The final instalment of the 'First Class' story arc has arrived, Apocalypse is awoken and he's more than slightly pissed off! But to be fair, D.I. Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) wasn't too impressed when she woke up in the early eighties either (yes I made an Ashes to Ashes reference). Bryan Singer brings us back to the mutant story ten years after the events of Days of Future Past, it's 1983 and human/mutant relations are better after the world saw Mystique save President Nixon. Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is prospering, Mystique continues to fight for mutant freedom and Magneto has gone into hiding.
I don't mean to over criticise this movie, it looks great, has a good story and the performances are incredible. Michael Fassbender definitely delivers the best performance, after a decade in hiding Magneto suffers a great loss, the pain stemming from this leads him down a dark path. Fassbender brilliantly shows the turmoil and conflict that Magneto endures throughout the movie.
Quicksilver returns and once again gets a very well made, complicated scene in which he races around trying not to give everyone around him whiplash. Even though it's only three minutes long it took three and a half months to film and it's one of the best scenes in the movie, when you watch it keep an eye out for the goldfish. Because it's 1983 we are introduced to younger versions of some of the original cast including Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler, this allows us to see them before they've developed confidence in themselves and learned control and in some cases the extent of their powers. When looking for young, talented actors to fill these roles Singer has once again borrowed from Game of Thrones, this time Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) plays Jean Grey who in 1983 struggles to control her incredible power. Turner takes on the role from Famke Janssen, fitting it in with her Game of Thrones schedule, her American accent sounds a little hammy in places but I'm really nit picking there because her performance throughout was very good.
The Horsemen I felt may have been under utilised. Apocalypse travels all over to recruit them, makes them even more powerful and then gives them very little screen time. Storm (Alexandra Shipp) gets the most development, she's living on the streets of Cairo where Apocalypse offers her a better life. Psylocke (Olivia Munn) is interesting but lacks development, I was really looking forward to seeing her in action. Munn's performance as Sloan Sabbith in The Newsroom was brilliant and I thought she was a good choice for one of the Horsemen, but I feel they could have done more with the character. The one Horseman who I wasn't impressed by was Angel, I can't make my mind up about this one. Either he's just an asshole or Ben Hardy didn't get to do enough, but I couldn't give a shit about Angel.
If anything, Bryan Singer has proved once again that he makes the best X-Men movies, it may not be as good as X2 or Days of Future Past but it's still very entertaining with a good story and interesting characters. Wolverine's appearance is brief but he is true Wolverine and may link to Hugh Jackman's final appearance in Wolverine 3. There is an end credits scene hinting at where the story is going, as to whether that's Wolverine 3 or the next X-Men movie I don't know, no doubt movie and comic fans will be debating this for the foreseeable future.
X-Men: Apocalypse concludes the 'First Class' trilogy nicely. Entertaining as a stand alone movie or as part of the bigger story, it delivers some interesting character development and paves the way for the X-Men to develop as a team. According to IMDb, Apocalypse is the last contracted movie for Lawrence, McAvoy, Hoult and Fassbender. Lawrence has said this is her last X-Men movie but the others have expressed interest in returning. What does this mean for the X-Men? Hopefully not another reboot!