I wanna start out by saying that when the first “X-Men” film hit theaters I was only 10 years old. “X-Men” came before any Spider-Man, Hulk, or any other Avenger for that matter when it came to a theatrical movie. I remember seeing it opening day, so excited. It was like I’d won a shopping spree to Toys R Us. Over the last 16 years, even with a couple disastrous missteps, such as the third film and first Wolverine film, I still consider “X-Men” to be my favorite superhero film franchise. While honestly I feel there are way too many superhero films today, I couldn’t help but feel like that little kid again going into “X-Men: Apocalypse,” proudly stating all year it was my number one must see summer movie. While I’m certainly more familiar with the comics, over time I feel like for the first time in a long time I went into this movie with a large popcorn, drink, candy, and naturally sat Indian style in anticipation for two 1/2 hours of fun. To be fair the first two xmen movies provided the perfect blend of character development and superpowers, and really knocked it out of the park in X2. Apocalypse isn’t as good as X2, nor Days of Future Past, but I certainly think it’s a better movie than any of the other Xmen films we’ve seen so far.
For a 2 1/2 hour film it sure as hell went as fast as Quicksilver himself. The film picks up 10 years after the previous movie. Magneto is living in secrecy with a loving wife and an adorable daughter. Mystique is still on her own rogue mission, which is never really explained when she is thrust into the film very early on. Charles Xavier finally seems to have his school up and running and is teaching many mutants how to embrace their powers. Here at the school we’re introduced to many faces, old and new alike. We see the return of Havoc in a key role while enlisting his brother Scott (aka Cyclops) with his newly developed power. Here we meet a young Jean Grey, a very young Nightcrawler, and get to see tiny bits and pieces of characters destined for more pivotal roles, such as Jubilee. At the same time Apocalypse awakens, Magneto experiences a terrible tragedy, and Apocalypse manipulates him into becoming one of his Four Horsemen, the others being Psylocke, Storm, and Angel. The goal for Apocalypse is quite simple. He just wants to destroy the world and rebuild it in his design. So now Mystique has to step in after going solo for 10 years and decides to fight with a new class of X-Men. She has now become an idol to mutants around the world for saving mutantkind in the last film.
Here’s what I didn’t like about the film although I want to make it clear that I very much loved it, but it’s not all quite right. The first 90 minutes of the film lacks real action of any kind. While I really liked getting to know the new characters who were very developed, I wish there was more between Magneto and the Professor. Those two have been the key ingredients in what I guess you can say is the recent trilogy starting with “X-Men: First Class.” It also feels like the villains get a lot of the shaft when it comes to character development, except Storm. The other two, Angel and Psylocke, seem to have some sort of teenage angst as a motive. There’s really no explanation on why they would want to destroy the entire world. It’s very understandable for some of the new characters and some of the returning characters to lack character development but at the same time we must introduce new characters while we see some characters possibly be retiring. As far as contracts go, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender all reprised the role for their last mandatory time. While the first 90 minutes was filled with great character development and scenes, you can’t help but wish there was a bit more dialogue for some characters and a bit more action towards the beginning of the film. I feel Apocalypse himself certainly had some flaws when it came to the way he talked and used his powers. I felt he could have been a lot more badass, but at the same time it was very refreshing to see the villain of the film be a mutant other than Magneto. Also, to all the fans who hated the suits from the trailer, when you leave the theatre, you’ll be happy on that front.
What I really loved about the film is Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Cyclops, but specifically emotional things such as Magneto and Quicksilver’s relationship, or Cyclops and Havok’s brotherhood. Personally, as much as I love the nonstop action of the last film, it was really great that even in 2 1/2 hours they were able to give so much emotion, and often times humor. Jennifer Lawrence once again stands out as a badass who does whatever she wants. She clearly doesn’t even try in this one to take on the character. You will see the return of everyone’s fan favorite character Wolverine, and trust me guys you will not be disappointed with his appearance. It seems like Fox really took to what the fans were saying and did not only give characters justice, but really focused on Quicksilver, who’s probably one of the most badass superheroes I’ve ever seen on film. Ultimately no matter what you feel about the first 90 minutes, because it’s very character driven and story based, there’s no way in hell once Wolverine shows up you won’t enjoy the movie. What’s great about the last 50 minutes is the core basis of the X-Men, which is Magneto and the Professor, as well as Mystique and Quicksilver, who’re put in a really tough position. All the mutants whether good or bad are just as cool as the others. It’s just a brawl with so much destruction, super powers, and other awesome stuff thrown your way. I think at the end of this film you clearly can tell now which characters will shift into the forefront and of the ones remaining, I really, really like that I wanna know where they’re gonna go next. Even with all this said, I sat there Indian style soaking up the film as if I was 10 again. It’s not perfect, but it’s really, really fun.
I’m totally going to be catching the film again but next time in a 4DX theater, where the seats shake and move. I saw Civil War this way and it was an amazing new way to enjoy a movie. Marvel has been hitting the nail on the head over the last 9 years building up their franchise. While many studios have taken their characters, such as Sony with Spider-Man, Marvel is pretty okay with Fox doing what they’re doing ever since “X-Men: First Class.” It was damn near impossible to top that last film, or at least that’s how I feel, yet here I think they delivered a pretty solid 4/5 when it comes to telling a new, fresh story and passing the torch to see some of our favorite beloved characters first walk through the Professor’s school. As always with any Marvel film, you should know to stay after the credits but I highly suggest if you’re a fan of the last 2 films, go see this one. Just know this one is very character driven, and everyone has their favorite character, so be prepared if they may fall short, but it’s no “X3: The Last Stand” where they just threw everything around haphazardly. The audience also gave a loud applause when Cyclops makes a remark about the 3rd movie. It’s also a film I’d highly suggest you see in 3D. It does somewhat feel like a kind of X-Men movie we haven’t seen, but all I know is that I was having a blast and was along for the ride.
Apocalypse isn't as good as X2, nor Days of Future Past, but I certainly think it's a better movie than any of the other Xmen films we've seen so far.