‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (2016, 12A)

The latest superhero movie to hit theatres, does ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ live up to others in the genre or is watching it like the end of the world?

After the events of ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ (my review of that film can be viewed here), the whole world knows about mutants and Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) school for them is fully up and running. But, a dark power is stirring in Egypt and an Ancient being – the first ever mutant, Apocalypse (Oscar Issac) – awakens and plans on destroying everything built by humans. The X-Men must once again unite together to defeat this force and  save the world.

I was really looking forward to seeing this film, and it didn’t disappoint. It was much better than March’s ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ (my thoughts on that can be read here) and came close to ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (my review of which can be read here) earlier this month. It had all the best bits of the previous X-Men films: strong characters, brilliant story, good villain and some amazing action. I’m a much bigger fan of these prequel X-Men films as oppose to the originals from the early 2000s and I think Apocalypse is an excellent addition to the line-up.

In ‘Apocalypse’ we meet a few new, fan-favourite characters such as Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) as well as some recurring characters like Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). All of these characters were brilliant and their powers made for some incredible action sequences and stunts, especially in the closing scenes of the film.

However, it took a long time to get to these scenes as the beginning of the film was quite slow-going. With all the characters being far apart, the film ended up jumping between five or so different places, focusing on different characters, for a good forty-minutes or so, leaving me forgetting what was happening to some characters and eagerly awaiting the arrival of others. This film also left a lot of things from the previous movie unresolved, the ten-year gap between the stories meaning some threads weren’t tied up and probably never will be. This left me disappointed and I’ve often felt like this with all of the X-Men prequels, each being set in a different decade and so each leaving cliffhangers unresolved and the audience yearning for more.

This film definitely had a lot more action than its predecessors, however the action was all squashed into the last half of the movie, leaving the beginning as a rather dull explanation of what the characters have been up to in-between the events of ‘Days Of Future Past’ and ‘Apocalypse’ as well as the introduction of some new heroes. I’m a big fan of Quicksilver (Evan Peters) who was introduced in the last film but had a much larger role in this one, as well as the new, young Scott Summers who’s a bit more likeable than his older counterpart from the original X-Men movies.

Overall, ‘Apocalypse’ is a brilliant addition to the ‘X-Men’ franchise and an action-packed superhero movie well worth watching. A bit slow-going at first, the final few scenes are well-worth waiting for and a decent amount of humour and a good plot means I’ll give ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ eight-out-of-ten.

8/10.

 

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