Eleven word synopsis for X-Men: Apocalypse: "Old Dude Cranky At Kids These Days And Their Damned Technology".
The third installment in the newest X-trilogy, this one sees En Sabah Nur, the first mutant, treated like a god in ancient Egypt. During his body switch, some good old-fashioned mutiny happens and he's buried under a lot of rock. Meanwhile, Mystique is covertly rescuing mutants, Xavier is running his school for gifted children, Magneto is living under cover with a family and is trying to go straight, and HEY LOOK EVERYONE IT'S CYCLOPS AND HE'S KIND OF A DOUCHE. En Sabah Nur wakes up, gets pissy that humans are ruling the world, finds some lackeys, and tries to destroy the planet because grumble grumble I hate machines grumble grumble.
I went in with low expectations and left feeling pleasantly surprised. Maybe that's because as a comics fan, I wasn't attached to the Age of Apocalypse storyline as much as I was other X-sagas, and Apocalypse was never one of my favorite villains, so I went in expecting to be incredibly disappointed. Weirdly, while the main storyline didn't grab me (Oscar Isaac was not given enough to work with when it came to Apocalypse, and I found his whole character kind of boring and his storyline and the way people react to him completely improbable, even in a film about freaking superpowered teens), all the side plots and the performances from some of the actors made this film infinitely watchable.
I know a lot of people on the internet have given Jennifer Lawrence a lot of shit about her performance in this one (a lot of critics have accused her of phoning it in), but I thought she gave a solid performance. She seemed exasperated and tired, but it worked for me in the context of the film.
I wasn't sold on Sophie Turner initially—she really seemed very timid in the beginning of the film and I had my doubts—but then around the halfway mark, when the plot started going pear-shaped, she really brought it to the table and delivered a stellar performance. There's a big "holy shit" moment for me that I mentioned in our spoiler discussion about the film, but that moment was what elevated the movie from "meh" to "holy crap."
Kodi Smit-McPhee delivered an absolute breakout performance as Nightcrawler. He played the role with a charm, earnestness, and enthusiasm we don't see in the era of the "dark and gritty" superhero film, while still staying true to Kurt's essence from the comics.
I hated Evan Peters in Days of Future Past, but his portrayal of Quicksilver really grew on me in this installment of the series. His douche vibe is less overt and more adorable, and he's given some really pivotal moments to shine in this flick.
Overall, I could have done without the main storyline altogether, and had the film focused on the other threads of subplots woven into it (and mostly left unresolved at the end of the film), I'm sure I would have loved it. As the end of a trilogy, it failed. As a standalone film, it wasn't great. And I really wanted more interplay between Magneto and Xavier. But Apocalypse DID have some shining moments, and it set up some storylines and conflicts that might lead up to what could possibly be the best film in the franchise.
-I want a Magneto film. Just 120 minutes of pissed-off Michael Fassbender fucking shit up. That is all I want. Evan Peters can co-star.
-I think this film finally beat out Man of Steel for most destruction in a film.
-They're finally starting to get Hank's Beast makeup down. He looks more like the comics and less like an extra on Zooboomafoo.
-Olivia Munn is *still* less terrible than January Jones' Emma Frost.
Directed by Bryan Singer
Screenplay by Simon Kinberg, based on a story by Bryan Singer & Simon Kinberg & Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris
Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, and Bryan Singer
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lucas Till, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Lana Condor, Olivia Munn, Ally Sheedy
Running Time: 144 minutes