‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Suffers From Three-Quel Syndrome

- Advertisement -

There is a joke in X-Men: Apocalypse where the younger members of the X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Jubillee and Nightcrawler) go to see Return of the Jedi, as the film is set in 1983. Two of them are arguing about which Star Wars film was better, the original or Empire. Jean says “Well, I guess we can agree that the third one is never as good”. This one joke, likely intended to be a jab at X Men 3: The Last Stand, reflects what was wrong with this film. The main reason that a lot of part threes aren’t as good is because they are wrapping up what happened in the last two films. Luke finds out that Vader is his father and wants to know if it is true. A bunch of other stuff happens and doesn’t really present anything new because they are trying to wrap up the hero’s journey from the other two.

This film has the disadvantage of trying to wrap up the First Class/Days of Future Past/Apocalypse trilogy and trying to connect it with the first X-Men trilogy or at least the X-Men team as fans know it. So, it has a lot to do, which explains why this film seems episodic. It jumps around to a bunch of different storylines just so the characters can come together and fight in the disaster movie-style finale, appropriate for a movie with apocalypse in the title.

“Shouting villains…ARE DULL!”

After a prologue that explains who Apocalypse is, set in ancient Egypt, the story jumps around between Magneto, Mystique and Charles. Magneto has spent the last ten years or so trying to live a normal life in the woods somewhere until a tragic mutant hate crime sends him back into villain mode. Mystique has seen going around trying to protect mutants, including freeing two of the underused side characters in this film from a club where they are being forced to fight. Because the world saw her blue form on the news during the finale of the last film, she is hiding in her more human form, allowing the filmmakers to put more Jennifer Lawrence looking like Jennifer Lawrence in the film. And Charles is becoming the Professor X that we all know from the more traditional version, save for his hair, which happens later. I won’t spoil how he becomes bald, but its more interesting and more in tune with his character than Lex Luthor going to prison and getting shaved like everyone else in prison in BvS.

- Advertisement -

We get a more interesting origin story than we’ve ever gotten for Cyclops (I know he got his own comic once, but I didn’t read it yet), but it is brief and he isn’t given much to do afterwards. He meets Jean, connecting him to something that we know about present day Cyclops, but Jean isn’t given much to do either. Same for Nightcrawler, Jubilee, Storm and Angel. I don’t know any more about Psylocke than I knew before I walked into this film. I know that she looks good in her costume and that the pink energy thing is called a ‘psychic knife’. And I only know that from playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2 back in the day. Quicksilver is given a more interesting role and a slow-motion speed scene similar to the one in Days of Future Past that is very funny.

X-Men: Apocalypse
“I wonder if Flash is a rerun tonight!”

Apocalypse goes around recruiting mutants into his (four mutant?) army, using his powers to enhance theirs until he has four “horsemen” for his obligatory Bible reference. Oscar Issac is good in the role, but (again) not given much to do. In The Force Awakens, he was a side character. Here, he is the main villain, a title character, and should have been more interesting. The X-Men that are on Charles/Mystique’s side find out what is going on and try to stop the end of the world with Mystique (Dark Katniss?) leading the charge. A bunch of stuff is destroyed and there are some cool fan service things, including showing a more heroic side to Professor X than we have seen before. I was a little annoyed that they spoiled the best cameo in this film in the trailers (SNIKT!) but his scene is long enough to be cool and it is the best version of beserker rage that we have seen on film. Although, Colonel Stryker shows up pretty randomly in the middle of the movie with little to no set-up to this cameo other than his being in DOFP.

Basically, X-Men Apocalypse is a bunch of stuff you wanted to see in an X-Men movie with good actors and little to no story to hold it all together. It is the worst X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer, but not the worst X-Men movie altogether. It is better than X-Men Origins and, as Jean alludes to in the film, better than X-Men 3.

6 out of 10.

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!


A Dark King Rises In ONCE & FUTURE #2

Once & Future #2 continues the warped legend of King Arthur. This is a story that will leave you looking for more while chilling you to the bone.

Review: The Expansion Never Ends in STRAYED #2

Strayed #2 continues Lou’s tale, providing brilliant artwork and many of the answers to questions fans have been asking about the series.

Review: An Ending And A New Beginning In FAITHLESS #6

Faithless #6 from BOOM! Studios, is a thought provoking, love letter to fashion, theatre, and Art. A gorgeous end to the first, exhilarating arc.

Review: It’s Alive’s PINK LEMONADE Mashes Kirby & Knievel

It takes a special kind of talent to be retro without being repetitive. Too often comics that harken back to the Silver Age just...

Review: SPIDER-MAN #1 – J.J Abrams And Henry Abrams Take Spidey In A Bold New Direction

Spider-Man #1 by J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D'Amico, Dave Stewart and Joe Caramagna is an intriguing and beautifully illustrated book that...

Cosmic Ghost Rider Gets Gamma Bombed In Our AVENGERS #24 Exclusive Preview

Avengers #24 hits your local comic shop next week on September 25, but thanks to Marvel Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has an exclusive four-page...

Review: YOU ARE OBSOLETE #1 – A Leisurely Stroll Through Secluded Hell

The children are smart, clever, and are creepy as @#$% in You Are Obsolete #1, out this week from Aftershock. You Are Obsolete #1 is...

G.I. JOE #1 Is a Joe-Tastic Start For New Readers

This Wednesday the action-packed first issue of IDW's newly rebooted G.I. Joe releases, where everyone can be a Joe, even you! The G.I. Joe comic...
Chad Descoteauxhttp://www.turtlerocketbooks.com
I am a 37-year-old science fiction geek who has loved writing ever since I was hit in the face with a canister of mutagen ooze fifteen years ago. I live in Rhode Island. I am married. I have Aspergers. I write science fiction Kindle e-books for Turtle Rocket Books (website below)...and articles about the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Monkeys Fighting Robots.


  1. The things that went well was it felt like a team movie…. not focusing on only one or 3 characters , its called x(men)and jeans phoenix …. other then that, still no love for jubilee, apocalypse looked like crap, he wasnt develped as iconic, just to squeeze him in one film …the end, beast costume looks like a bad cosplay, some of the cgi felt rushed…really bad, the ending .. well, they just killed millions of, people and for them to just forgot about it , life goes on , smh

Comments are closed.


If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

'X-Men: Apocalypse' Suffers From Three-Quel Syndrome 3


'X-Men: Apocalypse' Suffers From Three-Quel Syndrome 4

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.


Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

'X-Men: Apocalypse' Suffers From Three-Quel Syndrome 5


COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!