‘Meh’-ctacle Filmmaking: Our Review of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - May 27, 2016
‘Meh’-ctacle Filmmaking: Our Review of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Even on the best of days, the hyperbole that is the internet can get a little overwhelming and you need to step away from it all.

With early reviews out there for weeks, comic book aficionados have been tearing X-Men: Apocalypse in theatres today a new…well, you know but it isn’t necessarily entirely deserved.  While it is far from the worse movie in the franchise, it is a disappointment based on the high standards that director Bryan Singer has set in the past because to be quite honest the film’s worst offense is that it’s actually kind of boring.

Looked upon as a god among men since the dawn of time, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) was the first and probably most powerful mutant as he amassed powers from other mutants for centuries, mankind locked him down and left him asleep for what they hoped would be forever, but now he is awake.  Disillusioned with the state of the world and the changes that have happened while he has been away, he recruits a team of incredibly powerful mutants, including Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in order to cleanse away humanity and make new world order over which he will reign.  With the fate of the planet perilously in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) comes home to Professor Xavier’s (James McAvoy) school for gifted youngsters to lead a team of young X-Men  against one of the most powerful foes they have ever faced with the planet on the brink of extinction.

Clocking in at a hefty two hours and twenty minutes, X-Men: Apocalypse suffers from an excess of bloat as it tries to stay true to the comics but sacrifices on any meaningful character development from the myriad of new characters that get brought back into the saga.


Sure the on screen carnage is fun, and things blow up real nice but the narrative of it all is way too scattershot to allow for any legitimate emotional resonance with any of the characters, either old or new.  It just feels like we are going through the motions and when the film tries to focus on the new dynamic of the new actors playing young versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey & Nightcrawler, the sad reality is that we just don’t give a damn.  Singer forgot why people were drawn to the comic books in the first place, it was the compelling characters and with the exception of Evan Peters as Quicksilver none of these new rebooted characters in these installments actually make us give a damn about them.  It’s just getting a little too flat as there are too many moving parts for this story to settle down and hope that we get engaged as screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who last worked on the disastrous Fantastic Four movie never gives us anything meaningful and just skims along the surface so we can get as much actual story and actual action as humanly possible crammed into the film.

McAvoy and Fassbender are always pretty great no matter what they are doing but Jennifer Lawrence was wasted as one note rallying call to get these new X-Men fighting.  Oscar Isaac felt like he was trolling it all, as his performance really had nothing other than one dimensional menace to it all while the likes of Tye Sheridan,  Kodi-Smit McPhee and Sophie Turner are supposed to make us care that they are there as the next generation of X-Men, but unfortunately we really don’t.  It’s a movie that just tries to do too much and at the end of the day, everyone involved suffers for it.

Ultimately, X-Men: Apocalypse will be passable enough for most of the fans of the franchise, but at the end of that 140 minute run time, you won’t be able to shake the feeling that they might have been able to do a little bit better.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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