We’re feeling monumentally let down by the new instalment of the ‘X-Men’ franchise. The new movie is a weary, lifeless trudge through comic-book clichés. Here’s why.
Five reasons ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ is a major disappointment
A once-proud superhero series dives off a cliff with the tedious 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
2. It wastes some of the world’s finest actors
You think it’d be impossible to make Jennifer Lawrence boring – but somehow, ‘Apocalypse’ manages it. The calibre of performers the ‘X-Men’ series has attracted over the years has been phenomenal (from the early days of Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart to their younger counterparts Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy). But ‘Apocalypse’ finds nothing interesting to do with these latter-day heroes. Fassbender is subjected to the most hackneyed revenge plot ever (and gets to beat up Auschwitz). McAvoy mopes about and loses his hair and even J-Law seems to fade into the background – which might be appropriate for her chameleonic character Mystique, but doesn’t do much for the movie.
3. The villain is ridiculous
Ever since the first photos leaked, ‘X-Men’ watchers have been a tad concerned about the movie’s big villain, Apocalypse. Sure, he’s played by the fresh-from-‘Star Wars’ Oscar Isaac. But he’s also saddled with a ridiculous suit of chunky-fit armour and a gigantic, angular blue head, like one of the aliens from ‘Avatar’ had an accident with a combine harvester. All of which we’d happily have forgiven if the character was particularly frightening, or funny, or interestingly motivated. But no, he’s just your average furious supernatural dullard bent on world domination. Yawn.
4. The action scenes are nothing special
Remember that one terrific sequence in ‘Days of Future Past’ when Quicksilver (Evan Peters) zoomed around at super-speed redirecting bullets, slapping bad guys and generally getting our heroes out of trouble? It’s recreated here, only with less focus and weaker special effects – and still manages to be by far the most interesting action scene in the movie. For the most part, ‘Apocalypse’ contents itself with predictable punch-ups and CG-busy run-and-jump sequences, none of which manage to make much of an impact.
5. It’s aimed squarely at comic book fans
Shouldn’t a comic book movie stand on its own merits, without the audience being required to familiarise themselves with the back catalogue? ‘Apocalypse’ is annoyingly crammed with fan-friendly nods and winks, and characters whose only function seems to be to make comic nerds happy. If you have any information about who the hell Psylocke (Olivia Munn) or Angel (Ben Hardy) are supposed to be, or why the hell Apocalypse is so grumpy in the first place, let us know in the comments.