Comic Vine Review

233 Comments

X-Men: Apocalypse

3

The X-Men must band together to take on the biggest threat they've ever faced.

With a compelling villain, huge global stakes, and some emotionally hard-hitting scenes, X-Men: Apocalypse is an exciting addition to the ever expansive X-Men cinematic universe. It's easily one of the most ambitious films in the entire series, if a little overstuffed thanks to the sheer number of characters being used.

X-Men: Apocalypse is the sixth X-Men film in the franchise (ninth if you include the spin-offs). Since the first movie in 2000, we've been introduced to a lot of characters and have seen several mutants come and go. Each installment increases the action and danger for the X-Men. But how can the films top the continually escalating series of cataclysmic threats? By bringing in an ancient mutant determined to destroy the world.

The movie's main villain, Apocalypse (also known as En Sabah Nur), has a deep and convoluted history in the comics, but that's been simplified somewhat for the film. His origin is condensed down to: he's the first mutant who was worshipped in ancient Egypt as a god. Apocalypse is higher-level threat than anything the X-Men have ever dealt with in the past, and the way he's presented in the film as being extremely powerful as well as being a master psychological manipulator makes him a unique and compelling villain. At his side are his powerful Four Horsemen, mutants he has helped reach their full potential who serve as his protectors.

Apocalypse threatens the world 10 years after the events of Days of Future Past (1983 in the X-Men film universe), and the big question is: is there a team of X-Men capable of taking him down? The encounter is one audiences will gobble up. But Apocalypse's threat isn't just directed at the X-Men; he's targeting the entire planet. The results are battles spanning the globe with more severe consequences that go beyond the X-Men’s inner circle.

X-Men: Apocalypse is an extremely convoluted movie, and its attempt to juggle such a large number of characters is where the movie falters. The past films featured a large roster of mutants, but X-Men: Apocalypse introduces new versions of characters we've seen in past films (as well as the previous wide-ranging mutant roster). Because Days of Future Past changed the events from the first three films, some classic characters have changed. With such a large number of characters fighting for attention, they just aren't all properly fleshed out.

No Caption Provided

This is especially the case for three of Apocalypse's four henchmen--Storm, Psylocke, and Angel. While we see Apocalypse individually recruit his new Horsemen, we ever only get a hint of who they are and what their motivations might be. The result is a lot of cool-looking characters who lack backstory and depth. Characters like Psylocke and Angel are introduced, but they never seem to reach their full, narrative potential. Where did they come from and why did they join Apocalypse so readily?

Some scenes, too, feel like they were tacked on rather than being integral to the plot. There are moments, including a sequence with a very popular mutant, that felt more like fan service than something necessary. That's not exactly a bad thing, but these occasional flashy elements distracted from scenes that were more crucial to the overarching story.

Like previous X-Men films, Apocalypse again tackles the much explored themes of power, friendship, and family, primarily through the complex relationships of the three main returning characters of Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique. In the 10 years since the events of the last movie, they've all moved on to start new lives. Their different outlooks on mutants, and life in general, add to the tension that unfolds within the plot of the movie. They serve as the current pillars for the franchise, and they give the film an emotional center despite sometimes convoluted introduction of so many other characters.

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The story has different layers and there's a lot going on to keep audiences entertained. We get to see the personal lives of the characters beyond their roles at Xavier’s school. Different corners of the world are introduced, and we get a sense of how mutants are perceived by others. We see the human side of some characters along with plenty of high-octane action and destruction. Magneto's own arc, for example, is tragic and touching, while Quicksilver gets some deep emotional resonance outside of his requisite cool high-speed sequences. The overall tone is serious and somber, but we do get some humor added in from time to time. The timing isn't always perfect; the jokes can interrupt the atmosphere and mood of a scene, but they're executed well.

X-Men: Apocalypse contains enough action, suspense, heartbreak, and excitement to keep you hooked. The movie juggles a lot of characters, and many don't get the time to be fully explored or utilized, but the movie never fails to keep you entertained for its entire running time thanks to the action and heart of the protagonists. Apocalypse is a great character in the comics and as a movie villain, the stakes are raised to such a level, you can't help but wonder how they'll top this in the next one.

X-Men: Apocalypse is in theaters on May 27, 2016.

233 Comments

Avatar image for thefemalebat
Posted By thefemalebat

Chris Stuckmann liked it. He is generally a reliable barometre. I'm hyped to see it.

Avatar image for xwraith
Posted By Xwraith

This was my most hyped CBM of the year, but now I'm not so sure.

Moderator
Avatar image for ostyo
Posted By Ostyo

Ha.

Avatar image for the_stegman
Posted By the_stegman

Still hyped for it.

Moderator Online
Avatar image for mfundroid
Posted By Mfundroid

I think I might sit this one out.

Avatar image for scrappydont27
Posted By ScrappyDont27

I didn't like Days of Future Past so probably just going to wait to rent this.

Avatar image for longbowhunter
Posted By longbowhunter

Just from the look of the trailers, this is about what I expected. Good to know I can save a Sunday and skip this one.

Avatar image for thefemalebat
Posted By thefemalebat
Avatar image for modsbehating
Posted By modsbehating

hmmm so quick to give out five stars to civil war but bash the x men???? oh wait its fox and marvel don't likey fox

Avatar image for gmanfromheck
Posted By gmanfromheck
Avatar image for multipleman
Posted By MultipleMan

So disappointing but I will still be there feeding the machine.

Avatar image for slayz
Posted By Slayz

Ouch. That's the same score BvS got.

Avatar image for blacharrt
Posted By blacharrt

i'll stick with what most of the reviewers are saying about this movie, that many people can't be wrong, good start of the film mid and ending is a Messing, that doesn't make the motive interesting or clear. No thanks i'll pass.

Avatar image for soldierofel
Posted By soldierofel

Out of all of the CBM's coming out this year, this is the one I'm the least hyped about. It looks good with a few goofs but I just don't feel it. It's the same for all of the X men films I've ever seen with the exception of First Class. I hope I can enjoy it but it just looks meh.

Avatar image for 2cool4fun
Posted By 2cool4fun

@slayz said:

Ouch. That's the same score BvS got.

Was thinking the exact same thing :/

Tho a Mystique centric X-men, just because it's Jennifer Lawrence next to Professor X, Magneto, Archangel, Cyclops & even Quick Silver, I wouldn't expect any different.

Avatar image for slayz
Posted By Slayz

@2cool4fun: Just lose Jennifer Law- I mean, Mystique. She's garbage.

Avatar image for farkam
Posted By Farkam

hmmm so quick to give out five stars to civil war but bash the x men???? oh wait its fox and marvel don't likey fox

Lol yeh and dey hate on all da DCEU movies because they are sucker-up paid off dishonest sheep! >:{

Avatar image for samjackson
Edited By SamJackson

I give all these movies at least one go, so I'll still be in the theater. Still pretty excited for this movie (even though reviews are calling it a franchise killer), just not as much as I am for Suicide Squad and Dr Strange.

Avatar image for zoso904
Posted By zoso2308

@modsbehating: lol this is the most childish argument...it could be possible that this is not a good movie

Avatar image for mickey-mouse
Edited By MICKEY-MOUSE

WHOA!!!! 3 stars on Comicvine is like 1 star everywhere else. Majority of the staff on Comicvine is super positive about everything...damn. I like I am still gonna like it, but now I'm nervous. At first I was not hype for this movie, but now that I'm past civil war I'm interested.

Avatar image for farkam
Posted By Farkam

Seriously though, I knew this movie would be fail just by the trailers.

Avatar image for gmanfromheck
Posted By gmanfromheck

@lukehero: 3/5 doesn't mean it's bad. Just read my words. Don't get hung up on a number.

Avatar image for vitality
Posted By Vitality

Question...in the comics...are the horseman always characters they delve deep into? If there is a comic where the horseman are the main focal point, please point me in that direction. I would love to read it.

Avatar image for 2cool4fun
Posted By 2cool4fun
Avatar image for mickey-mouse
Posted By MICKEY-MOUSE

@gmanfromheck: Thank you. Cause even with your postives listed:

"X-Men: Apocalypse is an extremely convoluted movie, and its attempt to juggle such a large number of characters is where the movie falters. "

That makes me nervous.

Avatar image for incursion2
Posted By incursion2

@modsbehating: Maybe, just, maybe Civil war was better than both films??

Avatar image for modsbehating
Edited By modsbehating

@gmanfromheck: what are you talking about marvel throws nails in fox tires all the time? or we gonna pretend that every review is honest? (sure like every bookie that takes bets is honest)

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or has the fantastic four / x-men being pushed outta everything just a unlucky coincidence ??? and dont be like well the xmen actually have comics ok then but the other markets toys, kids shows .Captain america . iron man , thor gets marketed way more then say wolverine who last actually role in a kids tv was in 2011 and also look to the right seems funny not to include a team of say maybe four who heavily contributed to your success or maybe one with claws to represent a large group ?

but also your the writer for this website? why are you talking to me?

why do you even care?

is your editor like telling you what to rate these movies and comics at ?

is a figure in the shadows giving you detailed instructions?

idk

but the thing i do know about marvel hating on fox ?? i mean we really gonna sit here and pretend they aren't watching like.................................................................................................................................................................

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Avatar image for modsbehating
Posted By modsbehating

@farkam: i mean i anit saying all that

Avatar image for dngn4774
Posted By dngn4774

@slayz said:

@2cool4fun: Just lose Jennifer Law- I mean, Mystique. She's garbage.

I agree with this sentiment. I can't stand whiny/heroic Mystique. I prefer her as a badass anti-villain who's commitment to the cause makes Magneto seem soft by comparison. Her origin as Xavier's stepsister/bff killed any love I could've had for this character.

Avatar image for modsbehating
Posted By modsbehating

@zoso904: oh yeah i mean im just saying i seen some "probs" that he pointed out here he didn't in civil war interesting characters not getting there stories told even tho they have major stuff going like vision crippling his teammate or scarlet witch destroying those people .

idc about this movie its just funny to see him bash one movie for something then praise a different one even tho it has the same problems like he didnt even point that out in civil war

or is vision supposed to look at a chess board like

'YUP this one is a big oopies daisy'

and we are just supposed to assume he works it all out?

Avatar image for modsbehating
Posted By modsbehating
Avatar image for vitality
Edited By Vitality

@modsbehating said:

@zoso904: oh yeah i mean im just saying i seen some "probs" that he pointed out here he didn't in civil war interesting characters not getting there stories told even tho they have major stuff going like vision crippling his teammate or scarlet witch destroying those people .

idc about this movie its just funny to see him bash one movie for something then praise a different one even tho it has the same problems like he didnt even point that out in civil war

or is vision supposed to look at a chess board like

'YUP this one is a big oopies daisy'

and we are just supposed to assume he works it all out?

Thank you, I couldn't agree more. It honestly seems like others superhero movies get thoroughly bashed simply because they are not made by Marvel...and I'm talking in general, not just one person.

Granted, it's all opinions, so I'm not going to be mad at someone for their own opinion...but it definitely seems that way.

Avatar image for tensor
Posted By tensor

I never expected for this to be good. Just from the trailer alone too much was going on. I figured they would just cramp up everything an not execute it well in the end.

Avatar image for gmanfromheck
Edited By gmanfromheck

@modsbehating said:

@gmanfromheck:

but also your the writer for this website? why are you talking to me?

why do you even care?

is your editor like telling you what to rate these movies and comics at ?

is a figure in the shadows giving you detailed instructions?

  • Why am I talking to you? I like interacting with the community. Why wouldn't I?
  • Why do I care? Sounded like you're accusing me of 'hating Fox' when I never said that. I enjoyed the last X-Men movies and Deadpool.
  • I'm the Editor-in-Chief of this website. I don't have an editor "telling me what to rate" anything. It might be hard to believe but people do have their own opinions when reviewing things.
  • Is there a figure in the shadows? Not everything is a conspiracy. No one is standing on a grassy knoll.

Also, if you go to http://marvel.com/75, you'll see the Fantastic Four and X-Men. Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix is the very first top left image you see.

Avatar image for vitality
Edited By Vitality

@tensor said:

I never expected for this to be good. Just from the trailer alone too much was going on. I figured they would just cramp up everything an not execute it well in the end.

This is what I don't understand. People complain about how convoluted some of these movies are. That may be true...but just look at the damn comics themselves. Marvel comics are easily some of the most convoluted stories around.

Avatar image for slayz
Posted By Slayz

@gmanfromheck: Nobody is accusing you of conspiracy. They're accusing you of hypocrisy.

Avatar image for scrappydont27
Posted By ScrappyDont27

wow movie reviews are serious business up in here!

Avatar image for vitality
Posted By Vitality

wow movie reviews are serious business up in here!

You would be surprised how many people actively watch or do not watch a movie based on a review from someone else.

Avatar image for d9000
Edited By D9000

Personally a 3/5 review is what I expected. Good but not amazing, which is what I've thought of DoFP and First Class. This'll make a great Netflix movie for me.

As a side note, can people please relax about the Marvel vs DC vs Fox vs whatever crap. Say what you will about the companies themselves but including CV in your conspiracy theories is silly.

Avatar image for thomaselliot
Edited By ThomasElliot

Whhhaaaat? Characters that just appear without backstory in a Bryan Singer X-film?

YOU DON'T SAY!?

On another note...

Marvel movies don't get bashed? The problem with that false opinion is there is this thing we are using called the internet where you can clearly search and find piss-poor reviews of Ant-man, Avengers 2 (which deserved it), Captain America 1, Iron Man 2 and Thor 1.

Avatar image for zoso904
Posted By zoso2308

@vitality: the two of you are coming down on a review (which newflash is not the only review of this movie stating this...most are coming in at less than average...this is actually fairly complimentary compared to a lot of others) for a movie YOU HAVE NOT SEEN all I'm saying is comparing reviews is a childish argument because the movies have nothing to do with each other! Also if I remember correctly this site gave positive reviews for deadpool and the last xmen movie neither of which fit your arguement

Avatar image for vitality
Posted By Vitality

@zoso904 said:

@vitality: the two of you are coming down on a review (which newflash is not the only review of this movie stating this...most are coming in at less than average...this is actually fairly complimentary compared to a lot of others) for a movie YOU HAVE NOT SEEN all I'm saying is comparing reviews is a childish argument because the movies have nothing to do with each other! Also if I remember correctly this site gave positive reviews for deadpool and the last xmen movie neither of which fit your arguement

Are you actually reading my posts?

I'm not "coming down on a review"...I simply agreed with something someone said because I have had the same perspective in one way or the other.

Please re-read my posts...you will see that I am not "coming down" on anything. I'm simply posting a perspective I have, nothing more, nothing less.

Avatar image for zoso904
Posted By zoso2308

@vitality: fair enough but you are painting wildly broad strokes when you state that only marvel movies get reviewed without getting bashed..my problem with that is that this statement has nothin to do with the movie that was reviewed...instead of discussing a movie it can come off as a childish "well what about them!?" Statement

Avatar image for vitality
Edited By Vitality

@zoso904 said:

@vitality: fair enough but you are painting wildly broad strokes when you state that only marvel movies get reviewed without getting bashed..my problem with that is that this statement has nothin to do with the movie that was reviewed...instead of discussing a movie it can come off as a childish "well what about them!?" Statement

I never once stated that Marvel movies do not get bashed...but believe me, I understand what you are saying.

Avatar image for 2cool4fun
Posted By 2cool4fun

@dngn4774 said:
@slayz said:

@2cool4fun: Just lose Jennifer Law- I mean, Mystique. She's garbage.

I agree with this sentiment. I can't stand whiny/heroic Mystique. I prefer her as a badass anti-villain who's commitment to the cause makes Magneto seem soft by comparison. Her origin as Xavier's stepsister/bff killed any love I could've had for this character.

All of this.

Avatar image for deactivated-57af58bda2d61
Edited By deactivated-57af58bda2d61

Great, now I have an opinion on this

:P

Avatar image for rockyraccoon
Posted By RockyRaccoon

Yeah I wasn't expecting much

Avatar image for brobertz
Posted By brobertz

@gmanfromheck: not gonna try and tell you how to do stuff on your own site, but have you thought about addressing the issue of bias towards certain companies that people keep thinking the site has? Might help establish some truth for the people who want it. Again, not trying to tell you what to do, just an idea.

Avatar image for darkdetective27
Posted By darkdetective27

3 stars? Can it reay be as bad as BvS?

Avatar image for primeearth2016
Posted By PrimeEarth2016

I'm not expecting a lot from this, am just gunna go see it for the hell of it.