REVIEW: X-Men – Apocalypse

Synopsis: With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner
Release Date: 19th May 2016

Somewhere in the middle of this film Sophie Turner (as the young Jean Grey), makes a comment about how the third movie in a trilogy is always the worst. Clearly, the writers of Apocalypse and director Bryan Singer put this particular line in as a joke referring to how X3: The Last Stand was poorly received by fans and critics alike.
Clearly, they did not imagine that this quote would also be applicable to the mess that is X-Men: Apocalypse.

We start the movie with a scene from Ancient Egypt. It feels too much like The Mummy, and I couldn’t help but expect for Brendan Fraser to suddenly pop out any second. It is in this scene that we have our only glimpse of Oscar Issac; sans blue prosthetics. For the rest of the film, he lumbers about as a big blue guy, expressionless. It is a true and real shame that the studio and filmmakers didn’t take advantage of Issac the way that they should have. Issac is an incredible actor, and yet they covered him completely with bulky prosthetics, paint and costumes that his acting becomes completely devoid of any movement or facial expression. He’ll dull. He’s not intimidating, scary or threatening. He’s a dull lump of blue. Furthermore he’s boring. What a waste!

Back in present day: a decade has passed since the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past. It’s 1983. Should we talk about how this date means that the Professor and Magneto should be in their 50’s? This date means that the events of X-Men: First Class took place 20 years ago! And no-one looks any fucking older! Come on, couldn’t you have spent a little of that massive budget on ageing our actors a little? Just to make them look a little more like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen? Plus, this means that the Professor has pined after Moira (Rose Byrne) for two decades! And she doesn’t look any older either!

Anyway. Magneto, hiding out in Poland, has suddenly married and had a daughter. This new emergence of a family doesn’t feel like a development in his storyline or character, but rather feels like a lazy and cheap plot device so the writers could quickly rid Magneto of any faith in humanity.
Newcomer to the franchise Sophie Turner, as a young Jean Grey, seems also pointless. Her performance and delivery of the character are uneven and dull which isn’t really surprising for a girl who has really only acted in a television show that doesn’t need much from her, other than to be timid, quiet and scared. Singer is clearly still trying to rectify his mistakes in X3, where Dr. Jean Grey becomes the Phoenix and evil all at once, by having her ultimately be the only one to defeat Apocalypse but yet it doesn’t give the satisfaction I’m sure that Singer had hoped for, as Turner lacks the ability to really show power and strength when it is called for.
Quicksilver (Evan Peters) returns and the filmmakers are clearly trying to build upon the reception he got in the last film by giving him two major sequences akin to the Pentagon Kitchen scene in Days of Future Past. Unfortunately, the VFX seem cheaper and hokey compared to the last instalment not just in this sequence, but in the film throughout.
Jennifer Lawrence still can’t pull of the blue as well as Rebecca Romaijn, and it seems to be a completely different shade. James McAvoy finally gets to go bald but the way it happens is incredibly disappointing. In my mind, him going bald represents a huge shift in the Professor’s beliefs. He now knows that he still needs to be wary of humanity and their motives and actions to the mutant race. His baldness is a physical metaphor / representation for his power, his connection to mutants and to Cerebro. To have the losing of his hair be built up for three films and then lost in the way that it is, is so disappointing. And boring.┬áThe writers could have easily come up with a more meaningful way to represent this change.

The Bottom Line:
Hey look, it’s only almost as bad as X3.

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