[A COUPLE OF SPOILERS AHEAD]
X-Men: Apocalypse is perhaps one of the most underrated or disregarded superhero movies of this year, with Batman VS Superman, Civil War and Suicide Squad, X-Men has largely slipped through the cracks.
X-Men: Apocalypse is the third instalment in the recently rebooted series involving younger versions of our most beloved characters. In First Class (2011), the X-Men dealt with the impending Cold War and a mutant hell bent on destruction, in Days of Future Past (2014), we saw the younger versions and the older versions share screen time, their sole objective being the synonymous peace between human and mutants. And now in Apocalypse we are given a villain in the shape of an unstoppable force named Apocalypse, played spectacularly by Oscar Isaac.
Apocalypse is the ‘father’ of all mutants, the X-Men are all his children and as he recalls they ‘are lost because they follow blind leaders’. He wants to breathe new life into them and enhance their abilities. He also wants to destroy the earth and create a new one, only for mutants. Much like Kevin Bacon’s character in First Class. Yet another villain that hates our society and world… funny that.
The surviving X-Men, consisting of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) are busy working at Xavier’s school for the gifted. There we meet a few young but familiar faces, a young Jean Grey (Game of Thrones Sophie Turner) and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), the younger brother of Havoc. It later transpires that these two are just as powerful as their older counterparts.
Apocalypse does not have much to do with these two but he does turn his attention to new characters such as Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Actor Ben Hardy also known as Eastenders Peter Beale) and my favourite character of all, Psylocke (Olivia Munn). Apocalypse needs four horseman, so yes he needs one more. And obviously X-Men can’t have Erik Lehnsherr AKA Magneto (Michael Fassbender) living a normal life with his wife and child so of course tragedy ensues and Magneto is back to being his hate filled self.
This leads into a battle in which Magneto rips the city of its metal resources, Apocalypse tries to transfer himself into Xavier’s body and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) team up to stop both. Thankfully, Mystique isn’t as annoying in this instalment and she actually realises she has a real flair for leading and inspiring.
In a particularly astounding battle scene, Xavier does a 180 on his older self and urges Jean to release her power and become The Phoenix, as we all know from Last Stand, that didn’t go so well but for now she has learnt to contain it. This scene is perfect, there is the right amount of build up, the right amount of drama and action and finally when Jean releases her power, the audience has chills. Even now, I can’t get over how amazing this was.
There has been much talk about the placing of X-Men: Apocalypse in the 2016 superhero rankings, as Civil War has just crossed the $1 Billion mark in gross earnings, it would be safe to assume that this is the movie to win. However, Deadpool had a budget that was the quarter of the size of X-Men’s and still made more than double on its opening weekend, meaning that overall, it is the highest grossing R-Rated movie ever. Artistically speaking and not economically speaking, my rankings would be as follows:
- Captain America: Civil War
- X-Men: Apocalypse
- Batman VS Superman
Therefore X-Men gets a solid 8/10 despite some of the poor reviews given already. So to answer the titles question, no X-Men is not as good as Deadpool, just showing the low budgeted little guy can come through and trounce all of the big hitters.