Deadpool). It seems that big studios cannot wrap their collective heads around the concept of building up the world, first, before deluging it with characters and blowing it up (yes, I'm looking at you, too, Warner Brothers). I mean, seriously, it doesn't have to be world-threatening every time.
This one, in particular, got off to a bad start with me. We open some 5000 years ago in Egypt during a ceremony in which En Sabah Nur, later to be known as Apocalypse, is transferring his consciousness into a new host so that he can take the man's mutant power. The ceremony is being held inside a great pyramid. A pyramid which has been built with a... Look, I'm having trouble even saying this, but it's been built with a self destruct mechanism. One of the great pyramids in Egypt with a, yes, self-destruct device. Seriously.
Then, when it's activated, not only does the pyramid collapse in on itself... The solid stone pyramid collapses in on itself. What? Anyway... Once it had done that, it proceeds to collapse right on down into the ground, becoming completely submerged and blocking it from the sun.
There is none of that that makes any actual sense. Sure, you go right ahead and try to win yourself a No Prize by coming up with an explanation that works, but there is none of it that will actually make any rational sense, especially the part where the pyramid is swallowed by the earth.
We're less than 10 minutes into the movie at that point (okay, maybe 15), and I'm already struggling.
The next major issue with the movie is characters. There are too many and too many of them with no introduction. There's been demand since the X-Movies started for everyone's favorite character, whomever that may be, but Fox has gotten into the habit of just tossing them in without bothering to tell the audience who they are, basically relying on audience knowledge. This is fine under two conditions:
1. The character takes no part in the story, as with Jubilee in Apocalypse. Or any of the background students at Xavier's school.
2. The audience is only made up of fans of the comics who already know all of the background information they need to have.
It's alienating to non-comics fans when there are a bunch of characters running around without any information provided as to whom they are.
That's one of the things Marvel Studios has done exceedingly well, especially since many of their movies have dealt with little-known characters outside of the world of comics fans and conventions, is to introduce characters in a plausible and meaningful way. Even with Spider-Man, probably the character with the least information given about him within the context of a movie, in Captain America: Civil War, there was an appropriate amount of background given to give the character context for the movie.
Fox failed to do that with pretty much every character they brought into Apocalypse, including characters who have previously been in X-Men movies. The introductions of Nightcrawler and Angel were flimsy at best. Storm, given the fact that they've never really revealed any of her background prior, was hardly better. And Caliban and Psylocke were abysmal. And, I have to say, Psylocke psi-blade is not a lightsaber; it's a psychic knife that doesn't have any physical manifestation. (Unless they changed that sometime since I quit reading comics?)
The story is plenty bloated, too. The whole capture by Stryker is completely superfluous to the actual story and is only there so that they can work Wolverine into the movie in a completely gratuitous killfest. That was at least half an hour of the movie that could have been used to further the elements of the actual story. Or cut out completely.
The Magneto plot line is also -- I don't know what to call it -- unnecessary. It provides the only moment of the film with any real emotional content, but, considering where things are left at the end of Days of Future Past, it felt contrived. That would be because it was.
All of that said, it might sound like I didn't like the movie, which is not precisely true. I didn't like it, but I also didn't not like it. It wasn't horrible; it just wasn't all that good. Still, I'd watch it again before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice any day of the week.
I'm not a fan of the whole re-booting thing, but the X-Men is a franchise that needs to be re-booted and, this time, it needs to start with a plan, lay a foundation, and grow from there. It's too big a universe to keep throwing pieces of it in without laying the groundwork for them.