X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

written by Simon Kinberg

story by Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, and Dan Harris

based on the X-Men comic books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and the Apocalypse comic books by Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice

directed by Bryan Singer

I have spoken before about the X-Men series of films and how I tend to prefer them among our current overload of superhero universes. Sure, there will always be turkeys like X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), but the hits outweigh the misses, with genuinely good stuff like X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and Logan (2017) in there.

Coming off Days of Future Past, I was certainly excited. The plot has Professor X (James McCoy) and his team facing off against the very first mutant, En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), who awakes in Egypt after an extended exile and decides he must destroy humanity (because, why not?). Recruiting Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel (Ben Hardy), and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) to his cause, it all points to a monumental battle.

Monumental it certainly isn’t. X-Men: Apocalypse is more skirmish than deathmatch, full of overdone special effects, so-so action scenes, and a villain that’s just not very fearsome. Sure, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) steals the show (again) with his super-speed powers, and there’s a nifty little sequence where Magneto avenges his family’s death with a necklace. It’s fun enough, but director Bryan Singer – back in the chair for the fourth time – has shown he can do much better than this. Here’s hoping the next one, 2018’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, is a winner.

Rating: **½

Carlos I. Cuevas