I like the x-men franchise, yes it has its blips and there are a few poor films but the core 3 and future past are really good superhero films. Apocalypse sits nicely in the middle of the Awful orgins wolverine and first class and the brilliant X-2. The convulted story is the only real let down besides some over ambitious CGI because most of the action and character interactions are great.
This is the 5th X-Men film directed by Bryan Singer and follows the very well received “Days of future past”. The story is about Apocalypse, an old Egyptian god some called the first mutant, he and his four horseman consistently let his legacy live on by transferring his body into new mutants who he then absorbd the power of. He is now back in the 1980’s to wreak havoc on earth and it requires Charles xavier’s mutants to reunite, defeat him and his new four horsemen. Now that may sound pretty basic and not very complicated but I’m not talking about Singer introducing around 7 new characters that aren’t actually new characters but new interpretations of characters from the first trilogy, along with trying to develop the cast from the previous 2 “prequels” and set up future films as well as the films that have already happened that are canon. Not only that but they are introducing an entire new Egyptian god plot and developing a huge supposedly unstoppable villain in the process, it all becomes one big mess of convoluting storylines. Characters that haven’t been in the series for 3 films appear and you’re expected to instantly know who they are and if you don’t, your left confused without any explanation. The occasional flashback to the the previous films attempt to fill you in but generally just end up confusing you more. This film expects you to have expert knowledge on the previous 7 films, of which they started back in 2001, as it is throwing in references to films that came out 15 years ago. I was lucky I’m quite into the X- Men films and most of the references I got, but even some of it went over my head. Also I found out some things about characters that I swear had never been brought up in previous X-Men films that were made out to be continuing plot. For example everyone seemed to be in some Russian town but there’s no explanation to it. There’s also a lot of plot holes from future past, magneto just seemed to disappear and hide for around 10 years without anyone recognising him after nearly killing the president of the united states. The very confusing plot is a huge shame because every character is really well played and as separate stories I enjoyed were some went, Jean Grey and Cyclops had a very interesting story together and it was a nice throwback, but again it really played on the fact that you had to know that in the original trilogy Cyclops and Jean grey were a item.This is sophie turner’s best role yet. Gone is the wooden sansa stark from early game of thrones and now is an actress who can really hold the camera and seems relaxed on it, I can only imagine she will get better with each film she’s in. Quicksilver’s scene was again the highlight of the film he’s the best on screen interpretation of quicksilver I’ve seen (animations included). James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender also played there roles well and they have brought their own interpretation to the rolets originally played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen they now stand different from their predecessors (which if you think about it should be a bad thing because they are supposed to be the same characters, but I like the new interpretations). Oscar isaac was okay, normally he’s great and in my opinion is one of our generation’s biggest/best upcoming stars but he didn’t really have anything to do besides consistently babble on about building “new” things.
Direction was okay and the soundtrack was pretty good all round, highlight again being quicksilver’s scene and it’s song of choice. But like green rooms poor editing this had another big technical flaw, CGI. It was too ambitious in my opinion and this is a film that’s supposed to look great. There’s so many different and colourful powers, every superpower should look real but they don’t seem to have developed since 2001. If you look at marvel films and there CGI it’s nearly flawless I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a marvel film and thought “that CGI is awful” it’s always really immersive and well done, that’s probably down to budget admittedly but still this film looks terribly outdated. In fact at multiple occasions it took me completely out of the action, the film is at times too ambitious for the CGI and if it doesn’t hold up now the CGI will look even worse in the future. Everyones powers look fake with the exception of Psylocke and Quicksilver (where I can only assume all the budget went) Cyclops looks especially rough and some laser scenes looked terrible. Some of the large scale destruction looks alright but it’s nothing special.
The only other issue this film had wasn’t actually anything in the film itself it was the trailers. I thought the trailers weren’t very spoilery, yes I took a bit too much information from them but still didn’t think they were gonna ruin the film. If you’re lucky enough to have not seen the last trailer then avoid it at all costs it spoils so much, the majority of scenes are from the last 3rd of the film and for no good reason. There’s not really any big plot points that aren’t spoiled in the trailer. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it if you have seen it but it will certainly ruin some big moments that probably would have had more impact.
This is probably the most confusing superhero film you’ll ever watch, i recommend watching all 7 films before watching this maybe even more than once then maybe you’ll have a chance at understanding what’s going on. The CGI is definitely an issue and could do with being rectified fast if these films are going to continue and they should because they are great films. This film is by no means a bad film the story is confusing but it’s still interesting each character gets their moment to shine and no one really feels overlooked. It’s very well acted and the dialogue is witty and well written. It’s just the overall arc of this film is so mixed in with other films that it confuses casual viewers, if I were an expert on the franchise this film would probably be so much better. Avoid all the trailers, watch all the previous films and this film will be great. Better than Batman vs. Superman, worse than Civil war.
By Dawson Roberts
Directed By- Bryan Singer