Movie Reviews

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

It is another beautiful summer Friday in Arizona, and it’s time for another movie review presented by our friends over at FatCats Gilbert located on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! With delicious pizza, french fries, and chicken tenders brought right to your recliner, FatCats Gilbert is the perfect place to check out brand new films at the box office!

With two new movies out this week, the first movie I’m going to review, X-Men: Apocalypse, sat at number 6 on my 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016. I have to start off by saying that I’m a huge X-Men fan, and I love the movies, the comics, and the television shows including the classic animated series and X-Men: Evolution. Coming off of what is my personal favorite X-Men film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, I was so excited for this movie. I thought that the trailers were solid, not great, but I was still excited. This cast of characters is incredible, and the chemistry between the cast is amazing. I think it is so much fun to watch the X-Men band together to defeat an all-powerful villain, and one of my favorite parts of the X-Men Cinematic Universe is that it’s so unpredictable. I think Bryan Singer has handled the series so well, and with him back at the helm of the franchise, let’s talk about the newest installment of the X-Men series, X-Men: Apocalypse.

X-Men: Apocalypse is directed by Bryan Singer and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, Olivia Munn, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, and Rose Byrne. Boy, that was a mouthful, but each of those actors and actresses had a key part in this movie, so I had to mention them. Anyways, after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past in 1973, this movie is set in 1983. The X-Men have slightly disbanded. Magneto has moved and started a family while Professor X has began to establish Professor Xavier’s School for the Gifted as the premier school and learning place for young mutants including the classic X-Men like Jean Grey and Scott Summers. Little do they know, Apocalypse, who may be the most powerful mutant in history, has awoken and is prepared to take the world back from the humans and the weak-willed. Along with his four loyal “horsemen,” Magneto, Angel, Psylocke and Storm, Apocalypse will wage a war with the defenders of those who cannot protect themselves.

This movie has been getting some negative buzz which made me very sad to hear. As I mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the X-Men and their adventures in all formats, so I was kind of disappointed to hear that this movie has been racking up the negative reviews. This is a perfect example of why I don’t like to let reviews impact my thoughts on a movie. Was X-Men: Apocalypse perfect? I don’t think it was perfect at all. I wouldn’t even say that it is in the top two superhero movies of this year, but I really liked it a lot. First of all, the cast, as always, does a pretty good job. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are two of the best working actors today, and they are both amazing in this movie. Over the past five or six years, Michael Fassbender has really become one of my favorites in the business, and again, he is so good in this movie just capturing the essence of a character and the emotion of a character. I also really liked Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers. Call me crazy, but Cyclops is my favorite member of the X-Men, even over Wolverine. I thought that James Marsden was great as Scott Summers, and Tye Sheridan is going to pick up right where he left off. It makes me really happy to see Singer handle the character in a way that is true to the character in his prior formats and pull a great performance out of Tye Sheridan, someone who I think is one of the best young actors today. Also, how could I not mention Evan Peters as Quicksilver? Quicksilver was one of the best parts of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and he has one of the best scenes in this movie. I won’t spoil it, but it is slightly reminiscent of the first scene he had, and it’s awesome. I also thought that there were some really great action scenes in the film. They are not all perfect, but there are certain scenes where we get to see different characters get the spotlight, and they work so well.

I did have a few negatives, so let’s talk about those as well. First of all, I personally did not like what the movie did with some of the sound. As someone who has looked at sound from an editing and mixing perspective, I didn’t like what the movie did with voices often times. It felt like when my sister turns the base up to +10 in her car. Maybe it’s a little bit scary, and to some people it may sound cool, but I just didn’t like how it sounded. I also thought that the story was a bit messy. There are times where I don’t necessarily understand character motivations, and if someone was not well versed in the X-Men world, I can see where a viewer could be thrown off or confused, and I don’t think that it should always be that way. There are points where I question the narrative of the story, and though I think it takes chances that work out well, some points just do not allow the story to flow. I could also tell that Jennifer Lawrence has kind of had enough of this franchise. Do you remember X-Men: First Class when Raven is giving each of the members of the team a name, and you can just feel the passion coming off of her, and it almost feels as though this is actually something Jennifer Lawrence is involved in and something she is really excited about? I don’t feel that in this movie. There are a lot of times she falls flat, and there are multiple times where I didn’t like a few of the lines characters were given. Finally, my last issue with X-Men: Apocalypse is actually the titular Apocalypse. Apocalypse was scary and menacing, and I thought that he was well-portrayed by Oscar Isaac, and actor I really appreciate, but Apocalypse spends a lot of time standing around in this movie, kind of showing off. He spends a large chunk of the run time moving from place to place assembling his army of four others. When he gets there, he just shows how powerful he is, which, don’t get me wrong, is terrifying to think that our heroes must go up against him, but it doesn’t feel like he does much or has a plan for a long time other than to conquer the universe.

Overall, I really liked X-Men: Apocalypse! I thought that just as the X-Men movies always do, this movie handled characters so well, and that is what made the film work. Each and every character was able to shine, and though I still like X-Men: Days of Future Past more, I am still satisfied with this movie, and I can’t wait for the next X-Men team film or Wolverine 3. I guess I really don’t get why this movie is getting all of the negative reviews it’s getting, but everyone has their own opinion. I had a few issues with the movie, but I ended up having a good time with it, and a great time watching these characters come to be. I would definitely suggest checking it out, and I’m going to give X-Men: Apocalypse a 7.8/10.

Have you had the chance to see X-Men: Apocalypse yet? If you have, comment down below to tell me what you thought! If not, will you be headed out to see it this weekend? Will you be headed out to see Alice Through the Looking Glass? I should have a review out for Alice Through the Looking Glass tomorrow, so be sure to stay tuned for that! As I mentioned last week, I will also be ranking all of the movies in the X-Men cinematic universe with the exception of the solo movies, so it will be a team effort only. That should be out later this weekend, so come back and check that out! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at