More superheroes blessed our screen last week, in that odd combination of a Marvel film that isn’t made by Marvel. With Fox continuing to retain the rights to X-Men it could be some time, if ever, that we see Wolverine join The Avengers or Deadpool riff with Spider-Man. The X-Men films are known for being very hit or miss thus far, with First Class being a fantastic example of how to reboot a series to X-Men Origins: Wolverine which was an awful example of how to make a film in general. Personally I grew up on X-Men and Spider-Man, so even the weaker films containing these characters I enjoy despite knowing all of the shortcomings. For example I didn’t mind Amazing Spider-Man 2. Still I was thrilled when Marvel got the rights back to Parker and loved the introduction of Wanda Maximoff in to the MCU, because I know the quality of movies over at Disney is higher.
X-Men: Apocalypse instantly tells you about the main antagonist of this film. En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse is considered the first ever mutant, to the point were people believed he must be god. Having discovered the route to immortality, he is awoken from what can only be described as a centuries long coma to witness a world in which humans rule and mutants run scared. With his four horseman; Psylocke, Storm, Archangel and of course Magneto he plans to destroy the world and rebuild it. Interestingly he doesn’t want mutant rule and humans to perish, his goal is for the weak to die and the strong to be by his side.
After the relative puzzle that Days Of Future Past was plot wise this is much more straight forward. Big bad appears, the righteous good must prevail or the world is over. After films like Ant-Man, Civil War and Deadpool this has gone a completely different way. This is a genuine world ending event that our heroes are trying to stop. A lot of critics have a problem with this, but I don’t. Like I said we’ve had lots of smaller cost films lately. We are talking about high powered mutants here with all sorts of ridiculous abilities. It makes sense that now and again one of these powerful fuckers will want to destroy the earth. However a bit of originality may have been good, it felt very paint by numbers in every sense.
Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors in Hollywood purely due to his range and I very much enjoyed him playing someone with a massive god complex. He is epic and angry, but still you understand his charm. He helps you believe that these four people would get on board with him, including Magneto who you’d never consider a follower usually. However I think once again Fassbender stole the show. I wont give away too many details, but his story gets much more depressing in this instalment (Yep, more anguish on top of his Nazi based past) and he does an amazing job of portraying the inner conflict within him. I left on his side more than anyone else. Honourable mention goes to Tye Sheridan as Cyclops. I hated Scott Summers in the first three. Whiny and self serving which wasn’t the Cyclops I grew up with. This much funnier, charming and much more layered character is a lot better.
Action scenes are fairly uninspired and unoriginal. Quicksilver’s running through the mansion scene that we was waiting for was very entertaining. However it was just the same as his one in the kitchen previously, but on a larger scale. The final battle was just your usual final battle, you know the whole heroes do well, then it looks bleak, then it all comes together, because good always beats evil. Then there was a cheesy Age of Ultronesque ending with the revealing of The X-Men line up which I enjoyed as a fan, but really added nothing to the film. The Wolverine cameo revealed in the trailer is awesome though. First time we’ve really seen him fully unleash and it makes perfect sense with the characters story as well. Easily my favourite part of the film that entire sequence.
Overall this film was unoriginal and uninspired, definitely lacking behind the quality of Civil War. However it is fun to watch, has some funny moments and some touching moments and introduces some characters that I think will leave the franchise in good hands. It’s definitely paint by numbers, but the picture at the end is worth looking at and executed very well. You’ve seen it all done before, but maybe not this well.