Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars

Bottom Line: Lots of ground to cover, little ground that was covered was worth covering.  Apocalypse’s mutant power is apparently boring us to death with his talking.

It is very difficult to make an effective superhero movie without an effective villain.  Apocalypse, you would think, fits that bill.  Nigh undefeatable.  Possesses an indescribable amalgam of mutant powers.  Has visions of world domination spanning millennia and has practical experience in the matter.  It’s a stellar villain resume.

Witnessing Apocalypse in action, however, and you get the distinct feeling that he drastically embellished the truth on his resume. For starters, Apocalypse’s super powers seem to be limited to: 1) pushing people into rock just enough to make some undefined point, 2) watching all of Netflix in a few seconds, 3) making other mutants’ powers stronger, 4) controlling people’s minds, 5) teleporting he and as many friends anywhere he wants, 6) making pyramids, 7) stopping things from hitting him.  All fine mutant powers, surely, but only the mind control and Netflix watching screams super villain..

And why stick with the Four Horsemen theme?  That turned out so well for you the first time.  At least put out an ad on Craigslist first:  God-emperor seeks four highly powerful mutants to do bidding.  Must enjoy being mind-controlled and being belittled for even the smallest of mistakes.  Loving cats a plus.  But no, you go ahead and take all of half a day and pick the first four mutants you stumble across and see how that turns out for you.  That’s right, you end up with Angel as one of your horsemen.  Way to go Mr. World Conqueror.

Then there’s your abysmal lack of imagination.  You discover the ability to mind-control literally every human being on the planet and your first thought is to take control of every nuclear missile operator and have them launch those missiles into space even though 80% of them don’t physically have that capability?  And your reasoning is, “You don’t get to destroy yourselves, only I get to destroy you!  At a point and time of my choosing which may or may not be a few hours hence when I make my new buddy Magneto suck all the metal from around the world to Cairo to make pyramids even though I have already made it abundantly clear that one of my powers is to make pyramids.”?  Why not take, oh, ten seconds and teleport your new-if-slightly-underpowered-in-some-cases Horsemen and yourself to this new mind-control ability so you can defend it at all costs?

Sorry, Apocalypse, you are the Donald Trump of super villains.  You use other people to achieve greatness and pretend it’s you that did it all.  You make poor decisions and then blame others for your mistakes.  Your greatest superpower appears to be derision.

All that said, “X-Men: Apocalypse” is not a bad movie.  It just lacks imagination in its main story line.  My recommendation is that you view the movie as a series of vignettes, most of which should have been explored further instead of bothering with the plot such that it is.