The X-Men adventures keep getting bigger, but Singer works extremely hard to ensure that, even when they’re not always better, they continue to thrill sufficiently.
Apocalypse, for all its faults, has the audacity to make the MCU look small, and the conviction to make the DCU — if there even is such a thing — look foolish for confusing self-seriousness with gravity. If only these characters were allowed to be as complex as the ideas they fight for, Apocalypse could have represented a new beginning for superhero cinema.
Sam C. Mac
The issue with X-Men: Apocalypse is that Bryan Singer suggests so many possible directions to go in and still chooses the least interesting one.
The idea of an apocalypse means every dial has to be turned up to 11 and this film certainly provides bangs for your buck, although there is less space for the surreal strangeness of the X-Men to breathe, less dialogue interest, and they do not have the looser, wittier joy of the Avengers. But the more playful episodes with Cyclops and Quicksilver are welcome and everything hangs together.
Apocalypse feels like a confused, kitchen-sink mess with a half dozen too many characters, a villain who amounts to a big blue nothing, and a narrative that’s so choppy and poorly cut together that it feels like you’re watching a flipbook instead of a movie.
The Hollywood Reporter
Despite the undeniable presence of a huge amount of action, X-Men: Apocalypse is decidedly a case of more is less, especially when compared with the surprising action and more interesting personal interactions (including the temporary subtraction of some characters) in other big Marvel franchises.
There are no memorable action scenes—the closest we get is a virtual rerun of the time-freeze sequence from the previous movie. And the script is just nonsense, comprised entirely of sarcastic asides, portentous gobbledygook ("The dawn of a new age will rise!" cries Isaac) and insider references that only the faithful will appreciate. Unless that’s you, it’s best to steer clear.
X-Men: Apocalypse provides a hint at what might one day take down the ubiquitous superhero genre: utter dullness. For all its bangs, the movie is ultimately a whimper.
Messier and heavier than Days Of Future Past, this is not so much the next step in the X-Men’s evolution as a failed callback to past glories.
Although the X-Men ensembles are usually large, there are simply too many characters for the action-heavy “Apocalypse” to properly juggle.