By Cynthia Ayala
When an ancient mutant with tremendous powers awakens from a deep sleep to find the humans have taken over, he vows, with his four horsemen—Magneto, Storm, Psylocke, and Angel—to reshape the world and bring everyone—humans and mutants—to their knees.
X-Men: Apocalypse is the third film in the prequel X-Men franchise that has a stunning cast, amazing special effects, and a story worth viewing.
Bryan Singer gets his superhero movies; that was evident with the first two X-Men films and with Days of Future Past. He knows how to build a film with minor villains before expanding over to the super-villains, in this case, that is En Sabah Nur, also known as Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac, And like that, the story builds up the action, the characters, their dynamics and the story. There is a mad man here; he has a plan, and the audience gets that plan. This movie is not a mess, it’s a clear and cohesive story, there is nothing complicated about it. It has a slow start to establish the villain, where he came from, and why he was asleep for centuries. Then when he wakes, the writers and the actor established his madness very early on. We know what he wants and ultimately how he intends to get to that objective.
Admittedly, the beginning of the film following the opening sequence is slow, but the story is reintroducing the viewer to the characters, where they are in this time, emotionally, and physically. It’s been ten years since the previous film, so a lot has changed for them. There is also a deeper look into who they are, into their hearts, their darkness and their light. These characters have grown, and everyone, the writers, the director and the cast was able to bring that to life and highlight it. It’s an amazing story, yes a superhero film, but it’s more than that, it’s about family, about identity, and everyone was able to capitalize on that.
Again, the casting here was perfect. Isaac is a phenomenal actor who captures the insanity and calmness of his character perfectly. He’s a sociopath with a very real God complex, and Isaac makes his character stand apart. Isaac just elevates the role, he plays with the calmness very well, and he’s excellent at playing the manipulator, He’s a genius and stands apart from the rest of the film;, he stands apart from the noise of the action.
Nevertheless, he wasn’t the only standout actor here. Sophie Turner was a great Jean Grey and this film finally highlighted the extent of her powers. Now, I’m not a big fan of Jean, but she is powerful, and the audience, we finally get to see that power, and the performance, Turner’s fear and strength, it was brilliant. She is Jean Grey. No offense to Famke Janssen, who was a good Jean Grey, this film was just written better to explore who Jean Grey is, and Turner was the perfect choice to bring it all to life.
Another benefit of the movie was that the cast was small, and the story introduced new characters without slowing down the pace of the film highlight their origins. We don’t need that; one sentence of where they come from, one scene, that’s all anyone needs, and that is what this film delivers. It keeps the pace of the film moving forward and increasing in speed, that by the end, it’s hard to believe it’s a two and a half hour film. It just moves so quickly, working towards making this film even more exciting.
At the end of the day, this is a great movie. The casting was perfect, the story worked hard to highlight who these characters were, their strength, weaknesses, and it was a cohesive film with a slow start but an exciting end. Moreover, the homage at the end towards the 90’s animated series, that was just icing on the cake. (★★★★☆ | A)
Oh, and now [SPOILER ALERT] that the film showed us our Phoenix, can we get a PROPER Dark Phoenix Saga movie in production?
Directed by Bryan Singer
Screenplay by Simon Kinberg
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Lana Condor, Olivia Munn & Lucas Till
Genre | Length | Rating: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | 2 hr 24 min | PG-13
Distributed by 20th Century Fox