X-Men: Too Many Cooks
Chris Kavan - wrote on 06/15/16
X-Men Apocalypse is the culmination of the "new" X-Men films that began with First Class then ramped things up with Days of Future Past. Apocalypse tries to one-up the previous film but in doing so I think it oversteps and gives us a lot of characters but not enough depth. Sure, you still have plenty of cool mutants and a lot of destruction but little of the heart and character that worked so well in the previous films.
Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) says it best when coming out of "Return of the Jedi" - "Well, at least we can all agree the third one's always the worst." Apocalypse has probably the best and darkest villain out of any of the X-Men films. Sure, he may look somewhat ridiculous in that getup, but Oscar Isasc is frightening. The "first mutant" if we are to believe, has spent centuries transferring from one body to another, gaining several powers on the way, including a Wolverine-like ability to heal, some kind of power that let's him manipulate solid objects, the ability to put up a force field/shield and the ability to amplify any ability he wishes. Plus he manages to recruit four powerful mutant to help him - including Magneto (Michael Fassbender) along with new mutants Angel (Ben Hardy), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn).
But therein lies on of the films biggest weaknesses: it introduces so many new mutants. Besides the ones mentioned above you also have Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Jubilee (Lana Condor) making her first major appearance. Plus so many more returning, a cameo from Weapon-X, there is hardly time to register whose doing what - let alone coming up with a compelling story for any of these characters. Heck, hardly learn a thing about Angel, Psylocke or Storm - their screen time is pretty much glorified cameos - really the only new character who gets major development is Turne's Grey with Scott Summers a distant second. The best character development is given to Magneto - who truly does have a devastating story to tell and he should really have been the focus as far as I'm concerned rather then Xavier (James McAvoy) and his budding school for the gifted.
Anyways, with Apocalypse unleashed, major destruction follows - it's not quite Roland Emmerich bad, but it gets pretty close towards the end. There are some pretty good battle scenes (also mostly towards the end) and, once again, Evan Peters steals the show as Quicksilver including another slo-mo scene (this time a rescue) that is so, so much fun to watch. Even Jennifer Lawrence seems sidelined as Raven/Mystique and should have been given more to do.
This film wants to reach new heights and up the ante but in flying that high, it ultimately can't reach the lofty heights it aspires to and is a somewhat disappointing and lackluster end to this new trilogy.