The comic book movie craze keeps on rolling with the newest X-men film, simply subtitled Apocalypse. The X-Men films have had an interesting run since the first film back in 2000. With two major successful films that did well with fans, critics and at the box office. Other things got…weird when Brian Singer (the director of both films) left to make Superman Returns.
Then came X-Men: Last Stand which was a massive miss step in the eyes of fans, the prequel X-Men origins that was as popular as a fart in a stuck elevator. And in terms of adapting the characters from the comics, it set the javelin record away from the point. With changes so randomly clueless that Deadpool, one of the more recent X-Men films, made fun of the film, numerous times. Anyway, then came the surprising great X-Men First Class and The Wolverine two years later. But to hell with the last one, because Singer came back to make the absolutely amazing sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past literally the following year; in which he grew the gigantic balls to erase all past films that wasn’t First Class from the events of the franchise’s overall story. So now that film, Days of Future Past, Deadpool and now this film remain as the new continuity. Now film goers know what comic continuity is like.
But is the new film any good? Let’s do this. The story follows the mutant students of Professor Charles Xavier played by James McCavoy, as they come across the existence of Apocalypse played by Oscar Isaac who plans to destroy the world with his new servants known as “the four horsemen”. Said plot involves the capture of Charales by Apocalypse. Thus the newly formed X-men team set of to find Apocalypse in order to prevent him from destroying everything. Like Days of Future Past, this was a highly anticipated film for this franchise, as Apocalypse is the biggest and most dangerous villain in the X-Men comics; so when fans heard there was going to be a live action blockbuster with this character, the hype was tense.
Like the past two films (well the ones that count) the cast old and new do excellent work as the characters. Since First Class, James McCavoy has always shown the warmth, compassion and optimism of Prof Xavier; and once again he doesn’t disappoint, showing real development from the previous film. Him and Micheal Fassbender as Magneto have been the highlight of this new trilogy, and Fassbender is great again. Even if his given a new back story of losing the family he gained while on the run from the White House. It’s basically a new reason to hate humans. But still the emotion of the scene and actor works beautifully. Even Quick-Silver from the last film is done well again here. When it came to Days of Future Past, one of my main gripes was the question of: why did each step of Logan’s plan not involve the term: “and get the speedster to do”. And here not only does the guy spear more often, but is as like able as ever, with further development. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven is still as confident as the character, even if she gets a smaller role compared to past films in this new franchise.
The replacements for characters like Jean Gray, Nightcrawler and Scott Summers do great jobs as these characters, you really see their characters come through, plus the fact that their clearly not as experienced lifts up the tension. And let’s talk about Apocalypse. Oscar Isaac does an excellent job, his aggressive while soft-spoken, calm and patient. Which works as you have no idea when this god like persons going to snap. While Oscar does great work, the guy has limited motives character wise; his a guy who wants the world to burn after being trapped in a pyramid for centuries. That’s really it.
On the subject of Apocalypse, my only other gripe is that three of his four merry horsemen. Outside of Magneto, do very little of…anything; Storm, Angel and Psylocke get very little to do outside of the end fight. They establish the past briefly, show their powers, then stand around with Apocalypse as he gets the work done. Again that’s it. But it’s the effects and production design that saves each character; with their costume mac thing the comic character excellently. And the effects bring so well detailed and polished.
The scenes where Apocalypse uses his powers are breath-taking, and match well with the scale of the film; because a lot goes on and the world will pay the price. Which goes well with the excellent set design and production. But like the last X-men film, it’s Quick Silver’s scene that steals the show, and almost out does the kitchen scene from Future Past.
While this may not out do Days of Future past, Apocalypse is a stunning film that is a worthy follow-up to the past two films in this new trilogy. With excellent acting and the best effects in the X-men series. Go see it, the big screen is indeed worth it.
7 out of 10
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