Anyone hoping that ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ was going to be a franchise high point might have to think about scaling back their expectations.
The reviews are in, and they’re really not great.
Forbes magazine has even gone as far as calling Bryan Singer’s sixth outing in the series a 'franchise-killing disaster’.
The movie, which finds the mutants taking on the ancient evil of Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac, currently holds a humbling 45% 'fresh’ rating on reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.
But it’s less the fact that fewer than half the reviews could be judged positive, but the vitriol dripping from the keyboards of those who didn’t like it.
Even those who have dared to give it a tentative thumbs (or perhaps thumb, singular) up, have found the movie wanting.
“Compared to the energetic, bold 'Days Of Future Past’, it all seems so leaden,” writes Helen O'Hara in Empire, giving it two stars out of five.
“There’s no levity here, no tonal variation. The more the film harks back to other X-instalments, the more you’ll wish you were watching those instead.”
In Variety, Geoff Berkshire writes: “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.”
The Daily Telegraph’s Tim Robey describes it as being 'almost as bad as Batman v Superman’, a crushing verdict.
“Apocalypse isn’t quite the end of the world for X-Men fans, but it might be the end of the line,” he says.
Tom Huddleston in Time Out adds: “No surprises here, just a seen-it-before world domination plot carried out by a petulant Pharaoh with a head like a chewed pencil.”
Putting the boot in further, Forbes’ Scott Mendelson says: “Easily the worst 'team’ X-Men movie ever made. Makes 'X-Men: The Last Stand’ look like 'X-Men: First Class’.”
But it’s not all doom and gloom… there are a few positive notices too.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw was kinder, saying: “The idea of an apocalypse means every dial has to be turned up to 11 and this film certainly provides bangs for your buck, although there is less space for the surreal strangeness of the X-Men to breathe.”
In perhaps its most glowing review, Indiewire’s David Ehrlich went as far as calling it ‘one of the most audacious superhero movies ever made’.
“Apocalypse, for all its faults, has the audacity to make the MCU look small, and the conviction to make the DCU - if there even is such a thing - look foolish for confusing self-seriousness with gravity,” he says.
The movie, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Evan Peters, is out across the UK on May 18.
Image credits: Fox