Film Review: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ is a Marvel Entertainment Gem

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – In doing “comic book” movies right, Marvel Entertainment has established a formula of decent back stories, complex villainy and probable scenarios. In continuing to tell a history of the second half of the 20th Century in “X-Men Apocalypse,” they also add a historical parallel universe that works.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

The film plays on themes of “what is the ultimate evil?” and “what is the ultimate power?” with enough ambiguity to create a questioning of all values, which closes in on our actual reality in the socio-economic experiment of America. By taking on the Cuban Missile Crisis in “First Class,” Richard M. Nixon and Vietnam in “Days of Future Past” and finally nuclear proliferation in “X-Men Apocalypse,” the producers – and director Bryan Singer – are blurring the lines between what a society under siege would go through, and how they would rely on a superhero class of people to save them. Those layers of reference and morality are the key to the franchise, and the “X-men” delivers that nuance again, with an excellent and “page turning” tale.

The film begins with a ceremony in ancient Egypt. There is to be a transfer of super powers for En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), AKA Apocalypse, which continues his immortality. He is protected by the Four Horsemen, but after the transfer occurs the powerful icon is buried alive, and the Horsemen perish. When he awakens in 1983, his task is to continue the takeover of the world.

The X-Men mutants, evolved humans born with super powers, take sides in this encounter. Apocalypse recruits Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) to be his new Four Horseman, and the battle will be against Professor X (James McAvoy) and his mutant allies and students, including Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The battle is for the soul of the world.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” opens everywhere on May 27th, in 3D, IMAX and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D/IMAX theaters and show times. Featuring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrience, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne and Olivia Munn. Screenplay by Simon Kinberg. Directed by Bryan Singer. Rated “PG-13”

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X-Men Apoc
Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Money Monster”

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