For Reel

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
May 29, 2016, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Bryan Singer
2 Stars
X-Men ApocalypseThe thing to learn from the X-Men films has been the power of both developing a socially relevant subtext and creating villains from within sticky political issues—the feud between Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) comes down to the characters’ different responses to the hands their dealt. This summer’s Captain America: Civil War seemed an easy fit into this kind of superhero film in that it scaled down its conflict into one that was ultimately a battle of ideologies. With X-Men: Apocalypse, director Bryan Singer all but abandons everything that had made the X-Men films interesting, bringing in an ill-fitting supervillain (what will be remembered as a legendarily wasted Oscar Isaac) with motivations that are of the vague, world-conquering sort that produces little but yawns from audiences. Meanwhile, the picture is so pleased by its own franchise that it exploits every action figure opportunity at the expense of the plot—a tangential visit to a shady governmental facility has no relevance to the narrative other than allowing for a cameo appearance. Whereas the previous two installments of this particular trilogy were relatively tightly focused on a key conflict, X-Men: Apocalypse involves a surplus of half-thought ideas peppered around shots of Apocalypse and his cronies posing on a cliff and discussing all the bad stuff that’s about to happen.

2 Comments so far
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Spot on. Also, how many times must we watch Magneto kill hordes of innocents only to change his mind at the last moment and decide to be “good” again with no repercussions?

Comment by Shawn McDonough

The timing of this particular installment is incredibly unfortunate in the wake of two major superhero franchises discussing civilian casualties. Have more people ever died in a superhero movie? Magneto must have killed tens of thousands. It’s all good, though—he just gets feisty once a decade.

Comment by Eric Fuerst

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