X-Men: Apocalypse review
What’s fascinating about history is that even though the Ancient World had claimed large empires from Rome to the Greeks to the Egyptians, we still know very little about it as much of the evidence is either lost, destroyed by time, or is still under the sand waiting to be rediscovered. I took a trip to Scandinavia a while back and learned about the Norse gods that the people worshiped and said to have built the lands. While it’s easy to dismiss the images and ideas of these “gods” as morality created for Scandinavian society, part of me does believe that the ancient world may have worked differently then the modern world does. Perhaps there was some magic centuries ago.
The X-Men are a series of characters that you could argue are like modern day “gods” with their mutant powers. Like the gods of the old world, they could take either side of good or bad, and were controversial with the government. Their movies have done well (especially First Class and Days of Future Past) to reflect this while making it a fun blockbuster for everyone. The young mutants face their biggest challenge yet when the first mutant returns in X-Men: Apocalypse.
We begin in Ancient Egypt where the world’s first mutant En Sabah Nur, or better known as Apocalypse (played by Oscar Isaac) rules as pharaoh, along with four other mutants as his “four horsemen” until he’s betrayed by fellow worshippers. He’s trapped in a tomb for centuries, until he’s accidently woken and uncovered in 1983 where he decides that the human race has no place in this world. He recruits a young Cairo pickpocket, a then unknown Storm (played by Alexandria Shipp), along with a man with bird-like wings Angel (played by Ben Hardy), and telepathic energy manipulator Psylocke (played by Olivia Munn), and eventually, a heartbroken and cold Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) to become the new Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Meanwhile, Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) and Hank McCoy/Beast (played by Nicholas Hoult) has been successfully running his school for mutants, but is reluctant to call them into action. He’s put his focus on students like Scott Summers/Cyclops (played by Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (played by Sophie Turner) and Jubilee. So it comes as a surprise when Raven/Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence) comes to the school along with a teleporter Nightcrawler (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee). They see how much of a threat Apocalypse is and join together to stop this guy from destroying everything.
This movie had A LOT to follow up with, considering that Days of Future Past is one of the best super hero movies around. X-Men: Apocalypse does provide a bigger world that’s taken advantage of. The introduction of Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Jubilee, and Storm are welcome to this younger franchise, as they bring some new insights on what it is to be a mutant from different perspectives. I even liked the newer villains that were used…except for Apocalypse. They try to give him these big powers and a cool make up design, but he is a dull and boring to hear from. You’d think that a centuries old pharaoh would have more to him then evil.
The best performances are still the original four (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jenifer Lawrence, and Nicolas Hoult) who continue to evolve their characters.
The action scenes do provide a lot for the X-Men to play around with. The final battle itself goes on a little long, but it did give us plenty of different mutant powers at use. Much of the story does rely on knowing what happened on the last couple of movies, so I’d defiantly say to start with First Class before coming to this.
I’ll give this four Julilees out of five. While the scope and weight isn’t as large as Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse was a fun addition to the growing franchise. I’d say give this a watch, but if your not familiar with the X-Men, then go back and watch the others first.