X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) – Should I Watch It?
Big daddy blue throws a hissy fit when people don’t worship the very ground he walks on.
X-Men: Apocalypse is the latest instalment of the X-Men franchise, and positions itself as the third movie of the current timeline. And as is expected from a sequel, the stakes are higher, the fights are grander, and the people are bluer.
In my opinion X-Men will always be the ultimate superhero assembly group. As much as I like the Justice League, The Avengers, and The Fantastic Four, they simply do not rival the motley crew of super powered mutants known as the X-Men. The reason for this is that they are much more like an association, or a family, than an organisation. People do not join the X-Men solely to protect the world; they join to get a better understanding on who they are and to be amongst likeminded individuals. It goes beyond forming a strong group of heroes.
With that in mind, I always expect teamwork to be a big part of the story. We have a group of mutants that grew up together, trained together, even lived together. It is only natural for them to have each other’s back. And, not entirely unimportant, because it looks really cool when powers are used creatively and in unison. Sadly this is not the case. Action scenes are very individual, and only very rarely do characters attack together.
There is an incredible roster of mutants in this movie. Several of the previous characters return, and many more get introduced. This is both a good and a bad thing. The return of iconic characters such as Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is definitely great. The previous two films were basically their films. X-Men: First Class was about Erik, and how tragedy formed him into the person he is, whilst X-Men: Days of Future Past was about Charles, and how tragedy formed him into the person he is. Their presence, together with the other characters from the previous movies, brings a sense of familiarity and investment akin to how Marvel uses its characters in their assembly movies.
The challenge of having such a huge roster is introducing new characters. And there are a lot, all with little to no backstory or personality. My favourite newcomer is Storm (Alexandra Shipp), who I am convinced would have surpassed Halle Berry if her character were fleshed out some more. Actually, most of the newly introduced characters could be cut out, and it would hardly affect the film. I am sure they will get more screen time in the next film, but their presence is rather superfluous in this one.
X-Men: Apocalypse is a hard movie to judge. The first part was actually really good and I kept wondering why this movie had so many mixed reviews, but then the second half was rather sloppy, and the culminating fight at the end felt more like an action scene from Transformers, than a proper X-Men fight. Overall I enjoyed watching this movie, but the second half prevents me from actually recommending it. Go watch it if you are an X-Men fan, you will have a good time. But if you are not, you might want to check out something else.
No, don’t watch it.
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