With a timeline that has been completely reset, thus eliminating the first three X-Men movies, it was vital the producers got it right this time. Unfortunately, I am not completely convinced they have gotten it right. Apocalypse is entertaining, full of action scenes and barely knows a moment of rest. However, much like Spiderman 3, it has too much going on in the limited time it has.
The story picks up in the 1980s, but not before we also get a glimpse of the resurrection of the first ever mutant. The ancestor of all mutants is reborn after centuries of slumber, and sets out to recruit four lieutenants: the Four horsemen of the Apocalypse. It doesn’t take long for the ex-X-men to get wind of this development and out of necessity and circumstance a new team is created led by Xavier and Mystique. They don’t have an easy task at hand as En Sabah Nur, the original mutant, has imbued his recruits (Psylocke, Storm, Angel, and Magneto) with more power, making the four of them together a virtually unbeatable team. However, of course in order for that to work they would actually have to be a team.
The story itself is interesting to say the least. Therefore it is a shame that this is again a movie that feels rushed. There is too much going on, which results in most of the action taking place in the second half of the movie. Which is fine, were it not that because of this there isn’t enough time to properly execute all this action. Already at the beginning there are several introductions that need to be made. We meet Scott Summers who discovers his ability; of course there is also the resurrection of Apocalypse; then there’s Magneto’s life in Poland; as well as Mystique chasing other mutants in Berlin; and let’s not forget about Xavier’s school for the gifted. There is a lot going on, and this list isn’t even all of it. As such it really is no wonder that nothing really happens until halfway in. While it is understandable that everything needs to be introduced, you can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a better way to do it.
Truth be told, the action scenes are spectacular with plenty of special effects. In particular Jean Grey transformation into Phoenix leaves you awe-struck. The new Jean Grey is played by Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner. While it may be tough for GoT fans to see her as anything but Sansa, she does make an excellent Jean. Dare I say, better than Famke Janssen? Yes, she does a better job at coming across as the outcast, the freak no one wants to be around. With Phoenix already revealed it will be interesting to see where Marvel is going with this timeline.
Because the movie is cramped up with so much information, it is hard to get close to relatively new characters in the X-men movie universe. Those that have read the comics and seen the original tv series can relate, but if all you have seen is the previous movies it is a lot of information and most of it incomplete. Whether or not this movie would have been better as a two-parter is tough to say. However, maybe it could have done better if it was preceded by filler movies, or hell, it’s Marvel, a series on Netflix. For now, Apocalypse does not nearly live up to Days of Future Past.