WOW, Sansa can be cool?

X-Men: Apocalypse stars James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class, Wanted), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Prometheus), Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Inside Llewyn Davis) and a whole bunch of other mutants. This is director Bryan Singers (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) 4th X-Men film and honestly, hopefully his last.

The first Mutant, Apocalypse has been buried for thousands of years but is awoken with a plan to destroy civilization. To stop him the X-Men old and new must come together and save the world AGAIN!

X-Men: Apocalypse has received some brutal reviews and although this film is far from perfect, it’s a whole lot of fun to watch. I liked Batman V Superman but I can agree that the film isn’t exactly a ‘fun’ film, however I wouldn’t agree that Apocalypse isn’t thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. There’s a lot to discuss in this film so I’m just going to get into it.

I have to start with Fassbender because he seems to make it his mission to steal every X-Men film he’s in. He’s one of the best actor working and again he proves it, with another amazing performance as Magneto. I truly believe outside of his work with Steve McQueen, Fassbender gives his best performance in these X-Men films. There is a scene with him in a forest early on in the film that is so powerful and gave the film credibility purely because of Fassbender’s power as an actor. When he comes into a scene, he has so much gravitas, you’re glued to the screen watching him. My only wish would be that they give the character more development because he does the same thing in every film.

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I don’t think Sophie Turner has done anything outside of Game of Thrones and going into this film I was worried she wouldn’t be able to shake off her character Sansa Stark. If you’re like me and worried… don’t be, she is amazing as the new Jean Grey. There’s a lot of new mutants in this film but I’m most excited to see where they take Jean now they have a new, young actress who just killed it in this. Her character in Game of Thrones is whiny, weak and a bit annoying, from the trailers I thought she was going to be the same as Jean Grey but she has power and it comes through in her performance. She does an excellent job and I can’t wait to see where Sophie Turner’s career goes from here.

Like I’ve said there’s so many mutants and too many to get to them all. The ones that stood out the most for me were Nightcrawler, Cyclops and Storm. Nightcrawler had a surprising amount of comedy to him and we know from X-Men 2, his powers are awesome to watch. Tye Sheridan was great as Cyclops, him and Storm finally seem to be getting treated properly in these X-Men films. They didn’t feel like side character just there to add up numbers for the finale (which is all they’ve been in the past). I left this film feeling really positive for the future of the X-Men films, despite this not being my favorite of the series.

For me I’ve always liked the X-Men films because of the characters and the personalities. They’ve never had mind blowing action like the Marvel films or DC and to be honest this film doesn’t rely on constant action, until the end. I loved discovering new members of the X-Men and new mutant villains. A large portion of this film feels like introduction to characters but the acting is solid and characters are enjoyable, so it never got boring. I thought Bryan Singer handled the new character really well and made up for some of the ones he didn’t do justice to, in his first films.

As I’ve said this film isn’t without flaws. What was weighing down the film for me was Apocalypse himself. I didn’t like this villain and as he plays a huge part, it was preventing me from really loving this film. No fault is given to Oscar Isaac but I’ve never been fully behind the look of Apocalypse and in the film it’s even worse. He didn’t fit in and looked like he was from a different film the whole time. He has cool powers and when he kills people its fantastic but he kept pulling me out of the film because of his jarring look. There’s nothing to his character other than he’s evil and shouts A LOT! He’s a big, powerful, shouty man and he’s annoying.

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Well Jennifer Lawrence slept through this whole film. She’s been very vocal about not enjoying playing this character and it came through in her performance. You could tell she didn’t care and was just doing enough to get a pay check. This really frustrated me because I like her and think she’s a very talented actress but if she didn’t want to make this film, Fox should have made her. X-Men films have been making money long before Lawrence and if they wanted Mystique back, I would have preferred it if they recast her.

With the exception of Jennifer Lawrence and Apocalypse, I was really enjoying the first 2/3 of this film. The final act and big battle at the end isn’t the worst ever (not on the same level of awful as Fantastic Four) but it’s a really cliche superhero finale and offer nothing new we haven’t seen before. The visual effects at times were really poor toward the end and took me out of the film several times. The ending had it’s moment but overall was disappointing.

So X-Men: Apocalypse is a bit of a mixed bag but has a lot of good moments. The new characters are fantastic and Fassbender steals the show. If you’re a fan of the X-Men films, this one sets up an interesting future and is definitely worth seeing, just don’t expect a film on the same level as Days of Future Past. I’ll be doing a spoiler filled review so I can talk more in depth about everything I liked and disliked sometime next week.

7.5/10

Have you seen X-Men: Apocalypse and what did you think about it?

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