You must be wondering where I have been all this time. The answer is across the pond in the mighty USA! 3 weeks later I have only just recovered from jet lag (kind of) and managed to get to the cinema to see the much anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).
I have always been a huge fan of the X-Men series and can honestly say they are my favourite out of all the superhero films. I think it’s the memory of watching them on repeat as a selection of my first ever DVDs as VHS was going out the window. With this in mind I was very excited.
We saw the return of old characters from the new series (we will call the McAvoy series) , but also new characters which we have known in their later years from the original series (lets call this the Stewart series). During which I felt myself playing the ‘spot the character’ game. Comparing skills / personalities / traits (and unfortunately for Jean Grey, Sophie Turner) accents (as much as I love Sophie Turner, it has to be said). At times I felt this was too stereotypical for me. It restricted the characters paths. Us as an audience already know who these characters are and so the opportunity for character development has gone. This is unfortunate for the actors as essentially it feels like they’re playing a role of someone else who was playing a role of a character. For example, Alexandra Shipp was playing Halle Berry who was playing the character of Storm. The opportunity of making the character their own for these actors essentially had been taken away.
Due to this I found myself growing fond of new characters who we hadn’t previously met in the Stewart series. Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver (Evan Peters) brought personality, likeness and a cool quirkiness to the role. He completely smashed Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver in the avengers series (Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)) out of the water.
In saying that, we finally get to understand and see why Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (Michael Fassbender ) is so angry at the world. The torment of his past (/present depending on which way you see it) is brought to light and the sorrow and pain he suffers is in magnitude. You watch as Erik Lehnsherr tries to live his life, falling in love, having a beautiful young daughter and to believe he has happiness in his future. But we all know too well, as we suffer in the real world with prejudice and fear of the unknown Erik Lehnsherr’s life is destroyed and we see the rebirth of Magneto (would it be rude to say- yet again?)
I have to say the team of ‘bad guys’ was much to be desired. They failed to distil any fear in myself and nothing in comparison to the Stewart series’ notorious ‘bad guy’ Col. William Stryker (Brian Cox / Brad Loree). Although we did see a sneak peak of Col. William Stryker (Josh Helman) along with the unleashed beast of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Possibly the highlight of the film?
If you are a fan of the X-Men series as a whole I would end by recommending you taking the trip to see this movie. Overall it is exactly what you expect, a team of mutants fighting to save the world.
Alternatively, if you have never seen any of the X-Men movies – I would recommend staying at home and streaming the Stewart series. You will have more fun and your pocket won’t be empty.
– I enojoyed it. Its watchable, however very far down the ‘watch again’ list
Star of the show:
Please note; I do not own copyright to any to the photographs used.
Using copyright works fact sheet from the UK Copyright Service.