The original trilogy of X-Men movies, along with any of the Wolverine films, are all pretty average in my opinion. I remember enjoying the first X-Men when it was released, but that was mainly because we were finally getting to see such well known and well loved comic book characters brought to life on the big screen in a time when there weren’t really many superhero movies around (remember those days?!). The movies that followed that one had such little impact on me that I really can’t remember anything about them to be honest.
Then I saw X-Men First Class, and I absolutely loved it. Rejuvenating the franchise and erasing everything that had gone horribly wrong in previous installments, it actually became my favourite comic book movie, remaining so right up until recently when Captain America: Civil War came along and blew me away. Days of Future Past followed and was another fantastic installment in the series.
So when Apocalypse was announced, it’s fair to say that I was very excited for more. Well, that was until some of the imagery for the film started to emerge online and the strange, definitely not fearsome or frightening looking villain Apocalypse was revealed. Comparisons with Power Rangers baddie Ivan Ooze were spot on and not even the first trailer gave me anything to be excited about. In fact, even though the more recent trailer and TV spots show just how much post-production work has gone into improving the look and sound of Apocalypse since those early days, still nothing was really grabbing my attention. Certainly not in the same way that the hype and marketing around something like Civil War had done. And over the past few days in the run up to seeing the movie, some negative reviews have started filtering through too, making me worry even more that this was going to be a complete disaster and a low end to what had so far been a great trilogy. Anyway, enough waffling from me…
Back in ancient Egypt, Apocalypse is undergoing a body transference when things go belly up, leaving him entombed until 1983 when he is awoken once more. At this point, Xavier’s school for the gifted is ticking along happily with plenty of new recruits coming onboard. Meanwhile, Magneto is just trying to lead a simple life as a labourer until tragedy strikes and he’s drawn back into his old ways…
The newly awakened Apocalypse immediately begins throwing his weight around, catching up on what’s been happening to the Earth while he slept and assembling the four horsemen who he hopes will help him to cleanse the Earth. When he manages to gain access to Cerebro things kick off in a big way, Quicksilver gets himself another cool scene (he also has another funny, but considerably shorter scene later), Wolverine is released in all his glorious fury and CGI mass destruction of our planet begins. Cities and landmarks start crumbling – you know, the usual stuff.
Apocalypse as a villain is annoyingly awful. However, he does pose a plausible enough threat to make the final battle scenes (and they do go on for a while) a real treat as the X-Men fight against him and his horsemen. But with so many characters to juggle, a few seem to fade into the background, not given enough chance to shine. Olivia Munn though is both bad ass and seriously hot in equal measure!
X-Men Apocalypse is certainly a very different film to the previous two, and I felt it didn’t have as much depth or quality to it as those movies did, but it’s definitely a worthy entry in the series.