X-Men: Apocalypse is Bryan Singer's weakest X-Film yet, harnessing spectacular performances from its star-studded cast, but failing to form a coherent story, thanks to a weak and uninspiring script.
Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past managed to be both an exciting new X-Men film and a soft reboot for the series, blending together the original cast members with the rebooted ones from X-Men: First Class. This unfortunately leaves X-Men: Apocalypse feeling like the odd man out, settling for a spot as one of the worst X-Films of the franchise. There’s just too much going on with not enough focus on the plot and too much focus on the end of the world stakes and action-overload that comes with it.
Days of Future Past managed to leave us in an interesting place. The original X-Men cast members are still around and will most-likely be seen in the near future, while the immediate sequel, Apocalypse, opens up room for more sequels with a fresh cast and new characters.
Unfortunately, Bryan Singer doesn’t seem to care much about the X-Men series anymore and instead directs Apocalypse on complete autopilot. His lack of interest is revealed as Apocalypse follows a plot that’s as cliched as they come and makes even little sense once the third act sets in.
The mutant savior of this film known as Apocalypse (played under a horrible costume design by a wooden and misdirected Oscar Isaac) is one of the film’s weakest and most pointless aspects. He’s sold as the age-old original mutant and yet he comes off feeling less powerful than most of the team.
The real saviors are the performances of the core cast, which includes Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and new-comers Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp and a dozen others that I really don’t feel like naming.
Everything established in First Class, primarily the relationship between Professor X and Magneto, is golden — not to mention the infusion of the new characters and their own chemistry.
X-Men: Apocalypse works because the actors behind these characters understand the feeling of emotion and the basic fundamentals of what it means to be a part of a team. Yet, the writing struggles with making those morals stick and consistently relies on high stakes action with little weight. Nobody is interested in the hundreds of skyscrapers that are getting ripped apart for no reason other than to service the film’s action quota.
We’re interested in the characters and Bryan Singer just doesn’t seem to understand that and that leaves Apocalypse in an uninspiring place.
There’s such a giant sense of wasted opportunity lingering over the entire production and it doesn’t stop with Oscar Isaac or the endless amounts of talent that he’s surrounded by.
Heck, even Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine pops up for a brief second to tease us some bad ass Wolvie action, only to leave us with a taste for more. Sure, I get that they’re trying to sell us on the “final” Hugh Jackman Wolverine film, but there’s also a bit of pointlessness to his inclusion.
X-Men: Apocalypse is filled with so many pointless moments. It pushes its running time to the very limit, yet is frustratingly sprinkled with strong character-building moments that add up to nothing.
I loved watching Evan Peters‘ Quicksilver fly around the mansion in yet another spectacularly-filmed slow-mo sequence, yet his character (as well as many others) is left rendered completely useless throughout the final act.
The third act completely crushes the momentum of the film and ruins any chance of redemption for this outing.
Perhaps Singer will finally hang up the coat and pass the series onto more worthy hands? Or he’s going to Michael Bay these films until his career amounts to nothing and the X-Men characters (aside from maybe Wolverine) are all but worthless.
I didn’t hate X-Men: Apocalypse as much as I disliked X-Men Origins: Wolverine or even X3: The Last Stand, but I found myself more annoyed than satisfied with what Bryan Singer has managed to wrangle up with what appears to be an endless budget for casting talent and shooting action. How does someone with this much filmmaking experience and on-deck talent squander so much potential?
It’s a damn shame.