X-Men Apocalypse: Review
The third X-Men movie helmed by Bryan Singer sees the young X-Men coming up against an extremely formidable opponent in Apocalypse and four of the strongest mutants on the planet; and is my favourite superhero movie I have ever seen; it is emotional, exciting and brilliant.
This X-Men movie received a mixed bag of reviews. Sitting at a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes (though I normally completely ignore these scores anyway) it baffled me how this movie got below 50% at least, and I think it is wrong. It may not be as good as 'Days of Future Past' but I think 'Apocalypse' rounds off this section of the younger X-Men brilliantly.
The cast. This movie contains some fantastic young and elder actors. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Oscar Isaac are, I feel, the three ultimate driving force with their performances. Fassbender is astounding and I think his portrayal of Magneto is better here than in the previous X-Men. Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse was BRILLIANT! I loved Apocalypse in this movie, he is such a formidable force and physical presence on screen that every time you see him; jaw on floor and eyes wide open in amazement. Sophie Turner is also in this movie, and I loved her performance as Jean Grey, I felt she, Sophie and Jean, really got a chance to shine here and she certainly did in my view.
Ambitious premise & ideas. This movie does contain some very bizarre and trippy sequences, mostly when Xavier takes control of his power and enters into other peoples heads, one particularly great moment where this happens is when he enters Apocalypse's head and sees and feels his power, it was weird but amazing, and carried a lot of emotional heft as well as Xavier began to struggle and fall victim to Apocalypse's power. There is also the sequence where a fight between Xavier and Apocalypse occurs inside Xavier's head back at the Xavier School for Gifted Children, which is brilliant and an edge of your seat sequence.
The last act. Holy hell is it amazing. A very intense and long battle takes place between Apocalypse and his four mutant companions and the X-Men, there are explosions, fights and drama and debris flying everywhere; but it is amazingly well helmed. In some big battles, the action can tire you out and makes the movie lose focus, however the emotional heft that keeps it grounded is exceptional. Magneto's conflict within himself, Jean and Xavier, the younger X-Men discovering their full power, Apocalypse hammering everyone at one point etc really keep the sequence grounded and emotionally involving as everyone is fighting to save the world, encountering inner demons, trying to be stronger than they know and realising their potential, it is brilliant brilliant brilliant.
The score and certain scenes. The score is brilliant, particularly in the last act where the old X-Men theme gets interwoven to some new sounds, and helps further hammer home the emotional heft that is in the movie throughout. Then there are certain scenes which will probably stay with me for a long long time. Magneto discovering his full power at Auschwitz, amazing. Jean Grey unleashing her full power, single handedly my favourite superhero movie scene I have ever seen by far, the last act, Magneto in the forest with his family to name a few. All, brilliant directed, brilliantly acted, wonderful emotional heft and you really feel like you are behind the X-Men, especially Jean Grey, to win this epic battle to save the world.
The movie does take a while to really get into its stride. The first 20-30 minutes perhaps, were a bit slow and it took me a while to really get invested into the characters. However, this is a movie that does trust you to be patient and wait, as with every scene the movie gets better and better and the motivations of the characters become more apparent. The first scene that really does make you sit up and pay attention is the forest scene with Magneto and his family, it is astoundingly good, and really hooks you emotionally, and you understand why Magneto does join Apocalypse because he has lost everything by the hands of the humans. Also, again, it took some time to understand Apocalypse and what his ideas where and what he was going for. Like I said the beginning 20 - 30 minutes do feel disjointed and drag on a bit, but more or less everything comes together at the end, particularly with McAvoy's character.
Jennifer Lawrence. In this movie, I felt she was a tad needless, other than to provide motivation for the young X-Men, which did work. But apart from that she really does not do much else, which can be a good and bad thing. As it made room for all the other characters to shine and a benefit was that she was a force that propelled the young X-Men to fight and inspired them.
Very, very few cons for me personally. Everything else apart from the slow and dragging first few minutes and Jennifer Lawrence's character was fantastic for me, and I loved all of it. Quicksilver and his slow-mo scene was epic, Weapon X sequence was brilliant, Apocalypse was formidable and terrifying, Fassbender was astoundingly good, the last act is amazingly well helmed, the score is great, the emotional heft that is carried throughout the movie is incredible. And when Jean Grey walks through the X-Men door to save Xavier from Apocalypse within his mind and in the real world and she unleashes her full power, *clears throat* My Favourite Scene In A Superhero Movie I Have Ever Seen By Far. X-Men Apocalypse is a steady building, masterfully acted and directed and emotional superhero movie that deserves far more praise than it received. I LOVED IT.