In the latest installment of Fox’s X-Men universe, Bryan Singer unleashes Apocalypse on the world. Fox’s X-Men universe is the second largest movie universe outside of Marvel Studio’s own extended movie universe. X-Men Apocalypse is the 9th movie in this series of movies and it is by far the most disastrous of them all. With a cast that included James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Issac, along with up and comers Evan Peters, Sophie Turner and Alexandra Shipp this movie has the talent and the history to be amazing but could Bryan Singer bring it together in the end? Please be aware Spoilers ahead.
X-Men Apocalypse is the third of the second trilogy of X-Men movies, confusing I know. The original trilogy was directed by Bryan Singer until he dropped out of the third movie X-Men – The Last Stand to direct Superman Returns, both films are considered low points in their respected franchises. Singer not a comic fan, was intrigued because of the plight of the X-Men and because of this his characters don’t necessarily line up with their comic book counterparts. X-Men: First Class saw a new director and new cast take over the franchise. Set in the sixties during the Cuban missile crisis, first class explains how the X-Men came to be. After the success of X-Men First Class Bryan Singer took back the helm as director for the next two movies X-Men Days of Future Past and X-Men Apocalypse.
The movie opens in ancient Egypt where we are introduced to the villain of the film played by Oscar Isaac. In the comics Apocalypse is one of the oldest mutants, his name En Sabah Nur translates to “the first one”. The film opens with his mind being transferred to a new body, this is how En Sabah Nur amasses his collection of powers. Everytime he takes a new form, he takes the power of that mutant as his own. During the ritual he is attacked by those tired of his rule and the end result leaves En Sabah Nur buried deep under ground as his 4 horseman are killed protecting him. He stays buried until the 80’s where the movie takes place, the actions of Rose Byrne’s character Moira Mactaggert unintentionally completes the process awaking En Sabah Nur and unleashing him on 1980’s Cairo Egypt.
En Sabah Nur quickly moves to replace his 4 horseman which include a young Storm, Angel, Psylocke, and Magneto. He was able to recruit them by unlocking their full potential as mutants. We find Magneto played by Michael Fassbender, working in a steel mill married, and with child. He has left his villainous alter ego behind in an attempt to live a normal life. An accident at the steel mill forces Magneto to use his powers to save a fellow worker and while it was a heroic move, Mutants are still feared and hated which caused some of his fellow workers to call the authorities. Magneto didn’t want any trouble and turned himself over but his daughter was not to happy and in her rage her mutant power manifested and she had birds attack the authorities which caused one of the officers to accidentally shoot an arrow that kills both mother and daughter. Magneto enraged then proceeds to kill every one of the officers with his daughters necklace after this he returns to the mill to take his anger out of his co workers. This is where he meets En Sabah Nur who kills them all for him.
Professor X on the other hand is running the School for Gifted Youngsters, where we are introduced to a young Jean Grey and Scott Summers. Jennifer Lawrence’s character Mystique is seen being a black ops type hero helping mutants that were being taken advantage of. Following the events of Days of Future Past Mystique is seen as a mutant savior and is even seen as a hero in the eyes of Storm one of En Sabah Nur’s horsemen. She then learns of what happened with Magneto and goes to Professor X to seek his help to resolve the issue. Professor X is investigating a huge power surge that was created when En Sabah Nur was woken up. In his investigation he uses a mutant finding machine called Cerebro to locate Magneto which causes En Sabah Nur to discover Professor X and Cerebro. En Sabah Nur then teleports to kidnap Professor X because he wants his power so he can control the minds of every living person on earth. While trying to save the Professor, Havoc who is also Scott Summers older brother in the film dies when he causes an explosion that destroys the school. Quick Silver played by Evan Peters saves everyone except havoc because he was too close to the blast. These actions cause the X-Men being led by Mystique to go save professor X and stop En Sabah Nur from causing the Apocalypse.
Personally I was very disappointed in this film, Bryan Singers lack of knowledge of the characters really shows in this film and the damage caused by En Sabah Nur is world altering and complete cities are destroyed. Most of the destruction was caused by Magneto who by the end of the film is on good term again. I don’t see how he can be redeemed after his actions in this movie, millions must have died at his hands but poor story telling have Professor X and him buddies again. Storm also turns to the X-Men side after En Sabah Nur almost kills her hero Mystique. Angel appears to be killed and Psylocke runs away. En Sabah Nur is finally stopped when Jean Grey is told by Professor X to unleash her power which unleashes the Phoenix Force. I have a huge issue with this, and it seems Bryan Singer is obsessed with the Phoenix force seeing that of the 5 X-Men movies he has made, 3 have involved the Phoenix Force (End of X-Men 2, X-Men 3 and now with Apocalypse). We also have a scene with Wolverine who is in his famous Weapon X attire and is feral and tears through William Stryker’s men while Stryker casually leaves the base. This would be an awesome scene if they explained how the hell he got there since at the end of Days of Future Past it was Mystique who has Wolverine last. If you noticed I haven’t really spoken much about Psylocke, a huge fan favorite and played by geek adored Olivia Munn, that would be because there isn’t much to say. She played a very small role in the film and that is a damn shame. Psylocke is a character many X-Men fans have been waiting for since the launch of the X-Men movies. A Psychic Ninja who can read minds and create weapons with her mind, and sister to Captain Britain. Psylocke existed in the X-Men movie universe but you would’ve missed her if you blinked in X-Men 3 as she didn’t have a talking role and was killed like nothing. In this movie she still doesn’t do much, Olivia Munn probably has less than 10 lines in the whole film and never uses anything more than the psychic weapons.
In conclusion, the X-Men movie franchise is a mess right now and I place the blame solely on Bryan Singer and his vision for the world. He lacks the ability to make a connecting story line that makes sense and his lack of knowledge of the characters shines in every movie he makes. Fox attempted to reboot it with Matthew Vaughn with X-Men First Class and they should have left it with him seeing that he knew the characters better and could make an emotional thoughtful film instead of just the summer blockbuster. Singer attempts to have emotional scenes but all of them fall flat because he follows it with a huge CGI scene like Magneto in Auschwitz or Havoc’s death with Quicksilvers comical scene saving everyone.X-Men Apocalypse Trailer The majority of the cast is from Vaughn’s First Class film and their acting is the saving grace of this film. The next film looks like it will be about, you guessed it the Phoenix Force. The timeline of these films are completely out of wack, most of the actors from First Class will most likely not return due to their contracts expiring and honestly the longer this continues under Singer the more the franchise will suffer. Fox introduced Deadpool into the movie universe this year and until this week it was the highest grossing movie domestically, Marvel’s Civil War recently took that title. The X-movies won’t see any crossover with Deadpool anytime soon seeing that Deadpool is set in the present day while it is rumored that the next X-Movie will take place in the 90’s. The X-Movies are in need of a retooling and definitely a new director and now is the perfect time seeing that it doesn’t look like most of the actors will be back, even Hugh Jackman has said that the next Wolverine movie will be his last as the character.
I would give this movie 2.5 out of 5.