The second X-Men film of 2016 is here. Following on the heels of the totally awesome and successful Deadpool, can Marvel’s main mutants maintain their place on movie screens?
X-Men Apocalypse takes place in the 1980s. This continues the period piece trend that began in the 1960s with 2011’s X-Men: First Class and proceeded into the 1970s with 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. The story involves the return of the ancient mutant En Sabah Nur (the titular Apocalypse) and his quest to cleanse the world of weakness and rebuild it in his image with mutants in charge and himself worshiped as a god. That just may be the shortest plot synopsis I’ve written this year. Mostly because there’s nothing new under the sun with this entry into the series. And you know what? That was fine with me as I enjoyed this for some superhero action and my expectations were met.As I stated earlier the plot is pretty self-explanatory and even if you don’t see this movie in theaters, you’ll probably guess everything that’s gonna happen. Apocalypse may be the title of the film, but this is really about the formation of the X-Men that we mostly are familiar with. We have younger versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler to go with the veterans of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and Beast.
All members of the cast do a decent job in their roles. The heart of the characters of course belong to the roles of Charles and Erik. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender continue to own these roles and bring such dimensions to both of them. Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult hold down the fort again as Mystique and Beast. Evan Peters steals the show for the second consecutive film as Quicksilver and Oscar Issac takes a break from Star Wars to play Apocalypse. The newcomers which include Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Sansa Stark herself, Games of Thrones’ Sophie Turner get the bulk of the screen time. I would have liked to get more from Alexandra Shipp’s Storm. Hopefully we get more in the next film.
As I said earlier this is pretty straightforward film. There isn’t too much underneath as far as themes or drama. I will say that I really enjoyed the final act, because it sort of came full circle from the events in X-Men: First Class.
So in a nutshell, X-Men: Apocalypse plays it pretty safe. This isn’t on the level of X-Men: The Last Stand or X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it isn’t on the level of First Class or Days of Future Past either. It sits somewhere in the middle. It offers superhero action that kept me entertained from start to finish and that’s alright with me.
Final Rating – 3/5 (Not near the best of the series, not near the worst of the series.)