Review: X-Men Apocalypse

X-men: Apocalypse

The sixth of the X-Men movies has been out for a while. I finally got around to watching it. And… well…

Story

In 3600 BCE, there was a mysterious being known as En Sabah Nur. He was the first mutant and ruled the ancient world with his four horseman. When his body grew old, he switched to a new one. Just when he had acquired powers to heal his body forever, he was entombed beneath his pyramid by rebels, ending his reign.

Okay, a quick note here about ancient Egypt. The first dynasty of Egypt started around 3000 BCE, so this mutant lived before the birth of ancient Egypt.

Skip to present day Cairo. Some people have dug up En Sabah Nur’s tomb and he awakens, sending a shock wave around the world. Moira Mac Taggart witnesses everything from close by. Picking up the shockwave, Xavier investigates and this leads him to Moira.

From there the story escalates, pitting the X-Men against this terrible mutant of the old world.

Characters

Like previous installments of the First Class reboot, the movie is about Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Raven Darkholme/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

Oh wait, no it sort of is, but isn’t. Because there’s also the new generation of X-Men: Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee ). It’s a story about there becoming a team of…

No, no, it’s also about Storm (Alexandra Shipp)

…and the romance between Charles Xavier and Moira Mac Taggart (Rose Byrne).

Hold on, Quicksilver(Evan Peters) is also here, back for angsting about his daddy Magneto!

And there’s Wolverine! And Psylocke! And Caliban! And…

Okay, forget it. Suffice it to say, there are a shitload of characters in this movie.

Groundhog day

The theme of all the X-Men movies is the complicated relation between mutants and ‘regular’ humans. People fear mutants and Charles Xavier and Magneto have opposing views on how to deal with this prejudice.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this play out already in five previous movies (more if you count the Wolverine spin-offs). What new thing do we add this movie? Wait for it… a re-threading of the story of Cyclops and Jean Grey.

In the first movie Xavier and Magneto don’t see eye-to-eye, and their battle escalates until Magneto comes to his senses and leaves to think. In Days of Future past, Xavier and Magneto don’t see eye-to-eye, and their battle escalates until Magneto comes to his senses and leaves to think. And in this movie…. sorry, spoiler ahead: Xavier and Magneto don’t see eye-to-eye, and their battle escalates until Magneto comes to his senses and leaves to think. F*ck you, dear writers.

Aside from seeing Star Wars’s Poe in blue, the movie is just the same as the previous ones. And it even copied the thing I hated most about Days of Future Past: instead of focusing on resolving the conflict between Charles and Erik, the story distracts us with other crap.

And a special copy-paste: yes, they replicated the slomo scene from Days of Future past. It’s still cool, but it’s not original this time around.

Conclusion

In short: seen it, seen it, seen it. Five times.

Go watch Logan instead. That movie actually offers something new instead of more of the same.

Author: Martin Stellinga

I'm a science fiction and fantasy writer from the Netherlands