While I could have spent more time in their company, the movie at least carves out enough time for Cyclops and Jean above the rest. Yet it is Evan Peters as Quicksilver who once again steals the show, his action scene is unquestionably the stand out sequence of the movie, it’s witty, funny, and just really cool.
Apocalypse however is more like a catalyst, bringing established characters together and fortifying the next generation, rather than a meaningful antagonist. Oscar Isaac is perfectly fine as the ancient mutant, delivering creepy and ominous speeches, but for a character anticipating the end of the world, carries surprisingly little menace. Maybe it’s because most of his screen time is spent recruiting his four horsemen overseeing their fabulous makeovers, or maybe it’s because the Armageddon he eventually unleashes feels so impersonal.
You see capital cities being levelled, but they feel empty as they are observed form a distance, there is a lot of destruction but very little tragedy. The last two X-Men movies did a fantastic job of embedding the plots within historical events; the Cuban Missile Crisis became the finale of First Class, while Vietnam served as an advocative backdrop last time around. So it is a real shame that Apocalypse didn’t take advantage of its era. Mullets and Leggings aside this story could have played out in any decade.
As a conclusion to a trilogy Apocalypse falls somewhat short, it marginalises key relationships in favour of new ones, and lacks some of the depth in historical flavour of these immediate predecessors. However, if it is taken as a fresh new start Apocalypse is a fun and entertaining adventure, which introduces a new generation of gifted youngsters.