Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
X-Men: Apocalypse (Dir. Bryan Singer / 2016)
The X-Men are portrayed by some of the best actors working in Hollywood. X-Men: Apocalypse stars Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac and Jennifer Lawrence – all Academy Awards winners or nominees. Chris Evans and Henry Cavill don’t come close. Set in the 80’s, Apocalypse continues an arc begun in First Class and Days of Future Past. Professor X (McAvoy) runs his School for the Gifted while Magneto (Fassbender) is finally at peace in Poland with a loving wife and sweet daughter. That’s until the power-hungry, space-suit clad villain Apocalypse (Isaac) returns. Resurrected, he steals mutant abilities by luring “four horsemen” to set his plan in motion. Sadly, X-Men: Apocalypse relegates some of our favourite characters to minor roles and rests the momentum on the shoulders of this new mega-villain. But the character couldn’t be duller. Part Power Rangers and part chunky action figure, Apocalypse lacks charisma and fear. A booming voice and silly outfit means he fits the uninteresting “standard bad guy” mould. Quicksilver has fun scenes while Mystique remains conflicted. Even Beast, Storm and Jubilee are slumming in the background leaving frustration at the forefront of your mind. Moments with a purposeful, thematic connection to the last two films are well-placed and the teenage Cyclops and Jean-Grey have an intriguing relationship. But when a Wolverine cameo seems shoe-horned in and awkwardly unnecessary, it’s clear that something’s gone wrong. Barely holding it together, X-Men: Apocalypse will leave you either disappointed or angry. Especially when you know it could’ve been so much better.