When the world’s first ever mutant (Apocalypse [Oscar Isaac]) awakens from a slumber that started in Ancient Egypt, the x-men must assemble to stop him destroying the world in order to rid it of sin in his eyes. But Apocalypse is also assembling a team of four horsemen, will the X-men be able to defeat him in time?
By this point the X-men timeline has been completely destroyed, this film sort of takes place ten years after the bits of Days of Future Past that were set in the seventies. And continues the changed timeline from then on. So there are certain elements in this film that don’t make sense in the context of the other x-men films, and certain characters that appear completely different to their other incarnations. I say certain characters, I mean Mystique. Much as I love Jennifer Lawrence, it is now clear that she really isn’t suited to mystique as a character. And in Apocalypse more than ever she just plays Katniss again.
In general X-Men Apocalypse is a mixed bag. For me it’s better than X-Men Origins, The Wolverine, Last Stand and Days of Future Past. But worse than X2, X-Men and First Class. So a fairly middling X-Men movie. There are parts that I really liked, and others that were fairly boring, or even that just didn’t work. As per usual Michael Fassbender has an awful lot to do with the good parts of this film. It really now appears to be that any emotional attachment the film attempts to portray is done through him. It’s to his immense credit, then, that he completely pulls it off. He for the most part the reason I found myself hooked by Apocalypse, and when he isn’t on screen you miss him. I thought Oscar Isaac battled hard with an underwritten villain with a confusingly vague set of powers, and I really enjoyed Olivia Munn’s Psylocke – whom now appears to be the spiritual Mystique, due to Jennifer Lawrence just doing her own thing – . Elsewhere James McAvoy was good, as were Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Sophie Turner. However the film does get bogged down not necessarily by weak acting, but by focusing too much on weak characters. I really don’t care about Beast or Angel. They don’t have interesting powers and take away screen time from people like Magneto and Psylocke.
The set Pieces that work are those that happen on a small scale. Like the Quicksilver bit or the prison escape. When we get to the large scale destruction part, it just all feels a little weightless, both in terms of emotion and physicality. But overall Apocalypse if a fun watch, it’s just nowhere near the very best X-men films in terms of political intrigue or character investment.