The third ones are always the worst.

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

The X-Men franchise has seen a resurgence of late that was kicked-off with - the unexpectedly good - X-Men: First Class, before director Bryan Singer returned to the baby he started, and blew us all away with X-Men: Days of Future Past - whilst simultaneously wiping the slate clean of that third movie we shall not speak about - but does his latest outing X-Men: Apocalypse continue that upward swing?

X-Men: Apocalypse picks up right where the after-credits X-Men: Day of Future Past teaser left off; in ancient Egypt, as an aging - and supposedly the first mutant - known as En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) - who is adored and worshipped as a god by his thousands of followers - begins a ceremony to transfer his consciousness to a new body, using technology that far exceeds not only the time they preside in, but our own too.

What ensues is quite the memorable opening that displays his followersí - the aptly named four horsemen - powers in all their gorific glory, that beguiles the 12A rating X-Men: Apocalypse is slapped with. But now trapped and asleep amid a collapsing pyramid, En Sabah Nur - also referred to as Apocalypse - is left and forgotten underground, for thousands of years.

Skipping ahead to a slightly more modern day setting (the 1980ís to be exact), CIA Agent Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) is on the hunt for a sect of supposed radicals within Egypt - an investigation that inadvertently leads to awakening the once slumbering mutant. Meanwhile after the events of the previous movie, the now infamous Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has gone into hiding, taking up a new life as a steelworker (the irony) and is living peacefully with a new wife and child in Poland for the past decade. Unfortunately, it's a past that quickly catches up with him leading the troubled soul to join forces with the self-proclaimed Egyptian god.

Elsewhere, Xavierís Institute For Gifted Youngsters is in full-swing, leaving behind the leather-clad, combat-squad known as the X-Men for a far more structured tutoring program. That quickly changes though, as Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) becomes aware of the presence of this new threat and must once again dust off his team along with a new set of super-powered youngsters at his side.

Coming off X-Men: Days of Future Past I was expecting great things from X-Men: Apocalypse, but Iím sad to say that its meandering script ventures far more into X-Men: The Last Stand territory (damn, and I didnít want to mention that movie). Being an X-Men fan, Iím well versed in its lore, but even Iím stumped as to what in the heck is actually going on, with the inconsistent script of X-Men: Apocalypse contradicting those films that came before (and after due to time travel) that will leave you puzzled, struggling to comprehend how all the pieces - past and present - fit together - Iíd hate to see how regular moviegoers comprehend it all - and it's a trend that will now unfortunately likely continue with future instalments, unless someone else has a time travel device of course.

X-Men: Apocalypse - A new mutant team

X-Men: Apocalypse is littered with sporadic action, and some serious pacing issues - that make you feel every minute of its well over two hour runtime - half of the movie could very easily have been left on the cutting room floor. That X-Men: The Last Stand infection also spreads into the multitude of characters they introduce - some we are more aware of, their older forms at least - but never really delving into any of them, giving you nothing new to invest in.

Instead, the only characters youíll feel anything for are those we have a history with; Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) - who channels her Katniss Everdeen in this one - Magneto and returning favourite Quicksilver (Evan Peters) who once again steals the show - the rest unfortunately fall flat.

But itís not just our heroes who suffer this problem, the movie fails to explore a potentially interesting villain in Apocalypse, or his motives; delivering a very one-note performance that becomes your stereotypical Thor bad guy - not to mention his odd makeup job that distracts on-screen consistently.

This ultimately translates into never feeling anything for the penultimate CGI-filled climax of X-Men: Apocalypse, the fate of the world may hang in the balance but you wonít care either way, as your eyes glaze over, leaving you staring at the flying debris and swirling, flickering, matter as those dark memories of X-Men: The Last Stand pry their way to the forefront from your subconscious - a stark contrast to X-Men: Days of Future Past.

X-Men: Apocalypse fails to live up to the expectations left by its predecessor, and much like X-Men: The Last Stand - as Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) amusingly predicts within the movie - the third films are always the worst.

With an inconsistent script that will leave many a fan puzzled - and likely debating - for how all these pieces fit together, to a multitude of mutants that become pure screen-fodder within a movie that very nearly drags longer than the third Lord of The Rings film, producing the feeling of watching a very slow Transformers movie - pretty visuals but nothing beyond it.

X-Men: Apocalypse is definitely not a good movie nor a must-watch, one in which youíll likely come out of remembering only two things; itís Egyptian opening and Quicksilver - which is a shame, as it had the potential to be something special.

X-Men: Apocalypse is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    18th May 2016

  • 2 Out of 5 Stars
  • Inconsistent script

    Overly long

    Flat villain

    No emotional investment

  • Quicksilver

    Opening scene

Film Info

X-Men: Apocalypse X-Men: Apocalypse
Rating: 12A
Release Date: 18th May
Runtime: 2 hrs 24 mins
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult & Sophie Turner

  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men: First Class

No, there are a multitude of scenes depicting various deaths including decapitations.

Contains an after credits scene.

Tom Hardy and Idris Elba were considered for the role of Apocalypse.

The fourth X-Men film directed by Bryan Singer.