The first reviews for X-Men Apocalypse are in. Fox is aiming to create a stronger buzz for the upcoming X-Men sequel by letting the critics share their thoughts on it early. This technique may not perfectly worked because the early word of mouth of the film is definitely mixed. Most critics seem to think the film is an underwhelming, yet still decent flick. Here are some excepts from the early reviews:
“Narratively jumbled and jammed with so many characters that you give up keeping them all straight while simultaneously lamenting not seeing more of those you might actually want around, Bryan Singer’s fourth entry in the enormously profitable series he inaugurated 16 years ago undeniably builds to a cataclysmic dramatic reckoning. But mostly it just feels like a bloated, if ambitious attempt to shuffle as many mutants and specially gifted characters as possible into a story of a resurrected god ready to take over the world.” (Todd McCarthy, THR)
“I will, however, say that this feels like exactly the movie, massive cuts aside, that Singer and writer-producer Simon Kinberg wanted to make, and they’re completely unencumbered by expectation or trends in superhero movies. I think this movie is for fans of the franchise or characters only. While I could recommend Days of Future to sci-fi fans at large, I don’t think there’s much here for people who haven’t seen the previous films or know the comics well. I hate to keep comparing X-Men: Apocalypse to the movie that came directly before it, but when the movie itself refuses to let you forget it, you can’t really blame me.” (Kyle Anderson, 3/5 Nerdist)
“Director Bryan Singer pioneered the contemporary wave of superhero movies with 2000’s “X-Men,” and made a welcome return to the series just two years ago with the time-jumping “Days of Future Past.” Perhaps he should’ve quit while he was ahead. Even though “Apocalypse” hardly reps the franchise nadir (an in-joke midway through this ’80s-set pic throws deserved shade at Brett Ratner’s woeful “X-Men: The Last Stand” as one character exits “Return of the Jedi” and laments “the third one’s always the worst”), this is easily the least compelling, surprising and satisfying of Singer’s entries.” (Geoff Burkshire, Variety)
“As a conclusion to a trilogy, Apocalypse falls somewhat short. It marginalises key relationships in favour of establishing new ones, and lacks the depth and distinctive historical flavour of its immediate predecessors. But taken as the next chapter in the series, Apocalypse is an undeniably fun and entertaining adventure and does a pretty good job of establishing Xavier’s next class.” (Daniel Krupa, 7/10 IGN)
“With “X-Men: Apocalypse,” however, Singer seems to have acquired a new mutant power of his own: Monotony. Whether it’s the lack of an interesting villain, or the fact that the series’ time-travel element is forcing these mutants to meet each other (and the audience) all over again for the first time, this latest entry marks a shocking letdown from Singer’s earlier contributions; what once soared now slogs.” (Alonso Duralde, The Wrap)
“Bryan Singer’s would-be trilogy capper is a shocking miss. It is a lifeless and hollow shell of a picture, lacking exciting action, strong character interplay, or compelling storytelling. It is the nadir of the franchise, determined to make you apologize for every mean thing you’ve ever said about Brett Ratner’s rushed X-Mentrilogy capper a decade ago. X-Men: The Last Stand is X2: X-Men United compared toX-Men: Apocalypse. Heck, it’s much worse than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. At least that film tried.” (Scott Mendelson, 3/10 Forbes)
“X-Men: Apocalypse has a lot of action, balanced with humor and emotion that make you think of more than just “When’s the next superpower?” There’s a ton of fan-service, especially for longtime fans of the X-Men (whether from comics, videogames, the 90s animated series, or the films) and in-jokes (including one laugh out loud one at their own expense) that should make X-fans extremely happy. From the climactic battle all the way through the final scene of the movie, my inner ten-year-old was screaming out loud. The audience of oft-jaded press and guests were whooping and left the theater smiling – a telling indication of a flat-out fun time.” (Lucas Siegel, 4/5 Comic Book)
“Perhaps prophesying such critiques, midway through X-Men: Apocalypse, Singer and Kinberg have the teen mutants go see Return of the Jedi at the local mall, and Jean Grey knowingly jokes, “We can all agree the third one is the worst.” That self-aware smirk at Hollywood wisdom also holds true for the “First Class Trilogy” too. But the remarkable consistency between all three means Apocalypse is still a pleasant reunion at Xavier’s school, even if it amounts to being primarily a victory lap for the franchise.” (David Crowe, 3/5 Den of Geek)
“Compared to the energetic, bold Days Of Future Past, it all seems so leaden. How many times can Professor Xavier remind us that there is good in Magneto — by now a mass-murderer several times over — before one of them pulls a lightsaber? How many overly familiar exhortations to heroism can Mystique really deliver and expect to be taken seriously? And did they need to replay entire scenes we’ve seen multiple times before? Aside from a few moments with Nightcrawler — in his achingly perfect Thriller jacket and Flock Of Seagulls hair — there’s no levity here, no tonal variation. The more the film harks back to other X-instalments, the more you’ll wish you were watching those instead.” (Helen O’Hara, 2/5 Empire)
Heroic Hollywood’s own review by Will Ashton dropped earlier tonight which you can read here.
What do you think of these reviews? Are you still excited to see X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27? Sound off in the comments below!