Directed by Bryan Singer
Written by Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and Simon Kinberg
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, and Hugh Jackman
“X-Men: Apocalypse” while not as strong as its predecessor, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” is still a solid entry in the long-running series. “X-Men: Apocalypse” does something that many other series should take note of, it introduces new characters into the narrative without following the recent trend of creating a shared universe or hitting the reset button on the entire franchise. The new characters do include characters that were already familiar names to fans of the “X-men” film series, but they also introduce characters that are new to the franchise. These new characters, both the ones being reintroduced into the franchise and the characters making their franchise debut, are the highlight of “X-Men: Apocalypse.” First and foremost, these characters were well cast. Sophie Turner was fantastic as Jean Grey, and because Hugh Jackman is retiring Wolverine after the follow-up to “The Wolverine” hopefully Tye Sheridan can deliver the cyclops that fans of the “X-Men” comics have wanted to see portrayed on film.
The Veterans from “X-Men: First Class” are solid in the movie. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender once again deliver strong turns as Professor Xavier and Magneto. Fassbender turns in his best performance of the series in this movie. Bryan Singer allows Fassbender to take the character to places that Sir Ian McKellen never did, nor even had the opportunity to take the character. While “X-Men: Apocalypse” will not be a performance for Jennifer Lawrence’s highlight reel, her performance is far from a phoned-in performance.
The only real criticism I have of “X-Men: Apocalypse” is that I felt Apocalypse needed a full arc, as in an arch that went into the next movie. One because Oscar Isaac is incredible, and any reason to have Oscar Isaac in your movie is a good reason. But, more importantly, Apocalypse had a whole lot of stuff that should have been allowed to develop and grow over the space of a couple of movies. There was a lot to Apocalypse, and he felt telescoped to fit him into this movie. It would have been hard to give Apocalypse an arc without going into the “Apocalypse: Part I” and “Apocalypse: Part II” thing – I am not a big fan of that trend – but there is a lot to work with, with Apocalypse as a character.
On a personal level I do wish that Wolverine was in the movie more than he was, considering that after “Wolverine 3” Jackman is retiring from the role, it would have been nice to give Wolverine a proper send off in an “X-Men” movie. Jackman has played the role in every “X-Men” to date.
“X-Men: Apocalypse” not only brings new blood into the franchise but establishes a new thread for the franchise without going into reboot mode, which in the current landscape of cinema that is something that is nearly impossible to do.