It’s funny how X-Men: Apocalypse flew right under everybody’s radar this blockbuster season. With Batman v Superman and Captain America stealing all the superhero thunder, the latest entry in the iconic mutant saga hasn’t received as much hype as you’d expect. That’s unfortunate, because while this film doesn’t reach the heights of Civil War, it’s a consistently more entertaining ride than Dawn of Justice.
The greatest thing about Apocalypse is the fact that pretty much everyone plays a part in the film’s explosive climax. So many films end up losing track of their enormous cast and sidelining a bunch of players by the time the resolution comes around, but Apocalypse cleverly utilizes everybody to maximum effect. Jean Grey is a particular standout; I’m not a fan of Sophie Turner on Game of Thrones, but she’s a worthy successor to Fammke Janssen as the powerful telekinetic mutant with a whole lot of potential to unleash.
The rest of Apocalypse’s cast is predictably stellar, with Michael Fassbender continuing to kick ass as Magneto, the complex Big Bad, and Even Peters stealing the show yet again (like he did in Days of Future Past) as the hilarious Quicksilver. His slow-mo sequences yet again prove to be standouts in every way – stunningly brought to life and packed with surprising bits of humor to balance out all the darkness.
If the film has any weak spots, it would be Oscar Isaac’s turn as the villainous title character Apocalypse. I don’t know if it’s the voice, the cartoon-ish makeup, or a combination of both, but he’s an underwhelming villain. An antagonist of this magnitude should be much scarier, but he unfortunately settles for being only somewhat creepy and mostly boring. Thankfully, Olivia Munn is on hand in her memorable debut as the duplicitous Psylocke. Here’s hoping she makes return appearances in future films because she makes quite the impression; her scenes are just fantastic!
From a technical perspective, Bryan Singer’s film is a visual delight in every way. Maybe even more so than Batman v Superman and Civil War, Apocalypse genuinely feels like a comic book come to life with its vibrant colors and insane set pieces (the final battle is particularly thrilling). The script gradually amps up the tension between the two opposing sides, before all hell finally breaks loose and they clash in the most epic manner possible. It’s all extremely satisfying, and after nine installments, keeping me transfixed on this all-too-familiar world is no easy task.
I do have one question though: why does Jennifer Lawrence look so darn bored?
Eye-popping visuals, solid action, and a badass cameo (that I won’t spoil here), make for an impressive addition to the X-Men saga. This franchise ain’t dead yet!