HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL 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 1954 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: