X-Men: Apocalypse

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X-Men: Apocalypse is a fairly standard comic book movie that pits superheroes with CGI-enhanced powers against a supervillain threatening humanity. It is the ninth installment in the lucrative X-Men franchise and part of a trilogy following the X-Men characters in their youth beginning in the 1960s. The film is set in 1983 coinciding with the rise of the main antagonist, an ancient mutant known as En Sabah Nur played by Oscar Isaac under a heavy layer of makeup and special effects. A ragtag group of young mutants under the tutelage of a young Professor Xavier played by James McAvoy join forces to save the human and mutant races from this god-like malevolent force. There is also a subplot rivalry between Professor Xavier and the multi-dimensional Magneto played by Michael Fassbender, archrivals as they get older in the earlier films. The movie feels more like an extension of an origin story and would not work as well as a standalone film. We are introduced to many mutants before they become the familiar characters from the previous films. Their younger selves are presented in unique and sometimes entertaining ways that provide important background information on their more recognizable adult selves. However, I enjoyed the first movies more because of the acting gravitas of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and the appearance of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine beyond a simple cameo. Overall, I thought the film did not break the comic book movie mold but stuck to the rather generic formula proven to practically guarantee box office success for the major studios. It provides enough CGI action and entertainment to appease the hordes of die-hard comic book fans and those looking for a summer popcorn flick.

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