Review: X-Men Apocalypse
To any X-Men fan, this film was highly anticipated due to the knowledge that the main villain would be Apocalypse. He is the biggest bad to the X-Men and has some of the best stories in the comic books, all of which could be turned into a trilogy of it's own that would be great on the big screen. With all of this being known and taking into consideration how great this new trilogy of X-Men films has been X-Men Apocalypse had plenty of lofty expectations to live up to. On one hand, they delivered and on the other they didn't. The main detractors would be the inconsistent continuity that exists in the universe that forces it's viewers to overlook some pretty big plot points. This is the danger that writers will come across whenever time travel and alternate time lines are introduced. On the good side, the film and the trilogy for that matter continues to nail it's characterizations of it's main characters. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy continue to play off of each other extremely well and playing their parts magnificently. Fox should also be given credit for how well they have cast all of the parts in this trilogy from Jennifer Lawrence all the way down to Sophie Turner as Jean Grey.
The plot is fairly solid even while juggling a few different story lines. The main one being that mutant kind and human kind has found equal ground ever since Mystique's (Jennifer Lawrence) heroism ten years ago when she saved the President from Magneto (Michael Fassbender). This act turned her into the face of mutants and inspired many younger mutants to do right by her example. Meanwhile, En Sabah Nur, a powerful mutant believed to be the first of his kind has risen from his tomb in Egypt where he had be trapped since 3600 BC. As he is awoken, he believes that humanity has lost its way without his presence and thus decides that destroying it would be the best course of action in order to reshape the world in his image. Lastly, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) continues to work as a professor at his school for gifted youngsters and due to Mystique the amount of mutants enrolling has grown. He also now has three younger students that feel alone and find solace in each other.
Bryan Singer can be thanked for how big the superhero genre has become as he and Sam Raimi had beaten everyone to the punch way back when with the original X-Men and Spiderman, respectively. Singer obviously is still working on creating this films and manages to still know how the make a good X-Men movie. He clearly has a lot of passion for the characters as he puts a lot of time into the heroes respective characterizations. This ranges from the philosophical rift between Magneto and Xavier that has been the main source of conflict over the course of this new trilogy. The other theme that he focuses on would be how mutants are considered outcasts to the public, which is shown in Sophie Turner's Jean Grey and Tye Sheridan's Scott Summers. Both characters were in the previous trilogy but they were not received as well as other characters thus more attention this time around had been spent on fleshing out their characters. You see them both as outcasts that find peace within one another while dealing with their own insecurities as well as fears. It is easy to see that the two of them will be key figures in future installments and may become the main characters of the next trilogy much like how Magneto and Xavier have been. Thus, in a way, this film worked as a solid finale for the trilogy that started back in First Class while also doing a very good job of setting up the foundation of the future.
The acting in this film, much like the trilogy has been solid. The cast does a tremendous job with their roles but the one that stands out the most is yet again Michael Fassbender as Magneto. He can be incredibly terrifying in one moment only to then have such fragility and pain behind his eyes. He truly conveys everything that the character is beautifully. Granted, Fassbender is given the most to work with on his character's arch throughout this film. Of the new blood in the franchise, Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan do a great job in their respective roles. Turner does a good job of conveying how afraid Jean Grey is of herself and her power while also bringing this sense of maturity that is way beyond her years. Sheridan also manages to be incredibly sympathetic even while being angry at the world which in the hands of a lesser actor could turn him into a very unlikable character. However, through his pain he still wants to do what is best but ultimately doesn't think much of himself. Through all the marketing of this film, you would expect that Jennifer Lawrence would have a huge part in this film which made me a little skeptical given how her character of Mystique is largely just a plot device used for Magneto and Xavier's relationship. Thus, her character isn't that interesting or compelling but I understand the need to have her in it due to the fact that Jennifer Lawrence is the biggest star in the movie. Yet, Singer and writer Simon Kinberg manage to stay true to the source material and the characters making X-Men Apocalypse a true ensemble film. While Apocalypse isn't as strong as Days of Future Past and arguably it isn't even as strong as First Class, it still is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.