Bryan Singer’s last installment of the X-Men “First Class Trilogy,” while fun and entertaining, leaves a lot to be desired. The film relies on a constant build up of tension and events that should lead to an incredible climax. Yet the climax, or boss battle, is not incredible. In fact, in many ways it seemed lackluster and forced. Resolutions and decisions that would lead to define the characters seemed to be hastily made. The characters and their motivations are therefore left questionable and underdeveloped.
The first installment of this trilogy was incredibly strong at building characters that an audience could care about. There was an obvious focus put on these individuals, and it paid off. One of the issues with the latest film was an abandonment of character development. This film marked the entrance of X-men staples Jean Grey, Cyclopes, and Storm, among others. Yet no real connection or focus was made to these new characters that play a major role in this and future films. Rather, we are left with the connections and effort created by previous films in the trilogy. Relying on previous films is acceptable only when something new and exciting is developed. The inclusion of the famous characters is exciting only in their already established celebrity. Apocalypse stumbles and overextends itself by expanding the cast of characters without giving them the attention they deserve, leaving the audience unfulfilled. There is a promise of more to come, with many events seeming to lead up to something beyond Apocalypse. One is left leaving the theater wishing for the next installment. However, the reason for that desire is the overwhelming advertising for it throughout the film.
The newer installments of the X-men franchise have been incredible at creating characters and issues that people can care about. The idea of mutants can be seen as similar to race, sexuality, and mental health, proving to add social commentary to the films. Casting celebrated actors such as Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, the films had an element of depth that does not exists in every blockbuster superhero franchise. The films relied less on action and more on substance. The audience could legitimately feel for the characters. Yet in the last installment, the cast felt stretched too thin. It would be impossible to achieve the same level of substance without an incredible length. When observing the film as a piece of work to critique it is easy to find flaws. Yet looking at it as purely entertainment (as one should), it will not disappoint.