And thus, the McAvoy/Fessbender X-men Trilogy ends with the journey complete. Warning Possible Spoilers Ahead!
What I love about going to see X-men films is that I can’t be disappointed because I come in with zero expectation of awesomeness. I don’t expect them to be good and I know they’re going to mess with character’s backstories and make changes. So I’m less inclined to get my hopes up. This serves me well and lets me enjoy Days of Future Past without nitpicking. There was a lot more to nitpick in this movie. But overall I still had a good time and the Easter eggs made me smile.
X-men Apocalypse tells the story of one of the X-men’s greatest foe, Apocalypse, a powerful mutant with a sick Darwinian outlook on life, and a lot of power to back it up. In the movie he also has a serious god complex. He seems to not quite get that he’s just a mutant. He fancies himself (and the movie sets this up) as some kind of god, the basis for all religions, with an ego the size of an Egyptian pyramid. Yes, when we first see Apocalypse, he is in Egypt, and is about to transfer his consciousness into the body of another inside a giant pyramid in Ancient Egypt. It doesn’t go according to plan.
As Villains go within the X-men trilogy Apocalypse gets the closest to accomplishing his mission of destroying the existing world to rebuild his new one, with only the fittest surviving. But other than that there’s not much too him. He’s not a well developed villain and lacks a personality and lacks intimidation. As viewers there’s more eye-rolling than nail biting. This concept of his own deluded divinity could have been better explored and the four horsemen, excluding Magneto, Angel, Psylocke, and Storm deserved more development, but I suppose that can be done, should be done, in later films. The design choices for him were also questionable.
Another character who deserved more screen time would be Jubilee, who is adorable and similar to her comic book counter part, bubbly, friendly, but sadly is there only as a side character. The inclusion of William Stryker served only one purpose, to set up the next movie and to include a Wolverine cameo…because apparently no movie is complete without Wolverine.
The movie flows well and is overall entertaining, balancing action with non-action and has great visuals and really does well to extend the character development of Charles and Erik. Erik was angry and Charles was cocky, then Erik was blood thirsty and in prison while Charles wallowed in self-pity and drugs, and finally Charles takes his place as Professor X, and Magneto remembers he has a human side too.
It’s a great way to end the arc for the two characters and the induction of the official team of X-men. The new generation of X-men is inducted and it is great, from the build up to it, to the uniform design, to the team roster. It is pleasant to the eyes and plays an homage to their comic book uniforms while adding something fresh and new to them.
The ending is very powerful, setting many things in motion and giving us a threading story that comes to an end, though a few things are left unsaid. Future movies now have an opportunity to explore the elements and stones that have been put down, from the new team and it’s dynamic and training, to new elements that can be introduced and a new arc to be had for Magneto. The after credit scene made me jump out in excitement at the implication of not one, but two X-men comic characters a formidable foe and someone who just needs some love.
Final Grade B.