Review — X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

My Plot review: Not recommended
Star rating: Star rating of 1 and a half

This isn't season 20 of Game of Thrones

Early reviews suggested that the latest instalment of the X-Men franchise was an incoherent mess. That was totally unfair. What Bryan Singer has achieved is a colossal, monumental, unmitigated clusterfuck of a film.

Oscar Isaac stars as the titular Apocalypse or En Sabah Nur to his mates. He’s considered to be the world’s first mutant, and upon his very fortuitous resurrection, has decided that he wants to eradicate the weak from the Earth, because.... he’s…. the…. bad.... guy….?!

Meanwhile, the X-Men have all disbanded again. Mystique (Lawrence) is off saving mutants, for some reason. Magneto (Fassbender) is now a family man, hiding in Poland, using the classic “grow a beard and take off your penis helmet” disguise. Professor X (McAvoy) is still running the academy with the help of Beast (Hoult).

At this point, you’re probably thinking “well this guy fucking hates X-Men, so obviously he’s going to hate this film”. Truth is that I enjoyed FIRST CLASS & DAYS OF FUTURE PAST; both were refreshing takes on an oversaturated genre.

My issue with this instalment is that it’s terribly written, with clunky exposition and lazy plotting. People flip-flop between sides for seemingly no reason, it feels beyond formulaic and woefully shallow. Aside James McAvoy & Evan Peters, no-one seems to be having any fun with this. Lawrence & Fassbender especially look very embarrassed to still be involved.

I’m going to briefly talk about an example of the laziness, this could be considered a spoiler, but it really is a throw away joke that doesn’t work anyway – So skip this part if you don’t want to know…..

The film is set in 1983, more specifically the Spring/Summer of 1983. Some of the younger mutants decide to skip school and see RETURN OF THE JEDI. Nightcrawler’s skin is very obviously blue, so they decide to dress him up as Michael Jackson in the THRILLER video – The THRILLER video wasn’t released until December 1983, and don’t start giving me “oh, but the fractured timelines of DAYS OF FUTURE PAST may have altered the release date of a seminal music video”. It reeks of “meh, that’ll do” and the whole film feels like that. There’s also a joke in this scene in which they discuss the best STAR WARS film, it’s up to Jean Grey to deliver “I think we can all agree the 3rd film is always the worst”.

Never a truer word spoken.

I’ve spoken at length about the problems with the film, yet still don’t feel I’ve scratched the surface. I haven’t spoken about Angel’s transformation scene, which is cringe-inducing. I haven’t spoken about a scene during the final battle, which I assume is to make the fans cheer with glee, but had me laughing hysterically. I’m instead going to focus on the small positives the film has.

The destruction scenes are very impressive. The film itself looks good, although I did nearly vomit with motion sickness during the films 3D title sequence. There’s also a very fun scene with Quicksilver in the mansion, which apparently took 3 months to film.

Quicksilver's sceneWhen you realise Matthew Vaughn isn't coming back.

So as Apocalypse comes to an end, we finally find ourselves at the end of this trilogy. The main problem with this film especially is that there is no threat. There’s no chance Apocalypse wins, because we all know what comes after this.

Fans of the franchise and the comics should find enough here to be entertained. They give you the obligatory Stan Lee cameo, they give you Wolverine looking like Stig of the Dump, and they give you all your favourite X-Men in some of the worst costuming you’ll see. What they don’t give you is a coherent movie that elicits any emotion other than soul-crushing tedium.

X-Men: Apocalypse is released in UK cinemas on 18th May 2016.