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X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

SYNOPSIS: Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

Review by Louise Keller:
The rich immersion into the X-Men reality is what this latest film does best, even though the dazzling and miraculous visual effects overwhelm its storyline. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg has woven together ideas credited to the four writers, including director Bryan Singer, but there is too much happening. It was always going to be hard to top Days of Future Past (2014), in which time travel was used as the tool with which to introduce the younger versions of Patrick Stewart's Charles/Professor X and Ian McKellen's Erik/Magneto and here, comprehension overload, too many characters and lack of a single coherent vision are the film's main problems. Nonetheless Apocalypse will thrill the fans as it offers plenty of eye candy throughout its multiple plot lines, not withstanding the Hugh Jackman/ Wolverine factor is in short supply.

The establishment of the main theme involving the awakening of the ancient Egyptian mutant god Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, wearing the dark face of doom) in 3600 BC begins with a spectacular opening scene in the Nile Valley amid a cast of thousands, as a transference ceremony for eternal life begins. Isaac is given little chance to shine beyond mountains of make-up and costumes. As the action jumps to 1983 and flits between the backstories of the various X-Men characters, things feel rather piece-meal. It is the story involving charismatic Michael Fassbender's Erik/Magneto that best captures our imagination as Erik's demons are faced following the loss of his family in Poland.

Jennifer Lawrence as the blond tressed Raven who morphs into the enigmatic cobalt Mystique is also front and centre, while the introduction of younger versions of Scott/Cyclops, Jean Grey and Kurt/Nightcrawler are nicely realized. I chuckled in the scenes when Scott (Ty Sheridan, excellent) discovers the extent of the power of his eyes; Sophie Turner is impressive as Jean who learns how to unleash her telekinetic power; Kodi Smit-McPhee is edgy as Nightcrawler. Watch out for Evan Peters as the cocky Quicksilver, once again a scene-stealer in a memorable slo-mo sequence. Olivia Munn does little beyond looking hot in high-cut purple spandex and thigh-high boots.

Grounding the film is James McAvoy as Charles, whose attributes are everything that Apocalypse needs, although there are so many characters and distractions, it is easy to lose the plot - as it were. (Good to see Rose Byrne back as CIA agent Moira McTaggert; the scenes with McAvoy are great fun.) Visually the film is extraordinary - a mind blowing display of razzle and dazzle. Buildings crumble, concrete walls shatter, the earth moves... (Did it move for you?) The production is seamless, blending together all the elements impressively. What a pity the same cannot be said for the storytelling.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (MA)
(US, 2016)

CAST: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Munn, Oscar SIaac, Rose Byrne, James McAboy, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Hugh Jackman, Tye SZheridan, Stan Lee, Monique Ganderton, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee

PRODUCER: Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer, Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer

SCRIPT: Simon Kinberg

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Newton Thomas Sigel

EDITOR: John Ottman, Michael Louis Hill

MUSIC: John Ottman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Grant Major

RUNNING TIME: 143 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 19, 2016







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