For the second time in a row, a trilogy of X-Men movies has a total dud for a third movie, but where the last one messed up two great stories, this one has its source material to blame. Apocalypse was always boring in the comics, and he’s even more boring on film. The great superhero rewatch slogs through the most lifeless film of Bryan Singer’s directorial career, X-Men: Apocalypse.
No effort is made to make [Michael] Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, or Lucas Till look twenty years older than they were in First Class. No effort is made to make Summers’s transition from whiny teenager to future leader of the team in any way convincing. No effort is made by Sophie Turner to actually make Grey a compelling character. She’s supposed to be a struggling, tormented young woman, but she comes across instead as someone acting in a high school play who just wants opening night to be, like, over so she can go hang out with her friends. (Her performance, which is totally lacking in all luster, does not bode well for her upcoming focus in Dark Phoenix.)
Singer’s first X-film was one of the best superhero films ever done at the time it was made, the vanguard of a revolution in the subgenre that we’re still enjoying the fruits of eighteen years later. His last X-film (Simon Kinberg is scheduled to direct as well as write the next one) is one of the most bland and dull, two words I wouldn’t use to describe any of Singer’s other films (except maybe his first, Public Access). Even the wrongheaded Superman Returns was better than this dud.