X-Men: Apocalypse is set in the 1980s, when an ancient Egyptian “god” called Apocalypse (Oscar Isaacs) is awoken from a centuries-long slumber. Claiming to be the original super-powered “mutant”, Apocalypse sets out to recruit four disciples – to help him cleanse the earth of weak, flawed humans. Eric (Michael Fassbender) is in Apocalypse’s sights, as his old friend Charles (James McAvoy) and some younger “mutants” rally to fight this new foe.
RATED: M for frequent action violence and infrequent coarse language.
AUDIENCE: Fans of the X-Men comic-books and movies. Fans of superhero movies in general, although X-Men: Apocalypse will test the tolerance of anyone who is not hardcore.
WHAT’S GOOD: While it’s a familiar tactic to use separate stories about different characters to build up to the main plotline (Apocalypse vs. The Good X-Men), it does create an engaging beginning here. There is also one moment of enormous emotional wallop that proves superhero movies can hit your heart. Director Bryan Singer again has gathered up a quality band of acting talent, and their dedication to the cause assists our interest.
WHAT’S NOT: Any cinema-goer who is already feeling superhero fatigue will struggle through X-Men: Apocalypse. Where Batman v Superman, Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War brought some degree of freshness to their characters this year, X-Men: Apocalypse feels familiar, bloated and unnecessary. Not that it’s a terrible film; rather, it’s just full of themes, situations, motivations and showdowns which we’ve already seen in all the other X-Men movie. ALSO: the level of violence in X-Men: Apocalypse is higher than some parents and care-givers might expect from a superhero romp.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Like Batman v Superman, the amount of talk about God, superpowers, justice and moral authority is huge in X-Men: Apocalypse. While the action and antics around them might be laboured and repetitive, the discussions about who should be in control of our world are abundant and provocative. Try to keep up with all the Bible references (Tower of Babel, to the grace of God). Confusingly, X-Men: Apocalypse seems to want to suggest there is no singular power behind our universe AND there just might be such a power at work. What’s the answer? X-Men: Apocalypse keeps it vague … but such a non-answer might prompt you to seek the super-powered truth that’s out there.
RELEASE DATE: X-Men: Apocalypse opened 19 May 2016