X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

I’ve enjoyed all of the X-Men franchise – the combination of cool superpowers and charismatic characters is always a winner for me, so I was looking forward to Apocalypse, and watched Days of Future Past again in preparation.

I’m very glad I did, as anyone who hadn’t seen it would, I imagine, have been very confused!

Apocalypse is set in the new timeline, created when Mystique chose not to kill Trask in DOFP. There are flashbacks and lots of references to labour this point. Not that the timelines add up, but we’ll let that go. The fights are kick-ass, the characters compelling, and there’s real emotion running through all the mayhem.

The teenage X-Men for the most part do a good job, particularly Alexandra Shipp as Storm and Kodi Smit-Mcphee as Nightcrawler, although Sophie Turner’s ‘American’ accent hurt my ears – sorry!

Both James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are given meaty, emotional storylines. McAvoy’s evolution into Professor X is thrilling to watch and – Spoiler alert – when a rugged Magneto loses his family, his despair and rage is palpable. Fassbender also sounds Irish again now he’s not sharing the screen with fellow Magneto Sir Ian Mckellen, but again, we’ll let that go!

Oscar Issac is an interesting actor, but, for me, the prosthetics hampered his performance as Apocalypse. Olivia Munn looks incredible (she’s the only one who gets a flattering costume) but is slightly underused as                     Psylocke. Ben Hardy has some good moments as Angel and Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence look very comfortable in the respective blue skins.

The highlights were undoubtedly the Quicksilver sequences, and the Wolverine cameo. Quicksilver is a breath of fresh air in the established series, and the speed sequences managed to be both awe-inspiring and hilarious. And Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is just awesome. Always.

The film feels a little bit long and there is a lot of footage from previous installments but, for the most part, it’s done well. Bryan Singer was obviously trying to fix some of the mistakes made along the way ‘the third one is always the worst’ and there are some nice nods to previous incarnations.

On the whole I was happy with Apocalypse, although I didn’t love it as I have other Marvel films.

4 Stars

On a final note, Marvel need to up their post credit preview game. Yes its a nod to the next Wolverine movie, but serums and blood in a case are just an anti-climax. Hardcore Marvel fans will always wait to get a sneak preview, but we’ve increasingly left disappointed. Bring back the days when we left feeling smug and satisfied, rather than disappointed and underwhelmed. Because, as my friend pointed out, we can always watch it on YouTube!

 

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