By: John Delia
Filmmaker Bryan Singer finally comes up with a very good movie starring the X-Men, but again it’s Team vs. Team in X-Men: Apocalypse. In a matter of months we’ve had Batman vs. Superman and Captain America: Civil War and his four superheroes vs. Iron Man’s select four. It’s been a year of class of the titans and it’s only May. But, let’s stick with the review of this weekend’s savers of mankind.
It’s been thousands of years since Apocalypse, (Oscar Isaac) the all-encompassing mutant, has reared his head upon the Earth. Seeing how man and mutants have developed, he wants to become the lord of them all by stealing their special powers and combining them into himself. Now more powerful than ever, he has to acquire the final mutants special powers including Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters).
Getting Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to take his side along with Psyloke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Angel (Ben Hardy) the team becomes Apocalypse’s four horsemen. With the strength of the horsemen and his own powers, Apocalypse takes aim at all the mutants left on Earth with a wake of mass destruction.
Director Bryan Singer doesn’t waste time getting into his fantasy adventure showing the advent of Apocalypse and then the war between the mutants. It’s probably his best effort to bring the Marvel X-Men characters to the screen with the special effects, acting and cinematography being remarkable. The story’s a little long, but the exciting action keep the audience on the edge of their seats. There’s no snoozing here and Singer has made sure of it.
The downsides are few, but noticeable. Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) pops into the story line unexpectedly (unless you have watched trailers for the film) and lasts a few minutes. His part looks like an afterthought that was thrown in to extend the film and create excitement by using the mutant icon. I actually found his action scene distracting and not necessary, even though Wolverine is my best loved X-Men.
The acting by the whole cast as an ensemble has its good moments, especially the contributions by Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) who provide a whirlwind of excitement. Smit-McPhee even adds a little comedy relief to the production with his ability to increase in size and move in and out of time and space. Cyclops adds excitement to the movie with his powers to send a fountain of flaming lava through his eyes at his adversaries. But keeping control of it causes some reverse havoc. Quicksilver uses his speed to defeat his foes and in one scene he can pick things out of the air as he moves around during an explosive situation saving his fellow mutants. It’s a wild and crazy scene that causes a lot of wows and surprise.
X-Men: Apocalypse has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A much better film than Singer’s last attempt at X-Men. (B)