X-Men: Apocalypse review: A fun, action filled sequel that will delight all comic book fans

Posted on 23 May 2016
By Alex Green
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Jumping from the 70s to the 80s, X-Men: Apocalypse is a fresh and solid sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Apocalypse sees the return of some fan favourites in the form of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler as well as some more familiar faces like Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and Beast.

Whilst lacking DOFP’s mind-bending storyline, Apocalypse still offers the audience a fun and gripping storyline, mixing action and brilliant dialogue throughout.

Running at just under two and a half hours, it can feel stretched out in parts and some scenes were either unnecessarily long or not needed at all. Because of this, it takes far too long to reach the climatic showdown with Apocalypse.

That being said, the story does for the most part, flow nicely, especially in the latter half of the film once all the characters have been established.

The story, whilst giving enough screen time to every major character, focuses heavily on the relationship between Charles and Jean and how Apocalypse can be beaten with both their minds.

Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse perhaps could have been more menacing but he was still a villain to be reckoned with, especially as the film wore on and his full powers revealed themselves.

The other characters don’t have too much of an arc involved, except to help the Professor wherever and whenever they can. After several X-Men films already though, it was probably best to let these characters take a step back from their back stories and individual stories and just be themselves for the fans to enjoy.

However, one of the better arcs throughout the film belongs to Magneto whose reasons for joining the fight are deeply personal and is a highly emotional watch for all.

Not much is seen of two of Apocalypse’s horseman in Psylocke and Angel after promising advertising on the trailers but there is a chance they will be seen again in the future to make up for that, especially after their promising time that they had on screen.

What is nicely done by writer Simon Kinberg is how the film, in a way, is a new origin story for a lot of these characters but they’re written into the story already with their powers.

The studio could have easily messed up by slowly introducing each character and their powers but by gradually introducing them into the film, no time has been wasted for the rest of the storyline and fans can enjoy the return of these characters without having to sit through several, already well-known origin stories.

This also allowed us to see characters such as Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Storm as their

younger selves, when they are still learning to use their powers and are all getting to know each

other. For those who loved the X-Men comics from the 1970s and 80s, as well as the early 90s

cartoon, this will be a treat to watch.

It’s something audiences didn’t get with these characters with the original line up of films, as our heroes were already well established. It’s clear Fox and director Bryan Singer chose this younger option so as to build a new franchise around them as they grow into being the X-Men over several new films.

The action sequences during the film could have been more amplified given the characters involved but the film isn’t without some spectacular scenes, most notably coming in the end battle which sees the X-Men come face to face with Apocalypse and his horsemen.

Bryan Singer also gave fans a longer and bigger Quicksilver scene, following up from the extremely popular scene in Days of Future Past, when he helps the team escape the Pentagon. Taking one and a half months just for three minutes of films, this new Quicksilver scene is hilarious, astonishing and a fantastic piece of filmmaking all rolled into one, and it really shows Evan Peter’s and Singer’s commitment to this character and the film in general.

There’s also a small cameo for everyone’s favourite hero, Wolverine, who is fresh out of the Weapon X programme, rabid and hungry for blood. It’s a shame that it is only a cameo but perhaps having Logan in the whole film might have taken the shine away from some brilliant performances
throughout from the rest of the cast.

These entire things combined make for a fun and well made comic book film. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, embraces the time period it is set in and gives the audience the colourful and weird world in which the X-Men were established in.

The ending of the film sets up the future nicely with the new, younger team put in place and with a sequel confirmed to be set in the 90s, and with an X-Force spinoff in the works, it seems this new team will be around for a quite some time and based on this viewing, that’s definitely something to look forward to.