The X-Men franchise has been one of the most consistent around. There are a lot more hits than misses, and every movie has great performances throughout the cast. In First Class we were introduced to younger versions of Charles Xaiver (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). In my opinion they have out done their predecessors of Patrick Stewart and Ian Mcellan. A tall task, but they managed to take it in stride. Days of Future Past blended the old and new cast which made for one of the best films of 2014. Here we are, the biggest threat the X-Men have ever faced, Apocalypse.
This wasn’t on the Days of Future Past level, but it was a really fun film. The action is shot brilliantly by Bryan Singer. The set pieces are magnificent and feel very large in scale.
Singer got great performances out of his actors as well. Returning characters Professor X, Magneto, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Mystique takes a leadership role here, she’s recruiting mutants to join her. Lawrence is great at the reluctant leader role, she crushed that in Hunger Games and does the same here. The other stand out performance here is Fassbender as Magneto. He faces such adversity in this movie and he has a tough choice to make because of it, watching his moral struggle was fascinating. McAvoy always brings it in this role. He is the heart of the X-Men and when he is vulnerable you truly feel how much danger the group is in. A surprise in her major role is Rose Byrne as Moira Mactaggert. She’s there from beginning to end, and she develops into a valuable member of the team.
The mainstays of the team are great. Cyclops (Tye Sherriden), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), and Nightcrawelr (Kodi Smitt-McPhee) stole the show. All three of them put on phenomenal performances. Their struggle is similar, controlling their powers doesn’t come easy and they need to develop that and that’s how they are brought together and develop such a tight bond. Watching them grow throughout the film was such a treat.
Apocalypse (Oscar Issac) was the best performance. He has that menacing voice you want in a villain, and is just intimidating overall. The character is fascinating, after every encounter with a mutant he inherits their ability, making him such a force. Issac is unrecognizable, I didn’t once think that was Oscar Issac. He was Apocalypse.
The latest installment in the X-Men franchise isn’t the best of the bunch, but it sure is a great time at the movies. New characters that have phenomenal chemistry, and a director that doesn’t know how to do this franchise wrong.