Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (Bryan Singer, 2016)

Director Bryan Singer’s 2014 return to the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was a superhero movie about rebooting superhero movies – the notion of pop eating itself epitomised on the big screen. For Singer’s fourth turn at the mutant bat, X-Men: Apocalypse, the concern seems to be with running with the free rein afforded by the prior movie’s timeline fuckery, giving us new origins for younger incarnations of famous characters from the early 2000s films (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm) that don’t quite match up with their backgrounds as previously presented. This approach extends to taking the winged character of Angel from the 2000s-set final film of the original trilogy and placing him in the new entry’s 1983 setting at roughly the same age, while also turning him into an (ineffectual) antagonist.

Perhaps incompatibly, Singer and his writers also seem concerned with providing something of a capper to the prequel trilogy kicked off by 2011’s X-Men: First Class, or at least a finale for the (now) A-listers contractually obligated to appear for a third time – Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence have rarely seemed so disinterested onscreen as they do for much of this. And then there’s the matter of squeezing in yet another momentum-destroying cameo from a certain series mainstay, forcing the film into prequel mode yet again instead of letting this new continuity be its own thing…

Full review for The Skinny

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