X-Men: Apocalypse is the third installment of the First Class trilogy that relies on the previously altered timeline. This film follows after the events of Days of Future Past and shows how the public has changed their view of mutants. Apocalypse, an ancient mutant, has returned to bring upon the end of the world and it is up to the X-Men to stop both him and his four horsemen. The First Class trilogy is 20th Century Fox’s second attempt at an X-Men trilogy and history has repeated itself once again. Many fans start off liking the first movie, loving the second, and then feeling completely let down by the third.
Unfortunately, the plot in this film was never really clear and neither were the antagonists’ motives. When Apocalypse recruits his four horsemen he shows them his power, but the horsemen never really establish their own voices. While I was watching this film I felt that things were happening just for entertainment purposes and not to support a deeper meaning. Most of this films’ run time was spent revisiting and reintroducing characters from past films instead of telling a confident story. By the end of the movie, I felt that there was a huge lack of narrative sewn together by half rendered special effects.
The pacing of this film was incredibly slow. The movie spent so much time bringing the audience up to speed on the events of X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past that the narrative was completely neglected. This film never really established its own identity because nothing original ever happened; too many devices were re-used in the exact same ways as before. There were scenes that didn’t fit the story and those that felt missing which would have clarified what was going on. There was never any true indicator that separated the first, second and third acts of the movie except for the credits.
This film features many classic and iconic X-Men characters, but it feels like they are only there because they are cannon fodder. While many characters in this universe have different origins from the comics, we never really see any characters from our millennial childhood. Furthermore, the audience only sees characters that have iconic names and powers. That being said, Storm’s background as a small-time thief was incorporated into the film, yet lacked an explanation into why she is one of Professor Xavier’s most trusted and dearest friend. Quicksilver and Nightcrawler are the only two characters that are portrayed correctly and their respective actors are the only ones that seemed to genuinely have a good time. While there are a lot of characters, old and new, there isn’t much time spent personifying any of them. By the end of the film I wouldn’t be surprised if you forgot that some of them were there in the first place.
I went into this film completely optimistic in Bryan Singer (Director) after Days of Future Past and I was sure he could pull it off again. Unfortunately, he didn’t. This film features some of Hollywood’s best actors and some of comic’s best characters, yet for the most part they are dragged through the mud and wasted. Fox has the potential to build one of the best cinematic superhero universes, but this film proves that they don’t seem to know how to use what they have. Watching this film, I felt that the director, the writers and the producers failed to understand any of the characters or source material that they came from. This film has recycled beats, moments and plot devices from every single previous X-Men film. The First Class trilogy was supposed to lean towards the original X-Men lineup, but by the end of this film we were left with a completely different team from the real “First Class.” As someone that has grown up with the X-Men and was shaped by the X-Men as a person, I was let down and left the theater highly disappointed. Not even Wolverine could save this movie.
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