X-Men: Apocalypse is the biggest X-Men film to date, an 80s-infused superhero spectacle that pits Professor X’s team of mutants against the most powerful enemy they’ve ever faced. That sounds like the recipe for a fantastic superhero film, especially after the last few entries in the series have been so strong. Unfortunately, in many ways, Apocalypse is a sizable step back for the series, with a number of flaws that hold it back from being a particularly memorable superhero film. It’s definitely much better than Batman v Superman, but it also isn’t close to being Captain America: Civil War caliber. Here are the most significant ways that X-Men: Apocalypse disappoints.
Mild SPOILERS for X-Men: Apocalypse to follow…
10. Most of the Cast Is Wasted … Yet Again
The X-Men film have always had a problem with balancing its large character rosters, as pretty much every mutant ends up getting sidelined to some degree so that Wolverine can get more screen time. Fortunately, Wolverine is relegated to a cameo here, yet the character balancing seems to be worse off than ever. As the principal stars, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence naturally get the most screen time, and even a few of their younger castmates get a chance to shine (although he doesn’t make much of an impression, newcomer Tye Sheridan gets more to do as Cyclops than James Marsden ever did).
Still, a good portion of the cast — especially the women — are largely wasted; Olivia Munn’s Psylocke and Alexandra Shipp’s Storm do all their characterization with their superpowers, while Rose Byrne returns as CIA agent Moira MacTaggert and again gets little do after the end of the first act. They even went so far as to cast Jubilee and wasted resources on her costume, only to use her as a background character (reports indicate that most of her scenes were cut). Captain America: Civil War recently proved that you can make a superhero film with a large cast and still manage to make effective use of most of that cast, so Apocalypse really doesn’t have an excuse for why it fails to do the same.