HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
   
 
Newest Articles
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
   
 
  X-Men: Apocalypse Mutants go Eighties
Year: 2016
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Lana Condor
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: After centuries asleep the ancient god-like mutant En Sabah Nur, also known as Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) awakens in 1983. Disillusioned with the world as he finds it Apocalypse recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to wipe out modern civilization and take over the world. Once again it falls to Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and remorseful on-off ally Raven a.k.a. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) to assemble a team of young X-Men and save mankind from complete destruction.

In contrast to Bryan Singer's previous entry in the Marvel Comics mutant franchise, the 1970s-set: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse was poorly received. Many reasons were cited as to why: from an outcry over an allegedly misogynistic billboard ad, hardcore X-Men fans increasingly angry and vocal about perceived liberties taken with their beloved source material, to supposed public disdain for certain key cast members. The film even dares to get on the wrong side of genre fans early on with a snarky wisecrack about Return of the Jedi (1983) and how trilogies (if discount the first three films and spin-offs in the fractured timeline of the X-Men franchise) rarely end on a high note. Enough of the playfulness and colourful sense of fun established in X-Men: First Class (2011) endures, to keep things entertaining particularly in the last hour but there is no denying the first half of X-Men: Apocalypse is a real slog.

Of course complaining about the sprawling, convoluted nature of an X-Men story is like chiding a Dalmation for having spots. Whether in comic books, cartoons or movies, X-Men stories are always unwieldy. It is simply their nature and, in some instances, part of their charm. You are either on board or not. Even so, X-Men: Apocalypse takes a long, long time to assemble all the players in a vast, over-populated tapestry. Between outlining Apocalypse's mad bid for world conquest it crams in several origin stories, resolves plot threads left dangling from previous films, tackles the Cold War and shoes-in a crowd-pleasing cameo from a certain adamantium-clawed fan favourite. Overstuffed? Well yes, though not in the crass, let's-sell-all-the-toys-we-can manner of the Joel Schumacher Batman films. An affection for these characters and grasp of what they stand for still endures. Bryan Singer imbues the action with an epic sweep, arguably absent from the over-praised Days of Future Past, including a cool prologue in ancient Egypt even in those moments when the sheer volume of computer graphics deployed by the great John Dykstra threatens to resemble a video game.

Continuing the trend in past films for recreating specific time periods in the X-Men's long history, this particular adventure takes place in the Eighties. Although apart from the bright neon colour palette, Cold War subplot and Jennifer Lawrence's showstopping entrance all glammed up Eighties-style the film does not milk that period charm quite as deftly as First Class did with the Sixties. By this point Oscar-winner Lawrence was perhaps understandably reluctant to endure her blue prosthetic makeup for more than the briefest of scenes. However, Simon Kinberg's script cleverly makes this a plot point. Mystique's reluctance to reveal her true form reflects a discomfort with her both her past as an embittered activist and freedom fighter along with her new status as icon to a new generation of young mutants. That the plot makes Mystique a lynch-pin for assembling the new team leaves Lawrence's evident disinterest in the role all the more unfortunate. She is too much of a class act to phone it in but occasionally her ambivalence registers on-screen. By contrast Michael Fassbender continues to lend weight to Magneto's ongoing tragedies even when he is short-changed by the plot. Among the welcome new additions: rising star Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as the always lovable Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as a superior Storm (rocking the white mohawk, finally!) and especially Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner as the young Jean Grey re-energize these familiar characters, but jostle for attention amidst a vast ensemble. If Ben Hardy's Angel is an outright misstep, and wisely sidelined, at least dishy Olivia Munn undeniably looks the part as Psylocke, the femme fatale who as drawn by Jim Lee in the Nineties fueled a million fan-boy fantasies, even though the plot reduces her character to a movable prop.

As with Days of Futures Past Evan Peters steals the show as the silver-haired speedster Quicksilver with his own showstopping high-speed set-piece set to the Eurythmics' Eighties pop classic 'Sweet Dreams.' For the duration of this memorable, hilarious sequence X-Men: Apocalypse briefly becomes the witty, ingenious film X-Men fans want. Then we are back to Apocalypse and his nondescript plan for world domination. While Oscar Isaac once again displays his remarkable versatility, his character's vague motives and poorly defined plan hobble the plot. After a first half riddled with dull spots the second proves lively, imaginative and entertaining right down to a climactic clash between colourfully costumed characters far closer to Japanese sentai fare than the filmmakers might want to admit.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1652 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Lee Fiveash
Paul Smith
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: