Tony's Take

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

apocalypse-movie-posterOnly the Strong Will Survive

After the timeline-changing events of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, many people were worried where the franchise would go from here.  “X-Men: Apocalypse” opens as an ancient being is performing a ritual in Egypt, but his people turn against him; trapping him in the deepest depths of a pyramid for eternity.  Back to the present.  Ten years since the events of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is in full-effect, with many young mutants in-attendance.  Raven (Mystique) is-out looking for fellow mutants in the World, in-hopes to deliver them to Charles.  Elsewhere, Erik (Magneto) has found himself a normal life, with a wife and daughter living in Poland.  A series of events causes the ancient being known as En Sabah Nur to awaken from his, as Apocalypse has returned to rule the Earth.  After a brief glimpse of his powers to save a life, Erik gives away his real identity and all of the things he loves in life have been snatched away.  As Apocalypse becomes stronger, he begins his hunt for his Four Horsemen to rule the Earth alongside him.  With a gigantic fight for humanity on the horizon, Charles must assemble his team of gifted individuals to face-off against Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen.   A battle that could lead to extinction.

James McAvoy returns once again as Professor Charles Xavier.  Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto.  Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique.  Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast.  Oscar Isaac knocks it out-of-the-park as En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse.  He truly is one of the better comic book villains to grace the big screen the past few years.  Rose Byrne returns to the franchise as Moira Mactaggert (she first appeared in “X-Men: First Class”).  Evan Peters returns as the scene-stealing Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver, and yes, he has a couple equally entertaining and visually-stunning sequences.  Josh Helman is back as Col. William Stryker (and make sure you’re watching closely).  Sophie Turner brings a familiar character back to the new series as Jean Grey.  Tye Sheridan is a welcome addition as he brings us the return of Scott Summers/Cyclops.  Lucas Till returns as Cyclops’ older brother, Alex Summer/Havok.  Jodi Smit-McPhee is another new face as Nightcrawler.  Ben Hardy, Olivia Munn, and Alexandra Shipp play some of the Horsemen: Angel, Psylocke, and Storm.  Lana Condor brings another character back to the new series, Jubilee.

In the day and age that we live in, filled with so many different comic book movies and styles, “X-Men: Apocalypse” manages to give a fresh take on an overused concept.  After the last film essentially erased the timeline of the first series, there are a plethora of characters who still need to be introduced.  The film does a great job of blending the familiar with new characters and they are here to stay.  Turner, Sheridan, Smit-McPhee, Shipp, and Condor all bring back fan favorite characters, while adding their own unique spin on them.  “X-Men: Apocalypse also excels due to its titular villain, Apocalypse.  Oscar Isaac is haunting and brutal as Apocalypse, showing no signs of weakness or humanity; certainly a departure from the characters he’s been playing and he nails it!  The film also has a very deep story, with multiple story lines and intricate details that truly endears the viewer to the film.  Filled with plenty of witty one-liners and bad-ass moments, it has everything you’re looking for and more!  While not surprising, the CGI and special effects look flawless here as well.  However, this also leads the film’s greatest flaw.  The events of the film lead-up to one is supposed to be a spectacular battle, but with all of the mayhem, carnage, and special effects, it just feels like overkill and overly-crowded.  The first two-thirds of the film are filled with nothing but entertainment, but the final third is unfortunately a bit of a letdown.  Even though it’s finale is underwhelming, the film truly is non-stop entertainment and it has plenty to offer for both old fans and new.  “X-Men: Apocalypse” has a run time of 144 minutes and maybe would have benefited having a bit of the film’s final third being trimmed.  While “X-Men: Apocalypse” may not be an excellent superhero film, it certainly is a step in the right direction for this franchise and I cannot wait to see where they (and all of the new characters) go next!

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is the latest in the franchise, placing Professor Xavier and his X-Men against Apocalypse and his four Horsemen.  The film features plenty of action sequences, witty humor, mutant abilities, a strong story-line, and a very good comic book villain.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, make sure you see “X-Men: Apocalypse”!!

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X-MEN: APOCALYPSE is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images, in theaters Friday!

 

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