X-Men: Apocalypse

 

starstarstarhalf

 


When the very first Mutant – Apocalypse – emerges from Egypt, the Mutants find 

themselves divided as they struggle to save mankind.

 

X-Men Apocalypse

New blood vs old power: Sophie Turner, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Tye Sheridan 

 

Long before the Avengers assembled, the X-Men took up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing all but ended them. However, since the collision course embarked on by Batman and Superman and then by Captain America and Iron Man, the altercation between Professor X and Magneto hardly smells fresh anymore. One feels quite jaded by all this superhumanitarianism. Here, again, the future of mankind is at stake and again the arch villain is more terrible than anything we’ve seen before.

 

He is the ominously entitled Apocalypse, the very first Mutant, who’s been on ice for millennia since his incarceration in ancient Egypt. In the past, he saw off such civilisations as Babylonia, Arcadia and Sumer, and now that he’s back, he’s none too happy with the state of the planet. So he sets about wiping the slate clean…

 

This is what’s known as raising the bar: and it’s obviously going to be a tough time for the Mutes. Furthermore, Apocalypse has his acolytes. Tapping into the rage and pain of Magneto, he enlists the Magnet Man along with other handy lieutenants, summoning up enormous resources of power. “Towers will fall,” he predicts, deciding that the world will be a better place if it were reduced to its former Bronze Age. So it’s up to Professor X and Raven (aka Mystique) to recruit new Mutants to battle the vainglorious Apocalypse and to preserve the human race.

 

The new film – the ninth in the so-called ‘X-Men universe’ – certainly raises the stakes and the protean Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) makes a chilling antagonist. But, as with all the X-Men films, the real pleasure is derived from the newer Mutants as they come to terms with their special powers. Born outside the accepted norm, these beings are like children with special needs, but have their own considerable skill sets, and much to offer mankind. While they are a generally rather good-looking lot, they are not unlike the geniuses that the world has come to accept as such, from the blind Homer and stammering Aristotle to Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking.

 

The film’s other strength is the quality of the actors on show. James McAvoy (Professor X) is always a sympathetic figure, while his co-stars Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and Jennifer Lawrence (Raven) are no slouches in the thespian department. The CGI is suitably awesome, but the characters that thread their way through the pyrotechnics are just as engaging. One might confuse it for X-Men Assemble: Age of Apocalypse, but it’s still quite a head-trip.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Ben Hardy, Lana Condor, Josh Helman, Ally Sheedy, Stan Lee, Zeljko Ivanek, Hugh Jackman.

 

Dir Bryan Singer, Pro Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer and Hutch Parker, Screenplay Simon Kinberg, Ph Newton Thomas Sigel, Pro Des, Ed John Ottman

Michael Louis Hill, Music John Ottman, Costumes

 

Marvel Entertainment/Bad Hat Harry Productions/The Donners' Company/Hutch Parker Productions/Kinberg Genre-Twentieth Century Fox. 

143 mins. USA. 2016. Rel: 18 May 2016. Cert. 12A.