” There is action, some intrigue, but mostly this movie establishes the movies to follow.“
To be fair, first I need to release all my preconceived prejudices in regards to this film. Anyone who has followed me for a reasonable amount of time know that I love the Xmen franchise. Xmen is the superhero team that introduced me to comicbooks. I’ve spend a considerable amount of time investing in the characters involved in the Xmen whether it be the animated series, the current Xmen comics, or old stories and issues of the Claremont era, I’ve always had a fascination with the Xmen.
With that said, there are aspects of the Xmen franchise that I have a quail with. For one, the movie franchise has never did a considerably good job with the characterizations of the Xmen. Look at what Cyclops became in Xmen 3: the Last Stand. Storm never became the strong-willed leader that is portrayed in the comicbooks. The Dark Phoenix Saga was completely botched. Of course as fans we can’t expect the movies to completely reflect the comics. However, the characters should maintain a core of who they are in the comics. With the reintroduction of these characters in Xmen: Apolocaplyse, the movie makers get a mulligan at these characters.
I must admit, when I heard of the possibility of Apocalypse entering the films, I was gitty with excitement. I was hoping for something similar to an Age of Apocalypse storyline. Sure, they had just done a post apocalyptic plotline in Days of Future Past, and couldn’t repeat themselves so soon. Alas, it wasn’t to be this time around.
But if I push those expectations aside and consider Xmen: Apocalypse for what it was, it’s really not a bad film in the context of its established universe. The story was solid although a bit over the top. Raven A.K.A. Mystique takes more of a lead role in this film to the chagrin of most Xmen fans. However, we must remember that Mystique has been a member of the Xmen in the comics before as well. Plus, when you consider the back story of this movie universe and her connections to Xavier, her role in this film makes sense. I’m not a fan of the portrayal of Storm at this point. However, I understand that these characters need room to grow and develop. I only hope both Cyclops and Storm are done justice this time around.
I feel the movie over-dramatized certain moments which took me out of the film from time to time. However, the plot was fine and the writing fit with the story and built upon the previous movies in the franchise. If this movie fails in any respect other than over-dramatizing, it’s in pacing of the film. The film at times felt disorganized, jumping from point to point quickly and then slowing down for far too long.
But those areas can be forgiven. This is not an Oscar candidate. Xmen Apocalypse does its job as an enjoyable summer blockbuster. This is not a Days of Future Past by any means, if anything it’s similar to Xmen: First Class. There is action, some intrigue, but mostly this movie establishes the movies to follow. This does not feel like the third film in a franchise, rather the first of a new trilogy. Perhaps I feel this way because of the masterful way Days of Future Past bridged the two generation of actors and closed the previous era of Xmen films. This movie is not perfect, but it provides a fun time at the theaters.