X-Men: Apocalypse (d. Bryan Singer USA 2016)

Please read On Reviews for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment: starfish starfish starfish starfish

Performances: starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability:   starfish starfish

Technical:        starfish starfish starfish

So the story of X-Men seems to have been quite the complicated one, taking comic book films from a dying art to a new beginning with the original Trilogy (X-Men (d. Bryan Singer USA 2000), X-Men 2 (d. Singer USA/Canada 2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (d. Brett Ratner USA/Canada/UK 2006)). Then we saw some somewhat desperate origin story/spin off (X-Men Origins: Wolverine (d.Gavin Hood USA/UK 2009)) before we saw a reboot that was actually quite impressive at times, despite being an almost annoying technique that Star Trek (d. J. J. Abrams USA/Germany 2009) also used to start a new timeline. It has to be said that X-Men: First Class (d. Matthew Vaughn USA/UK 2011) and X-Men Days of Future Past (d. Singer USA/Canada/UK 2014) has been reasonably successful. X-Men: Apocalypse would be the third instalment and an attempt to further ground the new X-Men films and characters in the hearts of new and old audiences alike. Now, whether they’ve been successful or not in this vain is down to you at the end of the day, but with these films you should have a sense of what you’ll see with this film. Characters return and similar tricks and stories are used.

So this brings us nicely to one big part of Superhero films and X-Men films – CGI. This is both the best and worst of the film. Though to some degree this should be expected. The CGI looks good, it represents their powers so wonderfully. Occasionally the technical prowess of the film is represented in Editing and Cinematography elsewhere but CGI takes the central spot. Now this adds to the drama and the impact – whether tension or emotional – of each scene, but it doesn’t always help the action. Stakes do escalate and scenes have that tension and the mutant powers are very pretty and effective but the action scenes do suffer a bit. This is realised most of all in the final fights that are underwhelming compared to the rest of the film.

So now the characters, we have so many characters. I honestly can easily get bogged down with millions of characters in a film. I frequently feel that not enough time is devoted to every character for a film with an ensemble cast to work. Fortunately, the X-Men films has been very good at this, the characters shine well with their mutant powers enough to make them interesting and their character derives from this simple thread very effectively. A mutant has a curse that makes them unique and damaged at the same time. How they deal with it shows character and who they are as a mutant as well. They work with and around and clash with each other in a way that ensembles should also work as well. With a lot of plot threads working at once you can forget the shared goal that must be a part of the film itself. It is a careful line to handle. With a wonderful cast performing at some of their best the film carries you through very well and even allows for some genuinely surprising emotional moments. That being said, the antagonist isn’t the best he could be. There are just too many not very interesting world dominators trying to cleanse the world through an apocalypse out there. This antagonist’s shortcomings are the same as Avengers: Age of Ultron (d. Joss Whedon USA 2015)’s. This is a minor complaint though, especially as there is an impressive devotion to how a lot of these characters, antagonist included, are handled.

This was a really entertaining film and shows that the new X-Men trilogy is ready to stand alone and take over completely and in fact, improve upon the original trilogy and well a lot can change in those 15 years. See this film for the actors and their characters stories with each other. Bear in mind that CGI can be pretty but it isn’t the whole film and perhaps… let the antagonist try his weight at the villain slot.


A mutant that can take other mutants powers has arisen and believes himself to be a god to rid the world of humanity, it’s up to the X-Men to defend all humans.


Further Reading



Official Site

Interview with Cast

Interview with Bryan Singer

Interview with Hugh Jackman

Plot Holes and Unanswered Questions

All Easter Eggs

Changes after Apocalypse?

X-Men Theme and Again

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