"X-Men: Apocalypse" stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Oscar Isaac. Released on May 27, 2016, the film has the X-Men trying to prevent a powerful mutant from cleansing the human race and taking over the world.
The film is directed by Bryan Singer, who also directed films such as The Usual Suspects, X-Men, Superman Returns, and Valkyrie. It is the ninth installment in the X-Men film series and the fourth X-Men film that Singer directed after X-Men, X2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. I wasn't that much into the X-Men films until I saw X-Men: First Class back in 2011, which I thought was a strong and well-acted prequel to the franchise. I haven't gone back to those films like I did with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but after watching this latest installment, I may need to find some time to do so. Bryan Singer delivered some pretty solid X-Men films throughout his career, including Days of Future Past, in terms of critical reception and box office. However, this latest installment of the franchise that rejuvenate the popularity of the X-Men offered its share of hits and misses despite being pretty entertaining.
The main cast reprised their roles as their respective characters, including McAvoy as Xavier, Fassbender as Magneto, and Lawrence as Mystique. Once again, they all delivered some solid performances, although at certain moments their dialogue appeared to be a bit flat. Fassbender was great as he portrayed Magneto as a disheartened person trying to live a normal life despite his powers. Lawrence was also respectable as Mystique, who apparently fights with the X-Men instead of with Magneto. But the one character who stole most of the show was Quicksilver. No, not the Quicksilver from Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm talking about the 'X-Men' Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters. Mostly because of the scene that's almost similar to the one in Days of Future Past. If you saw the film already, you might know what I'm talking about. Oscar Isaac plays the villain known as Apocalypse, who is the world's first mutant. While not the strongest villain in the franchise, I felt that Isaac fits the role pretty well, and the design of him looks amazing. Too bad he reminds me of Ultron, who also wanted to destroy the world in order to save it. The visual effects are one of the key highlights of the film, and they're really well done, especially the fight sequences and the mutant powers.
Compared to the last two X-Men films, the story wasn't as strong as I imagined. Sure, there were some pretty deep moments that were well-directed, but I wasn't emotionally attached to those moments. I think it was because the themes that were explored in First Class and Days of Future Past were drowned out by the typical "save-the-world-from-a-powerful-enemy" plot. What I mean is that there were some themes that they could've explored more, like Mystique's leadership to the X-Men. The pacing is fine for its running time, although some parts felt a bit rushed. There were also some scenes that may be a bit too violent for younger viewers, so parents, be on the lookout.
Overall, "X-Men: Apocalypse" doesn't really scream "end of the world", but in terms of the performances, visuals, and Singer's direction, it's a decent continuation of the X-Men storyline. Could the story be a bit stronger? Yes. Was I entertained regardless? Yeah. I had a good time with this film. Not a great way to end the prequel trilogy, but entertaining nonetheless. Fans of the X-Men movies may or may not be disappointed with this installment.