X-Men: Apocalypse - 3 Stars
A disappointing movie overall, but there are some redeeming aspects.
Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
The X-Men franchise is my favourite of the superhero genre, it was essentially the first franchise to start the wave of hero movies and it’s original film stands the test of time 16 years later. The characters from that movie are still the main characters, albeit played now by younger actors. The majority of these actors are exceptional, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are true stars and it is a joy watching their characters’ journeys. Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult are also fantastic, Lucas Till’s small part is also a joy to watch. The one thing in common about all those actors is they’ve played these roles before, they’ve established their interpretation.
Apocalypse features a whole new wave of young actors playing roles from the early films and it is very hit and miss. Sophie Turner as Jean Grey offers a good performance with a horrific, frequently changing accent - it can be hard to take her seriously, it would’ve almost been better to leave her British accent. Accents are a common theme, Kodi Smit-McPhee again offers good characterisation, but a lousy accent - even returning cast member Rose Bryne’s accent slips often. The new cast highlight for me was Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, my favourite of the X-Men was portrayed brilliantly by this young actor. Evan Peters offered a funny, solid performance as Quicksilver, but he lacks the depth needed.
The script had serious faults and while some character development was good the plot itself was weak and as much as I wanted to love this movie like First Class and Days of Future Past it didn’t work. As always in this genre the CGI was incredible.
Overall it’s not bad or terrible as some reviews suggest and there are some powerhouse performances, but these are often overshadowed by the weaker ones. This isn’t as bad as X-3 or Origins, but it doesn’t live up to the previous two either.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of 20th Century Fox