In the span of just a few weeks we've learned from movies that Batman, Superman and The Avengers have all developed a newfound sensitivity for the human collateral damage that comes from all their superhero do-gooding. (This is why I tell friends not to date superheroes; a fireball meant for them invariably takes you out and then the caped-ones just leave you there so they can continue pouting about their dead parents). Well The X-Men have clearly not gotten the memo because they wipe out, per usual, at least 25% of the Earth's population in their latest super-snit over power and world dominance, AGAIN. These kids play rough and don't care who, or what monument, might happen to be in their way at the time.
X-Men: Apocalypse is a perfectly good enough, if overstuffed, installment of the franchise, but coming so close on the heels of the latest Avengers (the gold standard of these things, I think) makes the whole enterprise seem a little pedestrian and humorless. Nothing new happens. The action still centers around the frustrated bromance between Magneto and the pre-bald Xavier, while Jennifer Lawrence runs around hollering, "We have to FIGHT," all the time just like she did in all the Hunger Games movies. You've seen it.
X-Men: Apocalypseacts not as a mere continuation or reboot but, rather, a "hand-over" to a younger, hotter set of X-Men. Apparently it's no longer enough just to have superpowers to be a member of the team, now you have to have done at least three catalog covers for J. Crew to get in. These people seem to have ample time for grooming and working out at their secret school/home for the paranormally gifted because they always look like they're ready to go clubbing at any given time. They're a fine looking group of kids with weird, unexplainable powers - this franchise doesn't overdo backstory for most of its characters, thank God.
Why is the lovely Rose Byrne in practically every movie I see?
Why has the character "Storm" been re-imagined, re-cast and re-costumed only to be even goofier than before?
If there are problems with
X-Men: Apocalypse(and there are) they're symptomatic of the genre as a whole: it's all too much. Too much of everything. Too many characters, too many action sequences, too much noise, too, too freaking long. I think a rule should be instituted whereas a film director has to forfeit $100,000 of salary for every minute a comic hero movie goes over two hours. That might put these offerings on a much needed diet. If you liked the previous X-Men films, then you're going to enjoy yourself just fine. If you don't typically like this genre, this one won't change your mind.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews of 500 words or less, sans spoilers.)