Review of 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

x-men-apocalpyse.jpg Following on from the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past a new threat emerges out of ancient Egypt, the being known as “En Sabah Nur”, aka, “Apocalypse” (Oscar Isaac), a mutant that is able to take over bodies of other mutants to absorb their powers therefore over time becoming more and more powerful. He wants to refashion the world in his own image with it's inhabitants bowing down to him (and who doesn't?). Apocalypse quickly adapts to the modern world taking on four protectors, “horsemen”, including “Erik Lehnsherr” aka “Magneto” (Michael Fassbender) who is disillusioned with Professor Charles Xavier's (James McAvoy) vision of a world where mutants live in harmony with the rest of humanity. At a stroke Apocalypse disarms the world by having all nuclear missiles launch themselves into space then turns Cairo into a massive pyramid (as you do). A young man by the name of “Scott Summers” aka “Cyclops” (Tye Sheridan) is struggling to come to terms with his newly discovered mutation that causes “death rays” to come from his eyes so is taken to the school by his brother “Alex Summers” / “Havok” (Lucas Till). Here, he is taken under the wing of young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and an equally young Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has recently been rescued from a fight club in East Berlin. Apocalypse traces a psychic link back to the school to abduct Xavier – The one mutant who has the power he desires most: The ability to enter the mind of anyone and twist their will. This visit results in it's (accidental) destruction with the “quick” acting (and spoiled) Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver (Evan Peters) saving the lives of the students. The military traces the attack on earth to the school so seeks out the most powerful mutants there to see what they know…How can the mutants defeat the greatest mutant of them all?

Another great X-Men film from Marvel in the recently re-vitalised “origin of the X-Men” series. The fact it is set in the 1980s does little to hinder the story with amazing effects including the incredible destruction of large parts of the planet (the repercussions of which being something the Avengers franchise has recently explored) though it seems here they stretch the believably of this to breaking point. The young versions of the X-Men characters we have grown to know over the years are portrayed believably on the screen with the welcome introduction of the socially awkward and naive Cyclops. “Raven” aka “Mystique” (Jennifer Lawrence) is suffering from the emotional trauma of the first film using a much less, er, blue, disguise. Marvel's plays up to it's true strengths and that is very human characters coming of age but also coming to terms with the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in, and how they fit into the confusing world around them, a world that often fails to understand them. Despite the massive effects going on around them the characters never fail to be the centre of attention - both their successes and failures. It is interesting to see the characters we have seen as adults being so “perfect” in their younger selves still trying to figure things out.

The plot is pure super-hero fodder and quite interesting. It is always a question of how or even if this incredible evil will be defeated. The ending is slightly disappointing but plays to the dual themes of teamwork and coming to terms with yourself.

A lot of fun for fans of the superhero franchise which keeps you guessing up to the very end.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2018-03-11

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Year: 2016

Length: 144 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Bryan Singer: