Starting off with the obvious, X-Men: Apocalypse was bad. The movie came off as attempting to cater to fans and fell short. It used sexist tropes right from the get go and payed very little respect to the source material from which its drawn.
The story is that Apocalypse rises from his slumber and realizes that the strong no longer rule so he wants to cleanse humanity to start over. To do this he enlists the help of 4 mutants in exchange for increased powers.
Like the previous films in this trilogy it pays little attention to who the characters actually are. The way we are spoon fed various bits and pieces feels like they thought of something and said “ain’t that cool right!?” and then tried to piece something together around it. One of the biggest scenes like this is when Quicksilver runs through the exploding X-Mansion and rescues the students inside. While we are shown why the school blows up it isn’t logical or even necessary except as a reason to set up Quicksilver running. Which I might add even seems gratuitously overdone likely as a result of people enjoying the short part they saw in the previous flick.
Character development seems to have been cut in favor of exposition with very few moments really feeling like they brought anything out of the character. Mystique’s character had all of her development done off screen for example. It seems we are expected to believe she became the Harriet Tubman for mutants between the last film and this one. Magneto has one of the best scenes in the film but even with the clearly epic part he doesn’t change at all, still the same old conflicted guy doing the right thing the wrong way. Big spoiler here but Jean Grey has not growth whatsoever and the only interesting part of her character is told to us instead of coming through on screen. The appearance of her Phoenix powers are just a MacGuffin to end Apocalypse, completely skipping over all development.
Like previous First Class era X-Men films, Wolverine makes an appearance. This time it’s just weird. He’s just Weapon X going on a rampage then gets stuck in some kind of awkward love trance with Jean Grey. Then he runs off. Just seeing the interaction on screen was uncomfortable.
On the whole there are so many issues with the movie that it doesn’t pass the most basic of tests. X-Men: Apocalypse doesn’t follow the rules set forth in its own universe and doesn’t present enough characters to care about, which is odd seeing how much opportunity there is.
Another thing that really popped into my mind as unfair and even sexist was how Apocalypse was awakened. Moira MacTaggert moves a rug and goes down into a tunnel which allows light to activate the capstone that revives Apocalypse. The part that gets my alarms ringing is that we are expected to believe that over the many years of worshiping Apocalypse that the men never once let sun hit the capstone, not even during the excavation yet the one time a woman shows up, it’s the end of the world. That’s literally a retelling of the Pandora’s Box and/or Eve story. Yup, blame the devilish woman. This kind of narrative shouldn’t be in movies these days.
The quick and dirty verdict
Let’s hope FOX learns a lesson and changes direction with the next trilogy. If they continue making movies like this then we could end up seeing the franchise go the way of The Fantastic Four.
Hardcore fans should wait, everyone else skip it.