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Review – X-Men: Apocalypse

x-men apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse sees the awakening of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) – the man believed to be the first mutant – just in time to see a world on the brink of war. He sees all the weapons, all the fighting, and decides that the people of Earth have ruined his beloved planet and he’s going to start again – by destroying it. To achieve this, he enlists four other mutants and enhances their already impressive powers. And he has his sights set on one particular mutant with a love of metal…

A problem this catastrophic, perhaps unsurprisingly, brings Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) back to her old friend Charles (James McAvoy) and his school of mutants. This allows a great display of powers from newcomer, Scott (Tye Sheridan), most-feared pupil, Jean (Sophie Turner), and many others besides. And it’s such fun to watch them experimenting with their powers!

On a scale from a lone tree falling over to, well, Man of Steel, it strikes a pretty good balance on the action front. The gears always shift just as you might start to tire of the destruction and there are some really impressive battles between mutants to enjoy.

Where it doesn’t strike quite the right balance is with the story itself. There are lots of stories to tell here and, even though it’s pretty obvious that they’ll all be converging on each other soon enough, it sometimes feel like you’re being led between them by Quicksilver himself – and his grip on the back of your head isn’t that great. There are moments of real sadness and drama in the script, yet we aren’t really allowed to linger on them. Instead, it seems that the stiff upper lip approach has been favoured: no time for tears, just move on – there’s a fight to be had. There’s also just way too much cheese in the dialogue that is wholly unnecessarily. Why must they ‘forget everything’ they thought they knew in order to stop being students and become X-Men? Why can’t they just learn more?

That said, the showdown in the final act focuses well on the heart of the story and it’s a delight to see the complex relationships between the central characters bring depth and an emotional pull to the story.

X-Men: Apocalypse is one to experience on the big screen to really appreciate all the action (though whether or not the 3D is essential is debatable). It’s great fun and exciting to watch. Ultimately, despite its flaws, it’s just a really entertaining way to lose yourself in a film for a few hours.



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