For an Apocalypse storyline to have been done any real justice, it would've needed to been released as a trilogy of films. The brief moment of excitement I experienced when it was revealed the 2016 movie would adapt Apocalypse for the big screen was short-lived when I realized they'd be cramming everything into a single movie. There was a lot of promise in introducing this major villain but it was squandered pretty painfully. As Fox often does, they've made modifications to characters to fit their movie universe but the basic premise of Apocalypse remains intact. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is the world's oldest mutant, dating back to ancient Egypt and beyond. He's a mutant of immense power who, as the movie opens, is having his essence transferred into a new host mutant which gives him a couple benefits: (1) a form of immortality and (2) access to his host mutant's abilities, adding them to Apocalypse's existing roster. He's betrayed in ancient times and left trapped under the rubble of a collapsed pyramid in stasis before he's uncovered in the early 1980's and reawakened. He takes a quick look around at the state of the world and despises that humans have risen to power over mutant-kind. Apocalypse, a firm believer in "survival of the fittest", decides to remind the world who's in charge. He recruits his "Four Horsemen", powerful mutants who serve as his lieutenants and protectors in his moments of weakness: in this case, he's collected Storm, Angel, Psylocke, and Magneto.
Now just because the movie is boring and squanders an awesome opportunity doesn't mean it's a total bust. There are a few small moments I appreciated. There's a quip as the latest batch of X-kids are exiting a movie theater after having watched RETURN OF THE JEDI and someone (I think it was Jean Grey) cracks a joke about the third movie in trilogy is always the weakest. I'm sure they'd intended it as a dig at Brett Ratner's THE LAST STAND but, sorry Bryan Singer, it just as readily applies to APOCALYPSE and that's honestly how I read it. Around the same time, we get the Quicksilver sequence. I'm sure most people can agree that Quicksilver's slow-motion escape sequence in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST was the most memorable moment so the studios, also recognizing that, give us yet another in APOCALYPSE as Quicksilver arrives at the X-Mansion just in time to evacuate everyone in super speeds to the beat of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)". A rehash from a studio hoping to capitalize on the love for the original sequence? Sure, but it works. And finally, the only other moment in the entire film where I felt the briefest flash of hope for this surely never-ending film franchise was the very last minute in the movie when the new (old) team of X-Men are assembled in the Danger Room in costumes that more accurate to their comic counterparts than they've ever been before in these Fox movies.
APOCALYPSE was a real bummer of an X-MEN movie but I'm not going to let it ruin any anticipation of future movies. The series is now, what? 9 movies in? And we've had only a couple that disappointed me and one that was a total misfire. My problems with APOCALYPSE aren't enough to override the fun I've had in this series in so many of the other films. X-MEN movies aren't going anywhere anytime soon and my frustration with APOCALYPSE will eventually fade, and all we can do is hope that Singer gives us a better film when he returns with his new vision of the Dark Phoenix arc.