Completing the First Class trilogy, X-Men: Apocalypse blends resonant themes with strong characters even if it stumbles from a few too many mutant fatigues.
Apocalypse thrills and entertains, but does lack depth from previous X-Men entries. Nevertheless, director Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2 and Days of Future Past) completes his master making timeline of the X-Men universe. Sure, it does lack narrative depth but it’s a hell of an emotional roller coaster all the way to the end. Suck on that cynics. All of the characters have grown and deepened since we first took that journey with them back 2011’s First Class.
We’ve been with them during the Cuba missile crisis in 1962 and during the Sentinels launch of 1973. Now, it’s 1983 and with the emergence of the world's first mutant, En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse (a brilliant Oscar Isaac), the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan. Yes, the film is another evil being wanting to accomplish world domination for the mutant race. With the simple plot, Singer focuses on a visual splendor backed by an emotional resonance from each character. All of our favorite actors return to the screen consisting of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Lucas Till, Josh Helman and Hugh Jackman. Newcomers Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Alexandra Shipp all perform well as younger incarnations of Jean Grey, Scott Summers/Cyclops, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler and Ororo Munroe/Storm.
Singer hits all of the staples in this film, there’s the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, there’s Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver’s super speed evacuation scene, there’s Jackman’s cameo scene as Weapon X and there’s McAvoy’s evolution of Professor X. Throughout the destruction of the film Singer cranks the volume up to 11. Buildings crumble and X-Men unite! I get it, there’s an overload of action and a lack of narrative depth in this third outing for the First Class trilogy, nevertheless, Apocalypse rises from the ashes and obliterates the summer competition. With mutant fatigue clouding over Singer’s eyes, the only way to go from this chapter is up … hopefully. Yes, it’s a little underwhelming when compared to its predecessors, but in all honesty, fully satisfying every fan geek when wrapping up a trilogy is nearly impossible.
So take Apocalypse as a grain of salt and you surely won’t be disappointed. A vulnerable superhero franchise that’s been beaten up just keeps on standing. X-Men: Apocalypse is a clear setup for future films to follow in this puzzle piece timeline. Big special effects followed by outstanding performers helmed the path for the film. Apocalypse finds its comic book storytelling through an amidst of the chaos and rises. Don’t let the negative criticism get you down, this ninth chapter for the mutant universe hits some rocky moments but overcomes it all-in-all thanks to impressive visual set pieces.
X-Men: Apocalypse is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned) For sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images.
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