Thursday, May 26, 2016

Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

I enjoyed this latest installment of the X-Men series. Apocalypse delivers with great action and an entertaining story throughout. The special effects were breathtaking and the story engaging. I've contemplated what resulted in the bad reviews and can only think that people demanded too much from the film. For me, it was a fun ride and a nice next chapter in the growing, repeating universe of mutants.

Set in 1983, the story first flashes back to ancient Egypt when Apocalypse tried to transfer his body to a healing mutant that is similar to Wolverine. Oscar Isaac, who I enjoy in pretty much every role, plays the eponymous villain. He's mostly dressed up but he is dominating and frightening as he brings about destruction in the world. He recruits his four horsemen, including Psylocke, played silently by Olivia Munn, Storm, played by a new talent Alexandra Shipp, Angel, played by Ben Hardy. Magneto rounds out the four, Michael Fassbender returns as Eric Lensherr. He continues to be brooding but it's the same character we've seen in the two previous films.

The good guys line up a set of new talent as well. Tye Sheridan has a growing resumé and does well as a young Cyclops. He has great chemistry with Game of Thrones's Sansa, Sophie Turner, who is also great as a young Jean Gray, and shows signs of Phoenix. Kodi Smit-McPhee does a great job in all the makeup as the young Nightcrawler. I could see critics and fans complaining that we didn't get to see enough of Jubilee played by Lana Condor.

Stealing the show is Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, who has the best action and special effect scenes and serves as a hilarious comedic relief. Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Mystique but remains out of her blue skin for as much as possible. James McAvoy inhabits Professor X a bit more but it is still a tale of how he turns into Patrick Stewart.

The story moves pretty quickly trying to put all the pieces in play for the final battle. They do have a side plot that includes Colonel William Stryker, Josh Helman returns, and even features a great cameo from Hugh Jackman, already spoiled by the trailers so don't accuse me. All of this piles up to a fun, action-packed film that I couldn't see much of a fault in by the end. I even stuck around for the setup to the next film though I'll have to find more informed nerds to tell me what it all meant.

Summer movie season is my favorite time for movies because I'm a sucker for these big blockbusters. Usually, I'll get pretty disappointed by the end but this year has proven very promising. The only disappointment for this year was Batman v Superman but I'm willing to forgive that when it comes out for purchase. I may have went into this latest X-Men with low expectations since I don't see these movies in a vacuum, but I came out very happy with what I saw. There are two more superhero movies coming out this summer, not including TMNT, and I'm excited for everything else the summer has to offer. The X-Men franchise remains intact for me and it has survived worse downs than a mediocre review. It bounced back from Origins and the third film so I'm sure 20th Century Fox will keep it and not transfer it to the Marvel universe. I enjoyed this movie a lot. 7 out of 10 stars!

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