Are the third movies in trilogies always the worst?
[dropcap size=small]B[/dropcap]ryan Singer’s much-anticipated third installment in the series has undoubtedly sealed his fate as the quintessential superhero director. Yes, possibly even more so than Nolan or the Russo Brothers. (Definitely Snyder, too.) Admittedly, it’s pretty difficult to top a movie like Days of Future Past, but this one came close.
X-Men: Apocalypse is set just after the events of Days of Future Past, where Wolverine was sent back in time (at least his consciousness was thanks to Kitty) to undo certain events caused by Mystique that caused a chain reaction in the future, making all mutants and potential mutants alike targets for slaughter by the deadly Sentinels. Wolverine succeeds in his mission, and reverts the timeline back to normal, where Apocalypse starts off.
Apocalypse was the very first mutant, looked upon as a god or some kind of mythical being. After being betrayed by his followers thousands of years ago, he has returned to “purify” the world of the weak, and apparently some people have a problem with that. So Charles Xavier and Mystique, along with a handful of young X-Men including Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Jean, and Quicksilver band together to stop him.
The opening act of the film paced very nicely, setting the scene and showing the power of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen, but sped up noticeably afterwards, giving the plot and character development a very rushed and unsatisfying feeling. Its understandable, considering the amount of characters there are, and subplots to get through, but too much of anything can be a bad thing.
And this movie definitely had too much going on. There was hardly any time to set up Jean’s character, considering how vital she is to the overall story, along with any of the new X-Men, save Cyclops.
After Apocalypse awakens, he gives off this tone of being just a brute with no well thought out plan, when in the comics he is one of the most difficult enemies the X-Men have ever faced, in more ways than one.
But with every dark cloud, there are silver linings. Every action sequence was visually stunning, and had me on the edge of my seat, waiting for more. Seeing Apocalypse crumple people like paper, then throw them around without so much as a thought about it had me cringing and wincing. Magneto leveling entire cities like it was nothing. Every scene with Quicksilver was worth waiting for, with his humor, mannerisms and fight sequences all being true delights to witness.
Every character’s performance was truly believable and well-played, though they lacked development and depth. It was all enough to make this a truly captivating film from beginning to end.
Many critics have been quick to, well, criticize the third installment in this X-Men trilogy, rightfully so. It surely wasn’t everything we fans hoped it would be, but I have to admit, it came pretty damn close. From the borderline cheesy makeup, to lack-luster special effects, the movie did oversell and under-deliver. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie or deserving of a low rating.
Coming off the heels of Days of Future Past and other typical superhero movies with mass destruction, Apocalypse will overall leave you wanting, because you can only watch the world be brought to the edge of oblivion so many times.
It was really cool to see the old suits given new life and a fresh style, though.
FINAL SCORE: 3.5/5