We aren’t even halfway through 2016, and this weekend will bring us the fourth major superhero adventure of the year in the form of X-Men: Apocalypse
. A continuation of FOX’s wildly successful X-Men
tells the story of a nearly omnipotent being named En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) who returns from an ancient slumber to wreak havoc on Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his team of misunderstood superheroes.
Like most major superhero movies, X-Men: Apocalypse
will hit theaters in both 2D and 3D formats. Of course, you already know our opinion on the film’s story and characters from our comprehensive review
, but the film’s visuals also deserve particular attention. We’ve gone through the film, and broken down why you should (or shouldn’t) consider paying the extra money to watch this visual spectrum in 3D. Fret not, this will be a SPOILER-FREE examination of X-Men: Apocalypse.
There’s arguably no singular film genre better suited for the 3D treatment than the summer superhero blockbuster. X-Men: Apocalypse
is a grandiose, vibrant, globetrotting adventure full of insanely choreographed action sequences and a robust cast of flamboyant characters. If any movie in recent memory feels like a proper fit for a 3D showing, then it has to be a film like X-Men: Apocalypse
Planning & Effort Score
Unlike other 3D superhero movies that have already hit theaters this year, X-Men: Apocalypse
holds the distinction of actually being shot in 3D – rather than undergoing a conversion in post-production. This shouldn’t come as a terrible surprise, especially when we consider the fact that they pulled the same move with X-Men: Days of Future Past
. Bryan Singer and the folks at FOX have taken careful steps to ensure that Apocalypse
looks and feels like a movie specifically designed for the 3D experience. Even the kinetic action sequences feel tailored to work perfectly with the in-your-face effect of a 3D screening.
Before the Window Score
uses the original "gimmick" of 3D arguably more than any other superhero movie released this year, meaning that the movie takes advantage of the way in which objects on the screen seem to fly out at the audience. Apocalypse
has a strong sense of forward movement to its camera work, meaning several sequences in the film rely on the camera charging forward on a dolly as the action moves forward. It’s these types of scenes (particularly the opening title sequence) that really allow the movie to visually stand out among the competition. I’m one of the people who consider the tactic a gimmick – because movies are not roller coasters – but some people might find great enjoyment in it.
Beyond the Window Score
Beyond the window is where X-Men: Apocalypse
really shines. The use of 3D really helps to lend a sense of depth to most of the big, sweeping shots in the film, and it also helps to amplify the film’s sense of scope. Bryan Singer doesn’t waste a single inch of background space in most scenes, using the area beyond the foreground of a shot to his full advantage at every opportunity.
Of the major superhero movies that have hit theaters so far in 2016, there’s little argument against the fact that X-Men: Apocalypse
is the brightest and most colorful of the lot. Unlike Batman V Superman
’s use of black and dark blues, and Civil War
’s sometimes aggressively muted color palette, Apocalypse
is a bright affair that seems to cover the entire range of the spectrum. Some early scenes in an Egyptian temple feel a bit too poorly lit, but overall the movie does a phenomenal job of illuminating the action with bright and vibrant lights.
Although you wouldn’t even remotely come close to properly watching the film, you could watch a 3D screening of X-Men: Apocalypse
without wearing your glasses and still come out alright. There isn’t too much blur to keep the action on screen from becoming incoherent at times, and when we consider the fairly lengthy run time of the movie (147 minutes to be exact) this affords members of the audience ample opportunities to remove their glasses in order to rest the bridges of their noses as well as their eyes.
Audience Health Score
Whether or not you’re a fan of 3D, there’s no denying that Bryan Singer and FOX have crafted a movie that properly uses the filmmaking format to the best of its abilities. X-Men: Apocalypse
is a well-orchestrated film that effectively uses 3D to frame its action as well as its quieter, more dramatic moments. It’s almost impossible to find a 3D film that doesn’t strain one’s eyes a little bit, but Apocalypse
manages to minimize that by keeping the action incredibly coherent.