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Featured Blu-ray and DVD Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

December 19th, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand

X-Men: Apocalypse

I know what you are thinking. “Didn’t X-Men: Apocalypse come out on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack in early October?” Yes. However, the screener didn’t arrive till November and that’s too late to get a review done. That said, no screeners arrived this week, so I thought I might was well write a late review rather than do nothing.

The Movie

The plot summary is going to be shorter than usual, because it is just not that interesting.

The film is set in the 1980s, a decade after the previous film. Humans and Mutants are not at war, but they are not exactly at peace either. Worse still, an ancient Mutant, Apocalypse, has been revived and plans to recruit his four horseman to help him wipe nearly all of humanity off the planet so he can rule over the survivors, who supposedly would be the strongest. Magneto is one of the horsemen, who was recruited after suffering another tragedy. Professor X and the X-Men, some old and some new, have to stop him.

There were six super hero movies to get wide releases this year, X-Men: Apocalypse was the weakest in terms of worldwide box office. I’ve seen all six of them and this is clearly the fourth best in terms of quality. If that sounds like a backhanded insult, then you are correct. While it is not as bad as the two D.C.E.U. movies that came out this year, it is far worse than the other Marvel movies for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are a little shallow. For example, the special effects looked really weak at times, weak enough to take me out of the story. Then again, the story was never strong enough to really engage me.

We are introduced to several new mutants, including Apocalypse and three of his four horsemen, as well as a number of X-Men we’ve seen before, but are new to this timeline. Because there are so many new characters, who have to share time with the returning characters, they don’t get enough screen time to get any real character development. This includes Apocalypse, who is truly underdeveloped. In fact, the only real motivation we are given is delivered in the opening narration. We finally get a proper Jubilee, one that looks like she stepped out of the comic book, but she has very few lines in only a couple of scenes. We have a new Jean Grey and they are already setting up the Dark Phoenix Saga, but you really need to build up that character, or the change in personality won’t be dramatic enough. She’s the most developed new good guy, which isn’t saying much. Of the three new Horsemen, only Storm has anything resembling a character arc. I’m trying to remember a single line Psylocke said and I’m drawing a blank.

There are some good action scenes, but even here it can’t live up to the franchise heights. Arguably the best scene is where Quicksilver saves the students while the school blows up. However, even here it is too similar to Quicksilver’s big scene in Days of Future Past. There are some jokes that land and some dramatic / emotional moments, but they are too few to save the film overall. I’m glad I got to see the movie, but I’m even happier that I didn’t have to pay for it. I still want the franchise to continue, but I really hope the next installment is better.

The Extras

Extras begin with an audio commentary track featuring the director, Bryan Singer, as well as the screenwriter, Simon Kinberg. The next biggest extra is a multi-part, hour-long making of featurette. There are 28 minutes of deleted / extended scenes, but that run time is with introductions by Bryan Singer. Up next is 8 minutes of outtakes. Finally, there is a five-minute Wrap Party Video. That’s a good selection of extras for a first-run release.

The Verdict

If you are a fan of the X-Men franchise, then you will probably want to check out X-Men: Apocalypse. It is below average for the franchise, but not among the worst releases we’ve seen this year. That said, I would rent it on Video on Demand first. If you have seen the movie and liked it, then the DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack is worth picking up. That’s not an enthusiastic recommendation, so keep that in mind.

Filed under: Video Review, X-Men, DC Extended Universe, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Evan Peters, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Olivia Munn, James MacAvoy, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Lana Condor