X-MEN: APOCALYPSE – A Review by John Strange

By: John ‘Doc’ Strange
3600 years before the birth of Christ, the people in Egypt worshiped a living God, En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), a powerful mutant.  But as with any group of men, there were some who did not believe or worship him.  These non-believers worked their way into the body of his guards until the day came when they could strike.  His four acolytes, powerful mutants in their own right, fought to stop the freedom fighters but lost their lives one by one.  The attackers succeeded in burying their “god” under the tons of stone which made up his pyramid temple.
Move forward to present day when an archeologist and her team unearth the buried god.  When En Sabah Nur sees the light of day he immediately begins recruiting his Four Horsemen.  He locates Ororo Munro, a.k.a. Storm (Alexandra Shipp) on the streets of Cairo where she is a not a good person.  He also recruits Angel (Ben Hardy), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to round out the team.
Simultaneous to this we have the younger versions of our beloved X-Men living their lives and going about their own business.  Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is working her way around the globe rescuing mutants including Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) from persecution by “normals”.  We see young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) learning to deal with their powers.  On this side of the conflict is my personal favorite X-Man, Hank McCoy aka Beast (Nicholas Hoult), doing his science thing and creating cool devices like Cyclops visor.
Apocalypse (as En Sabah Nur is called now) is on a mission to rid the world of non-mutants especially if it makes him the ruler of everyone.  To do it he needs Professor X’s power.  Arrayed against him are a team led by Beast, Jean Grey and Cyclops.  The battle to decide the fate of the world is also the fight to save the professor.
In many ways this film is formulaic and as expected as any comic book movie can be.  Where it differs from its predecessors and others in the genre is the character development we are presented with as the story unfolds.  We see new players from the comics emerge into the light.  We watch as the established members of the X-Men I grew up with are revealed to be the heroes we know they are.  There are several surprises in the film; including the one that was leaked (when we see a brief glimpse of Logan/Wolverine).
X-Men: Apocalypse is worth a watch if you enjoy this type of film.  It will not win Academy Awards and any other awards other awards (these films never seem to anyway) but it is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.  The fight scenes are well done and the endgame gives us the X-Men team I grew up with.  I would go so far as to say this film gives us the birth of the modern X-Men and that alone is worth the cost of your ticket.
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, Ben Hardy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of intense sci-fi violence, action and destruction throughout, some suggestive material, partial nudity and brief strong language)
Selig Rating: Full Price
Runtime: 140 Min
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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