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Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse PosterThe X-Men must united to battle the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse who has an extinction level plan. That’s the simple premise of X-Men: Apocalypse, the third film of the second trilogy of X-Men films. This is the sixth featuring the team of mutants, the ninth in the series of “X” films. And much like X-Men: The Last Stand, the third film in each trilogy is the weakest.

Let me list the issues of the film… the pacing, the acting, the special fx, the use of characters, the plot itself, you name it, there’s issues and some of them are massive. I’m not even going into the fact the film takes place a decade later and actors haven’t aged a day. The film is a very slow long slog as it builds towards the inevitable fx driven show down.

For what feels like the first hour of the 2 and a half hour film individuals talk, we relearn everyone’s powers, and we get the lay of the land as people are caught up on new incarnations of characters we’ve seen before.

It’s not until Quicksilver shows up that the film gets entertaining. Once again Evan Peters as the character steals the show not just in his kinetic acting, but the action as well that uses his abilities to a fun extent and with a sense of humor that adds some levity to what is a rather dour film.

When it generally comes to the actors themselves, everyone seems to have taken steps back and often feel like they’re phoning it in. Lines are spouted with little emotion, little that gets me interested or even feels natural. The lone standout is Michael Fassbender who shows a range of emotion, though generally floats around. Olivia Munn as Psylocke stands around doing little until the end. Alexandra Shipp mostly does the same as Ororo Munroe/Storm with just a few lines here and there. It’s almost laughable at Lana Condor‘s role as Jubilee. Much like the character’s three previous appearances, here too she’s just filler.

There’s some twists and turns, though many are foreshadowed, like Jean Grey’s horrible nightmare and a “dark” force out there. Comic fans will likely perk up to that line.

All of that leads up to the big showdown between the X-Men and Apocalypse where it looks like all of the money went to the special fx and little to the sets. The sets have a quality where I’ve seen better in model railroads as far as how natural they look.

The one upside? The 3D actually looks decent and is worth it for the film. From the opening credits to the final battle, it’s a lot of fun.

X-Men: Apocalypse doesn’t feel as much a culmination of the three previous films as much as an attempt to kickstart everything that’s to come from Wolverine to New Mutants, to the next X-Men films. It’s a start that sputters…. a lot. It’s clear that director/writer Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg know and love the X-Men, but have issues putting the puzzle pieces together, especially when they take on too much.

Is the film worse than X-Men: The Last Stand? That’s debatable and I’m not quite sure the answer.

Overall Rating: 6.1