X-Men Apocalypse: New Cast Shines & Bald James McAvoy – My Thoughts

I am a huge lover of the X-Men films, so these thoughts may come with a touch of fan bias…just be wary of that. I had been looking forward to this one ever since it was announced and with a good amount of new faces to the cast playing characters I love, I was excited to see how they would do…I’m happy to say, I very much enjoyed this film…

Superhero films, especially these days, even though we may be coming into a period of superhero fatigue from audiences, are still arguably the most difficult films to make. Not only do you have to physically produce a good quality film but you have to please the fans…some of whom are known to be some of the worst people on the internet. Like I said, I am a fan of the X-Men and I felt this film did that well. While it did have a couple of things I thought could be better and no I don’t think it’s the best of the X-Men films overall, I greatly enjoyed this one and in parts felt myself loving what I was seeing. Strangely enough, having said that, I don’t think ‘Apocalypse’ is a disjointed or uneven film…the story and the themes present are arguably the best things about it (as they often are with X-Men). But this post will have no spoilers so I can’t really say anything more than ‘it had a strong story’.

‘Apocalypse’ is definitely something a bit different from the X-Men franchise. It has a somewhat more fantastical feel to it, which may sound strange considering it’s about a load of mutants with superpowers but what I mean here is that, in all previous X-Men films, the main villain has either been a human being hell-bent on either destroying mutants (see DOFP), experimenting on them (see X2) or ‘curing’ them (see The Last Stand) or a contemporary mutant with a power-hungry outlook (see X-Men (2000) and First Class).

Apocalypse, the character, played pretty intimidatingly by Oscar Isaac is an all-powerful ancient God which does make the film feel like its comic book source material. By doing this though, it forces you to suspend your disbelief further than you have done watching any other previous X-Men film, as they felt more ‘real’.

There’s a reason that many consider ‘X2’ and ‘Days of Future Past’ to be the best of all the X-Men films; they’re the ones where humans are the villain.

That is one overall small nit-pick I had with the film though. Aside from that, I really did enjoy it. Just seeing these characters is enough to make me smile so it wasn’t going to be difficult for me to like it.

Speaking of characters, a whole host of new/old characters were introduced/re-introduced to the franchise depending on how you look at it. Cyclops, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler, Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn). They all play their part well in ‘Apocalypse’ and I thought each of those cast members did a great job with these beloved characters. Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler were the standouts though.

As a fan, I was really pleased with these new portrayals of these characters and that surely means a success right!?

Evan Peters once again steals the show as Quicksilver. His scene in ‘Days of Future Past’ went down in superhero movie history as one of the best scenes of all time and in this one, director Bryan Singer and the SFX team manage to top it. Quicksilver has a much bigger role in ‘Apocalypse’ and it looks as though he’s in prime place for a major part in further films.

The franchise’s main cast of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult are all as solid as you’d expect them to be. They just know what they’re doing with these characters now although Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto turns up the drama in this one to a height not seen in his excellent previous outings making his part in this film that much better.

And we finally get to see something both us, the fans, and even the actor himself have wanted since he started playing the character, James McAvoy’s Professor X finally goes bald due to an incident with Apocalypse that I won’t spoil here.

And there is a particularly exciting cameo…but again, no spoilers.

Thematically, the X-Men have always dealt with the idea of family and of finding yourself and those themes are again very prevalent in Apocalypse if not more so. It’s one of the main reasons I am such a fan of these films.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on X-men Apocalypse in the comments and check me out on Twitter and Instagram!

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