Thursday, June 9, 2016

X-Men Apocalypse - Movie Review

   This movie has suffered some less than favorable reviews, and that's a shame - because it's actually a good action film.

   The major flaw with X-Men Apocalypse is that it was released so soon after the superior Captain America movie - it suffers a bit by comparison.

   The film brings the team into the 1980s. Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) has been peacefully running his School for Gifted Students (mutants), and continues to recruit new mutants so he can train them in the safe use of their powers.

   The focus is on Mystique (played by a luminous Jennifer Lawrence), who travels around the world rescuing mutants in danger.  We also catch up to Magneto (Michael Fassbender), who's trying to live a normal life - but his heritage threatens the peace he's found.

   All their lives are altered with the return of an ancient power - the first mutant, Apocalypse (an intense Oscar Isaac), a powerhouse who threatens worldwide devastation - and the enslavement of all mutants.

   The movie takes a little time to set up the conflict and introduce the "newest" members of the X-men, including a young Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and returning heroes Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Havok (Lucas Till) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters, who gets some of the most visually-stunning scenes in the film).

   Once it gets rolling, the film is a heck of a lot of fun - especially when Apocalypse adds his Horsemen into the mix, made up of Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Magneto.

   The film also includes a lot more humor than you might expect (the trailer makes it look grim), and some amazing action sequences.

   It's not perfect - it leans a little too far into the high body count / vast destruction zone that seems to plague these movies, and there may just be too many characters to keep up with - but the good far outweighs the bad.

   The "modern" X-Men series of films has managed a great combination of intelligent storytelling, visual effects and terrific characters, and X-Men Apocalypse is a strong addition to the lineup.

   Don't let the critics keep you from seeing this comic adventure brought to life. Any true comic fan will get a kick out of this film!

Grade: A-



Mr. Brooks said...

Best movie rendition of Scott Summers.

Chuck said...

I liked the original version by James Marsden (is that right?), though they didn't give him much to do. The new one has more personality, but I struggled with Cyclops being the "new kid" - in the comics he was the first X-Man. Great to see his powers so well visualized!