The hits and misses of ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

X-MEN: Days of Future Past was a tough act to follow—it had a great cast including two Magnetos (Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen) and two Professor Xs (James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart) and Wolverine. It had a great script, an ensemble like no other (hello Peter Dinklage) and some really memorable scenes.

While X-Men: Apocalypse does boast of having exciting new additions to the cast like current geek darling Oscar Isaac (aka Star Wars’ Poe Dameron) and Sophie Turner (aka Game of Thrones’ Sansa Stark) it doesn’t quite have the clever plot or humor of it’s predecessor.

Nevertheless, it does try to come up with decent action sequences and for the fans of the mutants, the film provide insights and some back stories for the mutants and how they may have come up with this or that part of their costume, look, attitude or relationship with other mutants. There is something for the hardcore fans of the characters and the franchise.

X-Men: First Class which takes place in the ‘60s has the plot anchored to events like the Cuban Missile Crisis while Days of Future Past has Nixon, Kennedy, The Paris Peace Accords and the Vietnam War events connected to the rise of the sentinel program in 1973. Apocalypse, which takes place in the ‘80s, seemed a bit more ‘80s. The zeitgeist surrounding that part of the cold war era and the arms race between the US and Russia wasn’t explored as well as the events of the previous two films.

The most ‘80s touch was with the use of the Eurythmic’s classic “Sweet Dreams” in the Quicksilver sequence. The X-men’s sleek black fight suits don’t even look ‘80s, they look very 2016. I didn’t see enough big hair, neon colors, shoulder pads or kitsch. Just tiny ‘80s details.

The X-Men

The X-Men

All these little things though can probably be forgiven if Apocalypse had made good on the promise of being of a formidable villain. But I’d be spoiling it if I explained why he didn’t end up as daunting.

I was quite tickled by the scene in the film where Michael Fassbender is speaking in Polish as Erik Lensherr trying to live a low-key life in Eastern Europe. He will always be one of the best things about the franchise.

Fans are still happy on the whole with this film as these days, almost anything with superheroes will draw in crowds. The general consensus though with the recent slew of superhero ensemble pieces is Captain America: Civil War is tops, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse and then Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And if you think that’s it for the year for the big ensembles, Suicide Squad arrives August 5 in cinemas.


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