‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Movie Review

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Oscar Isaac in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' (Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

Oscar Isaac in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

“You are all my children and you are lost because you follow blind leaders,” says En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), the world’s very first mutant who has risen after thousands of years of lying dormant to bring about a new world order with himself as absolute ruler in the 2016 addition to the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse.

After almost taking over the world back in ancient Egypt, En Sabah Nur was made dormant by the efforts and sacrifices of Egyptian warriors who recognized Nur for the false God that he is. Jump ahead to the year 1983 and En Sabah Nur is brought out of his ancient sleep by some misguided and foolish Egyptian locals and CIA operative Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) who accidentally expose his resting place to the powers of the sun.


Back at Professor Xavier’s school for mutants, Jean Grey (Game of ThronesSophie Turner) keeps having nightmares of the end of the world. Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) tries to convince her they are just dreams. Xavier also has his hands full teaching new student Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) how to handle his powers of optic force beams which he’s just developed.

Back in Egypt En Sabah Nur cannot believe what has become of the world and that ordinary humans are in charge. The extremely powerful mutant sets out to recruit a team of mutants to follow him, including a grief-stricken Magneto (Michael Fassbender). The mutants will assist him in his plan to annihilate mankind and create a new world order with himself as its king. With En Sabah Nur set to claim what he believes is his rightful throne, it falls to a handful of the X-Men – Jean Grey, Professor X, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Cyclops, Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) – to team up and work together to stop him from bringing about the apocalypse.

Overly long and lacking originality, X-Men: Apocalypse suffers from a slow start, an uninteresting villain, and a tired and overused plot. Yes, once again it’s X-Men vs. X-men to save mankind from oblivion. Yawn.

The true crime of this entry in the X-Men saga is the utter and complete waste of an extremely talented cast. Jennifer Lawrence seems to be doing a walk-through as Mystique who goes around saving lost and abused mutants from mean and dangerous humans while constantly telling everyone that she’s no hero. Even when she hears how Magneto has joined the wrong side, Lawrence seems to just gaze off out into space showing no real emotion or concern for the one character she’s supposed to still feel a connection to. The extremely talented actor Oscar Isaac is almost unrecognizable under the make-up and CGI effects as the villain of the film, En Sabah Nur, the most powerful mutant of all time. It’s a shame the actor is cast in such a one-dimensional role with no real personality except that of a pompous, powerful jerk.

The best performance in the film is given by Evan Peters as Quicksilver (Marvel’s answer to DC’s The Flash) who portrays the loner hero as a smart-ass but caring young man who’s looking to reconnect with what little family he has left. In the most creative and entertaining scene in the film, Quicksilver races through Professor X’s school trying to evacuate everyone inside after the school is attacked and begins to explode. Shot in slow motion, Quicksilver still manages while saving people to take a sip of someone’s soda and help a young pretty girl from being French-kissed by a goofball student. It’s the most entertaining sequence of the otherwise unremarkable film.

With a one-dimensional (and boring) villain, unimpressive fight scenes, and a redundant story, X-Men: Apocalypse is a forgettable and unnecessary installment in the superhero series.

GRADE: C

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images

Running Time: 144 minutes

Release Date: May 27, 2016

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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