Film review: X-Men: Apocalypse (3 out of 5)

Although I prefer a movie that stretches my mind and is set in the real world, sometimes it's great to just kick back and let a fantasy world take over.

X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypse

Of the various comic book franchises, the X-Men series has been one of the most poorly served.

We have seen major characters bumped off, too many Wolverines spin-offs and rather lack lustre storylines.

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It got so bad that two years ago in X-Men: Days of Future Past the people in charge effectively hit the re-start button!

So we come to X-Men: Apocalypse, which moves the story on somewhat.

Back in Egyptian times a powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse as he becomes known), is trapped deep within the ruins of a pyramid.

Move forward to the 1980s and he gets released and sets off on a plan to wipe the planet of humans and everything they’ve ever built, ruling over what’s left.

Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) is running his academy for mutants and, with his charges, sets out to thwart Apocalypse.

That’s pretty much the bones of the story, but as it lasts two and a half hours you can imagine there’s plenty of sub-plots thrown in.

For instance, Professor X’s old friend Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) has yet another crisis of conscience as to whether he’s good or bad.

And then there’s the professor’s love interest, Moira Mactaggert, who had her memories conveniently removed by Professor X at the end of the last movie so we get the whole romance over again.

As you would expect, the special effects are remarkable and the 3D is particularly good (especially the opening credits).

However, as we see bridges ripped apart and houses smashed to bits there seems little acknowledgement of the thousands of people who would have died in all this destruction.

Plus there’s the visible body-count as soldiers, police and innocent by-standers lose their life in the blink of an eye.

There’s not a great deal of humour in the film but Evan Peters as Quicksilver (a different incarnation to Quicksilver in another franchise) is particularly good.

In fact, most of the acting is fine, with James McAvoy as Prof. X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and Oscar Isaac totally unrecognisable as Apocalypse all on top form.

Some of the younger cast are still finding their feet, but as this movie will probably gross millions, they’ll have plenty of chance to develop in the numerous sequels to come.

Film details: X-Men: Apocalypse (12A) 144mins

Director: Bryan Singer

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol