X-Men: Apocalypse

"Very Good"

X-Men: Apocalypse Review


This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The Last Stand, the final part in the original X-Men trilogy: it shifts the focus from character detail and social commentary into a more standard effects-heavy action brawl. There's still a lot of strong character detail, and a big story that can't help but be entertaining. But it's impossible to escape the feeling that the film's scale is far bigger than it needed to be.

It's now 1983, and while Professor X (James McAvoy) works with Hank (Nicholas Hoult) to set up his school for young mutants, his old friend and nemesis Erik (Michael Fassbender) has started a family in a rural corner of Poland. But he can't hide forever. Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) is roaming the world helping mutants where she can, meeting the teleporting Kurt (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in Berlin before heading to Cairo. There, CIA operative Moira (Rose Byrne) has just uncovered a bizarre underground cult that has revived the ancient super-mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who immediately sets out on a quest to cleanse the planet and start over again. He needs four assistants, and the question is which of the X-Men will go over to the dark side.

This is the third comic book movie in a row about superheroes fighting each other, after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. And it's similarly enormous (all three films are around two-and-a-half hours long), with mammoth battles that don't quite make logical sense but are compelling enough that the audience goes with them. This film has a bit more emotional depth, including back-stories that have been developed with unusual complexity. But some characters fall through the cracks.

Top actors like Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence can make the most of the emotional kick in their scenes. But many in the huge supporting cast barely get a chance to register, including Isaac, who is virtually lost under plasticky layers of costume and make-up. Hoult is solid as the group's mother-hen figure. Evan Peters again offers welcome levity in two terrific Quicksilver sequences. And with her fierce, exhilarating performance as Jean Grey, Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner walks off with the entire movie.

Even so, Singer lets the special effects take over from the resonant themes that have made this franchise stand out above the others. With so much digital chaos (in brain-aching 3D), the more involving subtleties are hart to spot. This means that many characters, as well as the story's provocative ideas about the nature of god and humanity, are abandoned to make way for the spectacle. Well, at least it's an enjoyable spectacle.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for X-Men Apocalypse:



X-Men: Apocalypse

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

In Theaters: Friday 27th May 2016

Budget: $234M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, TSG Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Charles Xavier, as Erik Lensherr / Magneto, as Raven / Mystique, as En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse, as Hank McCoy / Beast, as Moira MacTaggert, as Scott Summers / Cyclops, as Jean Grey, as Betsy Braddock / Psylocke, as Alex Summers / Havok, as Peter / Quicksilver, as Ororo Munroe / Storm, as Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler, as Warren Worthington III / Angel, Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee / Jubilee, as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (Older), Lola Nicholson as X-Kid (uncredited), as William Stryker, as Death, Rochelle Okoye as Plague, Tómas Lemarquis as Caliban, Anthony Konechny as Sam, Joe Cobden as Military Official #3, as Mrs. Summers, Hesham Hammoud as Guard #1, Vladimir Alexis as Payless Shoe Salesperson, Jason Deline as Pentagon Tech, Nadim Toth as Mutant Carrier

Contactmusic


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