Sucks to be Bryan Singer right now. The X-Men Apocalypse reviews are in, and they're overwhelmingly negative. Don't get me wrong, the big, bad critics have thrown in a few nice words here and there, with most tending to agree that the blockbuster starts well but tails off pretty dramatically.
We've rounded up a selection of choice cuts from various X-Men Apocalypse reviews. Prepare to have some of your hopes dashed.
The latest in the X-Men series sees Charles and the gang lock horns with Apocalypse, the supremely powerful original mutant played by Oscar Isaac, who is -- shock horror -- determined to destroy the world alongside his four horsemen. The movie's set in the 80s, but it sounds like you wouldn't really notice. Oh yeah, Wolverine makes an inevitable appearance too, and we finally get to see James McAvoy's scalp!
X-Men Apocalypse Review Verdicts
If you’ve seen one cinematic apocalypse, you’ve seen them all. At least that’s the feeling conjured by “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the latest entry in one of the more reliable comic-book franchises around, this time disappointingly succumbing to an exhausting case of been-there-done-that-itis.
Variety - Geoff Berkshire
The internal motor of this episode is kept turning over by a handful of very lively set-pieces, although it isn’t an obvious advance on the previous film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was more dizzyingly complex and strange. It does not have the same cerebral loopiness; there’s not enough for Jennifer Lawrence to do as Raven and the film ungallantly drops Famke Janssen as Jean Grey in favour of casting a younger actor, Sophie Turner — while keeping a certain comparably senior male star in place. But it keeps the fireworks firing and incidentally explains how Dr Xavier (James McAvoy) lost his hair, and it’s nothing so banal as male pattern baldness.
Guardian - Peter Bradshaw
Singer’s regular composer John Ottman works overtime to make us feel that exciting, important things are happening, but the movie never delivers them. “X-Men: Apocalypse” provides a hint at what might one day take down the ubiquitous superhero genre: utter dullness. For all its bangs, the movie is ultimately a whimper.
The Wrap - Alonso Duralde
X-Men Apocalypse is a mind-bending trip of a movie, one likely both to exhilarate spectators and to leave many either with severe feelings of sensory overload or scratching their heads. Like its predecessors in The X-Men series, it combines extraordinary special effects with cartoonish characterisation; moments of very dark sturm und drang with scenes that might have been lifted from a kids TV series. It is certainly spectacular. There is no sense at all that audiences are being short-changed or that the franchise is petering out. If anything, the new film feels re-energised by the introduction of several new “mutant” faces.
Independent - Geoffrey Macnab
There’s something to be said for exciting superhero popcorn movies, but as the competition becomes more and more sophisticated, visceral, and character-driven, it gets tougher to make a case for films that don’t meet those standards. This is especially evident with X-Men: Apocalypse, not because it’s one big disappointment all the way through, but rather because it starts off so strong and then devolves into total nonsense.
Collider - Perri Nemiroff
It’s a sign of this film’s haphazardness that you might easily assume it has double the number of characters that one did: not true, but so many get short shrift it might as well be. Better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but not by an awful lot, and vastly less entertaining than Marvel’s current Captain America smash, it’s also curiously more sadistic, and seemingly less bothered about large-scale human fallout, than this once-spirited series used to be. Apocalypse isn’t quite the end of the world for X-Men fans, but it might be the end of the line.
Telegraph - Tim Robey
Both Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse are superhero extravaganzas with severe traffic control problems, but while the former keeps things flowing reasonably smoothly, the latter film, set to arrive in theaters just weeks later, resembles a bumper-car nightmare. Narratively jumbled and jammed with so many characters that you give up keeping them all straight while simultaneously lamenting not seeing more of those you might actually want around, Bryan Singer's fourth entry in the enormously profitable series he inaugurated 16 years ago undeniably builds to a cataclysmic dramatic reckoning. But mostly it just feels like a bloated if ambitious attempt to shuffle as many mutants and specially gifted characters as possible into a story of a resurrected god ready to take over the world.
Hollywood Reporter - Todd McCarthy