Beloved characters shine in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Roll Credits: In Marvel movie fashion, “X-Men: Apocalypse” ends its credits with a stinger that hints at upcoming films in the franchise. This particular end-credits scene features a reference to an upcoming solo film for a beloved member of the team.

Andrew Shermoen

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is not a perfect movie.

The timeline of this franchise makes no sense and the action at the end of the movie is sub-par, but all the mundane moments are outweighed by moments of awesome action and great character development with the younger cast at play. Bryan Singer hasn’t quite nailed what made “Days of Future Past” and “X2” such amazing entries into this franchise, but he has brought enough to make “Apocalypse” a fairly fun X-Men movie.

During the 1980s, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngster’s is booming, having new recruits enrolling every day after Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) urged many to come out of hiding. When Xavier (James McAvoy) is captured by a new enemy called Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the new students and Xavier’s friends must find the professor and stop Apocalypse before he can destroy all of earth’s non-mutant inhabitants.

The movie is a little overstuffed, often carrying around too many characters and subplots that it is easy to become distracted from the main focus of the film. Interesting characters like Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Angel (Ben Hardy) are cast aside for more moments with already developed characters who do nothing in this story. Even though some of the characters are wasted, and others are focused on too much, the new main characters are fantastic, especially the young cast.

Kodi-Smit McPhee captures the lovable humor that Nightcrawler is known for, but his accent is questionable. Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops is a tad bit too brooding, but it is interesting to see the character grow from not understanding his power to trying to grab hold of his role as a hero.

The real shining star of the film is Sophie Turner, who is known for playing Sansa Stark on “Game of Thrones.” In this movie she embodies the shy attitude and difficult powers that Jean Grey is dealing with perfectly. Despite Jean’s snarky, semi-arrogant attitude, she is still a very likable personality to be around – one that is sold by Turner’s fantastic performance. Some of the most intense and memorable moments come from Jean Grey’s role in this story.

Rose Bryne and Jennifer Lawrence are almost useless in the film, which is sad considering how strong of characters the franchise has built them up to be. The rest of the returning cast is stellar though. James McAvoy excels in his portrayal of Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender can do no wrong as Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto. Evan Peters returns as Quicksilver and really improves the character tenfold from his last appearance in “Days of Future Past,” an already fantastic performance.

There are plenty of great moments with exciting and intense action, but the final fight is so overstuffed with blatant CGI that it makes the scene super distracting. On top of some poorly used characters and weird CGI the film also has a pretty boring villain compared to past “X-Men” movies, but Oscar Isaac is so talented that he makes the character incredibly riveting to watch. Yes, “X-Men: Apocalypse” is not a perfect movie; it fails in a lot of spots, but it was still fun and entertaining with some great performances from the younger actors involved.

Rating: 3.5/5