This is the first time that I've watched "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "X-Men: Apocalypse" back to back. Almost back to back, at least. They were two days apart, but that's still close enough for me to make a direct comparison. More than anything I noticed a difference in the pacing. "Days of Future Past" moves fast and keeps the viewer excited throughout the movie. "Apocalypse" moves slowly, and even when there's action it doesn't last long. There's too much stop and start.
Apocalypse isn't successful as a villain. What I mean is, at no point do we have the slightest sympathy with him. He's just a Big Evil with no redeeming qualities. Compare him with Magneto, who makes us cry when we see the inner suffering that makes him do evil things.
William Stryker is an even worse villain. Who is he? Comic fans will jump up and answer that question immediately, but we can't assume that cinema audiences have read hundreds of comics before buying their cinema ticket. The film should explain to us who he is, but it doesn't, leaving him as a blank slate.
After making the film Olivia Munn, the actress who plays Psylocke, said that she wants Psylocke to have her own film. Let's not laugh that off as the empty request of an actress who thinks too highly of herself. I think she could pull it off. Unlike most of the characters in the X-Men films she actually looks like the character she's supposed to be playing, including the costume. She didn't have much screentime, and there was absolutely no background story. (The same applies to Angel. There was poor character development throughout the film). In the comics she's a heroine, but a solo film could pick up where "Apocalypse" ends, showing her as a villainess seeking redemption, struggling to get back tothe right path. The public would love a film like that.
I'm still not sure about my rating. I always have problems rating X-Men films. Maybe four stars is too high, but that's what I'll stick with for now. I might think differently next time I watch it.
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