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Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse
05.24.2016
7 10

Read Eric Walkuski's review HERE

PLOT: When an ancient, powerful mutant - Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) - is reawakened circa-1983, it’s up to a new group of X-Men led by Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), including Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and the ambiguous Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) to stop him.

REVIEW: In this era of the modern blockbuster, where superhero films dominate the worldwide box-office, a curious backlash has started-up against movies that don’t quite deliver fans the experience they expect. In some ways, this can be chalked-up to Marvel Studios, whose films reliably please fans - a formula they’ve aced but has proved to be difficult for studios to replicate.

x men apocalypse jennifer lawrence oscar issac

Still, it was assumed that Bryan Singer’s take on the X-Men universe was among the franchises approved-of by fans, with DAYS OF FUTURE PAST getting raves and the recent quasi-spin-off DEADPOOL emerging as mammoth blockbuster. Certainly, Fox must have thought they would like APOCALYPSE, with nationwide press screenings taking place a full three weeks before opening day. When the embargo broke, it took less than an hour for the buzz to turn from white-hot anticipation to disaster, with early critics slamming this with the worst would-be blockbuster reviews since BATMAN V SUPERMAN.

The fact is, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE isn’t nearly as bad as the early critics say, nor is it on-par with the last two installments. But, for at least two hours of the 150 minute running time, APOCALYPSE is a perfectly serviceable superhero blockbuster, and - in rare moments - almost excellent. It’s really only the last act that does APOCALYPSE in, with a conclusion that’s almost a carbon-copy of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST’s wrap-up, and a pre-credits epilogue that’s already being torn to pieces in some of the more spoiler-heavy reviews out there.

Nevertheless, APOCALYPSE is mostly good-to-very good. While fans were right to worry that Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse would be turned into a generic baddie, director Bryan Singer still has a good handle on the heroes (if not the villains) and is more-than capable of staging excellent set-pieces. One includes a familiar mutant that’s not part of the billed-cast and is (in my opinion) that character’s best-ever action scene in the franchise and a tantalizing glimpse at an upcoming spin-off that promises a new, hardcore take on the character.

The large cast of APOCALYPSE is hit-and-miss. As in the other films, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are reliably good. While Singer goes a little too-far in making Charles Xavier an eighties fashion-plate (his wardrobe looks like it was stolen from a warehouse containing Don Johnson’s old MIAMI VICE clothes), McAvoy once again gives Xavier the dignity and warmth Patrick Stewart brought to the part. While he’s sidelined for much of the second half, McAvoy seems to relish the role and he also gets a returning love interest in the under-used Rose Byrne.

For his part, Michael Fassbender still seems absolutely committed to making Magneto a tragic, near-Shakespearian figure, with us learning early-on that he’s been hiding, since the end of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, in Cold War Poland with a new human wife and child. Once he comes under Apocalypse’s sway his part gets formulaic, and it’s too bad that like McAvoy he barely registers in the second half. Sadly, the much-more prominent Jennifer Lawrence seems bored with playing Mystique, phoning-in a part that - to her defense - has become quite boring and hasn’t evolved much since the last film.

x men apocalypse rose byrne nocholas hoult james mcavoy jennifer lawrence

Of the new mutants, Tye Sheridan is excellent as Cyclops, and Game of Thrones’s Sophie Turner is good (if not entirely convincing - yet) as a young Jean Grey. Alexandra Shipp is terrific (maybe better than Halle Berry ever was) as the young Storm, who starts-off as a minion of Apocalypse, but Olivia Munn is frustratingly under-used as Psylocke, with her emerging as little more than another henchwoman.

As in DAYS, Evan Peters is the ace-up the movie’s sleeve. Now aware that Magneto is his father, he becomes prominent as the film goes-on, and once again gets one of the movie’s best sequences, set to the classic Eurythmics’s track “Sweet Dreams”. It’s bits like this that make it clear Singer’s still one of the best superhero directors out there, with many fans forgetting it was his original X-MEN that invented the cinematic language of the modern superhero film - for better or worse.

Sadly, the early critics, while far too harsh, weren’t totally off-base criticizing this. The last act really is an absolute mess, and Apocalypse is so dull a villain one wonders what (other than a hefty paycheck) drew Isaac to the part. The finale really is quite bad and leaves the movie on a sour note that’s going to affect the fans and their confidence in Singer, although a good eighty-percent of the movie is just fine, if not quite on-par with something like CIVIL WAR. Maybe it’s just that the X-MEN, after six films (not including the spin-offs), have started to run-out-of-steam and need some kind of re-imagining. Even still, APOCALYPSE is in its best moments, a good time at the movies and nowhere near the nadir of a series that’s seen some really bad entries.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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3:05PM on 05/26/2016

This movie was awesome, I don't get it.

Exactly what was wrong with it? Why was that last half "a mess"? Personally I don't get the bad mouthing, to me this was quite possibly, the best in the series. I might have enjoyed it a bit more than Civil War actually.
Exactly what was wrong with it? Why was that last half "a mess"? Personally I don't get the bad mouthing, to me this was quite possibly, the best in the series. I might have enjoyed it a bit more than Civil War actually.
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7:17AM on 05/26/2016
Didn't expect Chris to sound like this. I could listen to him all day. :3
Didn't expect Chris to sound like this. I could listen to him all day. :3
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12:51AM on 05/26/2016
my fav superhero movie this year so far. just how i feel.
my fav superhero movie this year so far. just how i feel.
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1:06PM on 05/25/2016

It can't be as bad as Wolverine/Origins/Last Stand, RIGHT?!?

This sounds like a fun time, nothing as serious as the past two "young" Xmen movies dealing with real life crises but it isn't that hard to fuck up the villain (who sounds like the best villain to date since it isn't Kevin Bacon or just Magneto.
This sounds like a fun time, nothing as serious as the past two "young" Xmen movies dealing with real life crises but it isn't that hard to fuck up the villain (who sounds like the best villain to date since it isn't Kevin Bacon or just Magneto.
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9:26AM on 05/25/2016
Previously, on J-LAW MEN: THE MUTANT GAMES... Bleh.
Previously, on J-LAW MEN: THE MUTANT GAMES... Bleh.
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8:23AM on 05/25/2016
Overall I'd say the film was the upper end of a 5 out of 10, so probably worth a 6. It's just really average throughout and the final battle is actually pretty dull. Not a terrible film, but nothing special - especially in comparison with the last two films. The fact that they make a joke about dodgy third installments at one point in this film suggests they thought they'd made something far more worthy of praise than they actually have though. Fassbender's great in the scenes where he's
Overall I'd say the film was the upper end of a 5 out of 10, so probably worth a 6. It's just really average throughout and the final battle is actually pretty dull. Not a terrible film, but nothing special - especially in comparison with the last two films. The fact that they make a joke about dodgy third installments at one point in this film suggests they thought they'd made something far more worthy of praise than they actually have though. Fassbender's great in the scenes where he's actually allowed to emote, and the new Storm certainly has potential if they continue her character arc, but for the most part this is a fairly uninspired offering. Not terrible, just a bit lacking.
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2:54AM on 05/25/2016
"Maybe itís just that the X-MEN, after six films (not including the spin-offs), have started to run-out-of-steam and need some kind of re-imagining." Itching for this to happen. I feel it's time.
"Maybe itís just that the X-MEN, after six films (not including the spin-offs), have started to run-out-of-steam and need some kind of re-imagining." Itching for this to happen. I feel it's time.
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9:34PM on 05/24/2016

As I've written elsewhere...

I've just seen X-Men: Apocalypse. I LOVED it. Up until now X-Men 2 was my fave, but Apocalypse knocked it out of the park.

What's more, not only do I think Apocalypse is the best X-Men film yet I'm going on record and say it's the best superhero film of 2016.

It's easily better than Batman V Superman and honestly, whilst I loved Civil War I came out feeling something was missing. Maybe my expectations had been too high, possibly expecting more than Marvel was willing to
I've just seen X-Men: Apocalypse. I LOVED it. Up until now X-Men 2 was my fave, but Apocalypse knocked it out of the park.

What's more, not only do I think Apocalypse is the best X-Men film yet I'm going on record and say it's the best superhero film of 2016.

It's easily better than Batman V Superman and honestly, whilst I loved Civil War I came out feeling something was missing. Maybe my expectations had been too high, possibly expecting more than Marvel was willing to give...

Apocalypse though feels like it's giving us everything it has. Quite frankly I feel that the Apocalypse character has laid down the gauntlet and Thanos will have a tough job to top it when the MCU tackle Infinity War.

I'm not expecting everyone to share my opinion (I'm sure a lot will blindly rate Civil War higher)... But dammit, I think X-Men: Apocalypse deserves credit - it got my adrenalin pumping and at the end I was buzzing for more.

20th Century Fox may not have a clue how to handle Fantastic Four but it just nailed the X-Men.
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7:49PM on 05/24/2016
***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT***

I'd give it 7/10 as well. Somehow it feels uneven. The build up of Apocalypse, as a character, is great. We see him use his amazing mutant power throughout the movie but by third act he decides to use Magneto as a puppet instead. It's a bit odd. Nevertheless, Quicksilver steals the show once again and the climax battle between Professor X and Apocalypse is great. This is still a great X-Men movie. But, to me, not as good as First
***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT***

I'd give it 7/10 as well. Somehow it feels uneven. The build up of Apocalypse, as a character, is great. We see him use his amazing mutant power throughout the movie but by third act he decides to use Magneto as a puppet instead. It's a bit odd. Nevertheless, Quicksilver steals the show once again and the climax battle between Professor X and Apocalypse is great. This is still a great X-Men movie. But, to me, not as good as First Class.
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+4
7:18PM on 05/24/2016

CORRRECTION

Poland was not in the Soviet Union! It was communist but it wasn't a part of USSR. Get it right
Poland was not in the Soviet Union! It was communist but it wasn't a part of USSR. Get it right
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7:06PM on 05/24/2016

More kids movies. Yay!

Wouldn't it be great of Bryan Singer would do movies like Valkyrie and Usual Suspects again? Sigh. A boy can dream can't he.

At least it was better than Civil War. Although most would disagree since everyone seems to love that movie for reasons I don't quite understand.
Wouldn't it be great of Bryan Singer would do movies like Valkyrie and Usual Suspects again? Sigh. A boy can dream can't he.

At least it was better than Civil War. Although most would disagree since everyone seems to love that movie for reasons I don't quite understand.
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7:43PM on 05/24/2016
And im sure people think the same about you not enjoying it. To each his/her own. I honestly don't care one bit for singers vision for these characters.
And im sure people think the same about you not enjoying it. To each his/her own. I honestly don't care one bit for singers vision for these characters.
8:44PM on 05/24/2016
I didn't hate it but it doesn't touch Valkyrie or Usual Suspects. X-Men part 8: The Apocalypse is just another movie you can take the kids to and stay awake for.
I didn't hate it but it doesn't touch Valkyrie or Usual Suspects. X-Men part 8: The Apocalypse is just another movie you can take the kids to and stay awake for.
8:50PM on 05/24/2016
The scene with Erik The Magneto and his family was pretty good. That's what made me wish he wouldn't waste his time with these movies and do something great again.

Hopefully the Hollywood comic book machine doesn't steal Jeremy Saulnier from us like they have done with Singer. Come back, Bryan! I miss you!
The scene with Erik The Magneto and his family was pretty good. That's what made me wish he wouldn't waste his time with these movies and do something great again.

Hopefully the Hollywood comic book machine doesn't steal Jeremy Saulnier from us like they have done with Singer. Come back, Bryan! I miss you!
6:18PM on 05/24/2016
Other than the fact that Apocalypse is really a non-entity in this movie, whose powers are never explained, developed, or really used for that matter, this movie is a great addition to the franchise. I disagree with some of the remarks in this review though. The new Jean Grey was really a standout especially at the end whereas Cyclops was really given nothing to do at all. J-Law did kind of phone it in, but she did well still. The biggest disappointment was Psylocke. If you've seen all the
Other than the fact that Apocalypse is really a non-entity in this movie, whose powers are never explained, developed, or really used for that matter, this movie is a great addition to the franchise. I disagree with some of the remarks in this review though. The new Jean Grey was really a standout especially at the end whereas Cyclops was really given nothing to do at all. J-Law did kind of phone it in, but she did well still. The biggest disappointment was Psylocke. If you've seen all the previews, you've seen everything from her. Can't even remember if she actually spoke. Most characters were just there for filler and added nothing to the proceedings including Angel, Moira, and Beast. They were completely forgettable. Storm was definitely better than Halle Berry's take though and Quicksilver stole the show. The Wolverine cameo felt way too forced but it was a great depiction of the character finally. The story was somewhat generic, but overall the movie was fun and moved at a brisk pace and ended on a really cool note in my opinion.
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5:59PM on 05/24/2016
"One includes a familiar mutant thatís not part of the billed-cast and is (in my opinion) that characterís best-ever action scene in the franchise and a tantalizing glimpse at an upcoming spin-off that promises a new, hardcore take on the character."

I'm assuming this is confirmation that Gambit makes an appearance??
"One includes a familiar mutant thatís not part of the billed-cast and is (in my opinion) that characterís best-ever action scene in the franchise and a tantalizing glimpse at an upcoming spin-off that promises a new, hardcore take on the character."

I'm assuming this is confirmation that Gambit makes an appearance??
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6:10PM on 05/24/2016
Sadly no. This refers to the Wolverine cameo. Which really is the best display he's had on screen this far.
Sadly no. This refers to the Wolverine cameo. Which really is the best display he's had on screen this far.
6:11PM on 05/24/2016
Damn. Got excited there for a second. It would make sense considering the post credits scene.
Damn. Got excited there for a second. It would make sense considering the post credits scene.
8:05PM on 05/24/2016
And the post credits seems to indicate one of my favorite X-Men's villain as well.
And the post credits seems to indicate one of my favorite X-Men's villain as well.
4:46PM on 05/24/2016

WHAT A LETDOWN... (MINOR SPOILERS)

how they came from the excellent FIRST CLASS to this just average movie ??????
- boring
- predictable (Magneto becomes a good guy at the end cause his friendship with Xavier, what a surprise !!!!)
- CGI-green screen suck-fest
- Mc Avoy, Fassbender and J-Law seemed bored to be in this movie...
- no epic moments
- the Wolverine cameo was nothing great... again, comported to First Class, that's a shame
- I did not care about the villain's motivations
- even the Quicksilver scene seemed a
how they came from the excellent FIRST CLASS to this just average movie ??????
- boring
- predictable (Magneto becomes a good guy at the end cause his friendship with Xavier, what a surprise !!!!)
- CGI-green screen suck-fest
- Mc Avoy, Fassbender and J-Law seemed bored to be in this movie...
- no epic moments
- the Wolverine cameo was nothing great... again, comported to First Class, that's a shame
- I did not care about the villain's motivations
- even the Quicksilver scene seemed a re-do of DOFP... ok, it was cool, but deja vu...
- the post credit scene was just average
Bryan Singer really needs to leave this franchise,
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-2
4:43PM on 05/24/2016
I've seen it. While it does have that "no surprise" factor, it's not worse than Days of Future Past. It's an X-Men movie. If you like those, you will enjoy this. If you hated the previous ones, this won't change your mind.

BTW, once again, Quicksilver has a scene that steals the show.
I've seen it. While it does have that "no surprise" factor, it's not worse than Days of Future Past. It's an X-Men movie. If you like those, you will enjoy this. If you hated the previous ones, this won't change your mind.

BTW, once again, Quicksilver has a scene that steals the show.
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4:20PM on 05/24/2016

Garbage!

Booooooooring garbage.
Don't bother giving them your hard earned $!
Make THEM work just as hard as you did for YOUR money!

Expect MORE!
Booooooooring garbage.
Don't bother giving them your hard earned $!
Make THEM work just as hard as you did for YOUR money!

Expect MORE!
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3:02AM on 05/25/2016
It's funny. I was thinking something similar with regards to BvS the other day. I haven't seen Apocalypse so can't really comment (although all the warnings appear to be there in the boring trailer). But is it me or are many fans oddly apologetic, as opposed to demanding when it comes to movies with their favourite heroes in them. Its like some are content to eat out of the dumpster and call it caviar. I agree. Demand more for your money. I know I do!
It's funny. I was thinking something similar with regards to BvS the other day. I haven't seen Apocalypse so can't really comment (although all the warnings appear to be there in the boring trailer). But is it me or are many fans oddly apologetic, as opposed to demanding when it comes to movies with their favourite heroes in them. Its like some are content to eat out of the dumpster and call it caviar. I agree. Demand more for your money. I know I do!
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