Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, considered the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
This is the third instalment of Bryan Singer's 'young X-Men' films and it is telling that a character at one point claims 'we know the third films are never as good'. Whether it was a knock on X-Men: The Last Stand or not it also becomes ever so slightly self referential.
Apocalypse is by no means a terrible film it just is a bit of a non entity. Bogged down by a plethora of new characters, none of which have any real time to develop, the film feels at times painfully slow and cumbersome.
On the plus side there are some entertaining moments. Another Quicksilver sequence, rescuing students from an exploding school for the gifted, is a visual delight but not on the scale of his first outing in Days of Future Past. Another highlight is the performance of Michael Fassbender who continues to be a great on screen Magneto and possibly a stronger Magneto than Sir Ian McKellen was. That may be considered heresy by some readers!
For me though Apocalypse is a disappointment. One of the big bad guys from the comics never feels to truly be the threat he should be given his powers and abilities. Surrounded by his underutilised 'horsemen' (only Fassbender's Magneto has any real impact) I was left wondering what the point of them was. My only conclusion being it was simply to shoehorn in these fan favourite characters like Storm and Psylocke into this trilogy of films.
A CGI heavy ending is unnecessarily long and without any assembled characters to fully invest in the battles are inconsequential. Also while Civil War and even (the train wreck that is) Batman v Superman examine the consequences of superhero actions; the X-Men seem perfectly content to let the villains rip a city apart without any regard for citizens as long as they take the bad guys down.
On paper X-Men:Apocalypse should be made for me. An X-Men fan alongside the constant conversation of Apocalypse's god like attributes are a perfect fit for Films and Faith.
Sadly however X-Men:Apocalypse suffers from under developed characters which leads to a lack of investment from the viewer which makes the film simply not interesting enough. Ultimately while X-Men: Apocalypse is not a boring film, it will all too easily be forgotten.
X-Men : Apocalypse is on general release from 18 May.
Thanks to MovieHouse for screening access