad. It’s not good, but it’s not that bad.
The latest installment in the X-Men franchise has all that it needs to be amazing: they’ve finally introduced the originals (Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey etc.); we get to revisit the other characters that we loved; the threat level couldn’t get any bigger; and it’s set in the 80’s – the golden age of cinema. Yet, it still doesn’t work.
Despite working with a great ensemble cast, the film fails to make you care about any of the characters. Any excitement about witnessing the origins of the X-Men team members is quickly extinguished by how little you actually learn about them. Why are Storm and Psylocke risking their lives to fight with this mutant who is trying to destroy the world? No idea, just go with it.
The one redeeming character in all of it is Evan Peters’ Quicksilver who brings some personality to the film. The best scene of the movie also centres around him: remember the kitchen scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past? They take that to the next level.
Throughout the rest of the film there is shockingly little development: Magneto follows the same villain-redemption arc as he always seems to and Professor X continues to bone-headedly believe the best of humanity. There’s an argument to be made that this is fundamentally who they are but as a result of it, the entire plot is predictable.
This year in Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice we’ve seen film-makers addressing the level of destruction that takes place in their stories. X-Men: Apocalypse does not do that. People die, cities are destroyed and nobody bats an eyelid – including the audience. There are plenty of scenes that aim for shock-factor but they don’t give you the chance to form any emotional attachment that would actually make you care.
I don’t know whether or not I should be surprised by the sub-par quality of Simon Kinberg’s screenplay: he wrote fantastic films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes but he also wrote 2015’s Fantastic Four. Maybe he should just give Marvel a wide berth.
So, good things about the film: the visual effects are great… Quicksilver! Umm, I’m struggling to find more. This is the ninth film in the X-Men franchise and I definitely want there to be more films in the future. The post-credits scene hinted at future villain which I think would be a fantastic story to explore so let’s hope that this is just an anomaly. The new actors show a lot of potential but ultimately, this wasn’t a good story.
Have you seen X-Men: Apocalypse? What did you think of the film? Do you think that this should be the end of the X-Men franchise? Let me know in the comments.