Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men Apocalypes (Poster)It almost feels like there’s a new comic book inspired blockbuster out each week, fueling the flames of pop culture fandom while racking in staggering returns for the phenomenal conglomerate, Marvel. While it’s a genre I rarely explore I’ve always been drawn to the X-Men universe, which stems from the fond memories I have of watching the popular animated series each morning before school. In this latest installment the alleged first mutant, Apocalypse, returns for the first time in over 1,000 years to wreak havoc on the human race, cleansing the world of those deemed “weak”.

Set ten years after the events of Days of Future Past, Cold War tensions of the early 80s rage on, as what our antagonist believes to be “blind worship” of the era’s superpowers, fuel his path of destruction. Charles Xavier/Professor X along with his counterpart, Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, return once again as two opposing forces to the world’s latest mutant adversary. While the pair’s chemistry and bond is undoubtedly strong despite differing attitudes, the latter’s growing distrust towards humans begins to feel old and leads to (often) predictable outcomes. Filling out the supporting cast is a mixture of new and recurring characters, each boasting their own unique ability. However, it’s a case of too many eggs in one basket as some are quickly dismissed while others suffer from an unresolved story-arc.

In a genre known for its emphasis on action and grand spectacle, the X-Men universe in recent years has opted for a more poignant approach, utilizing emotionally raw performances from a number of prominent actors to enhance the story. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender continue to captivate audiences, both delivering strong interpretations of their respective characters in this latest installment, as in the past. The film does succumb to a formula driven plot, however, as seen in many Marvel superhero outings. I think it’s fair to say that casual fans will enjoy X-Men Apocalypse more than the targeted audience, as individuals like myself are likely to be oblivious to flaws and inconsistencies that may otherwise annoy its passionate fan base.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
(2016, dir: Bryan Singer)

★★★½

 

 

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