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X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Review



Score 8 out of 10

When an age-old mutant known as Apocalypse re-emerges in modern times, a new team of X-Men band together to save the world from him and his four horsemen.  The return of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, and even Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Storm and Nightcrawler!

The Run Down:

After reading some not-so-stellar reviews for this movie, my wife and I went to see this movie and we loved it!  Taking place ten years after the fantastic X-Men: Days of Future Past (the past part) movie, we pick up in the 80’s (making this movie even better!) where Charles Xavier aka Prof. X (James McAvoy) is building his school for gifted youngsters with the help of Hank McCoy aka Beast (Nicholas Hoult) welcome a new young mutant name Scott Summers aka Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) aka my favorite X-Man who meets Jean Grey aka Marvel Girl (Sophie Turner), Jubilee (Lana Condor) and even Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee).  While that is going on Magneto aka Eric Lehnsherr has been living a nice, quiet, normal life but his world gets turned upside down.  Mystique aka Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) after being branded a hero after saving so many lives in the last film is hiding herself, helping persecuted mutant when and where she can.  Unknown to all of them, a mutant from ancient Egypt named En Sabah Nur aka Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) has been awaken and he is not happy with the shape of the world.  To begin again, he plans to destroy the old where only the strong survive.  The X-Men suit up to take on the near all-powerful being to save the world.

The Good:

There are tons of reasons to love this movie.  It’s in the 80’s (gotta love the 80’s, the music, the hair, the crazy jackets, but I digress), epic action, fantastic effects, great actors, etc.  The movie had a lot of heart and we got a further glimpse into the history of some of our favorite cinematic mutants which we lacked in prior movies (without Wolverine being the center of an X-Men movie allowed some other folks to shine which was a much-needed change).

Magneto’s tragic story was taken even further in this movie which was sad but great all at the same time.  You feel that almost all the good things in this man’s life have been taken from him, mostly by men who fear what they don’t understand.  You completely understand why he becomes a big villain in the X-Men’s future (or will he?).  Fantastic acting and his interactions with Prof. X are always heartfelt with a twinge of sadness.

Professor X is still the embodiment of hope in a world of fear and hatred, a teacher who shows his gifted youngsters that they are not freaks or monsters but specially gifted individuals who have a chance to change the world for the better.  His dream (contrary to the main big bad, Apocalypse) can be summed up by his best quote in the film, “Those who are the strongest… protect those that aren’t.”

Apocalypse was a fantastic villain who basically believes that only the strong should survive and his main goal is to create such a world where the weak and anyone who would try to protect them will perish.  He can also amp up other mutants (usually messing with their minds in the process so they do his bidding).  Think of him has a dark would-be god, whose code is survival of the fittest.

Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm (and Jubilee) get a little more back story in this film which was fantastic to see. They are all just starting out and are not yet the confident men and women we know they will become (if they survive the experience).  Great to see these guys in the film.


Loved the idea of hope and redemption in this movie.  Just because someone has gone down the wrong path, has messed up, doesn’t mean they cannot come back and be better. The people in your life who care about you will always stand for you.  Always like to see heroes standing up for what is right, no matter the odds (isn’t that why we love superhero movies?).  The X-Men have always been the family you make, who stand with you and stand for others when they cannot stand for themselves.  Protecting a world which fears and hates them, showing them there is a better way.

Finally more Cyclops!


The Bad:

There weren’t many great explanations on why a lot of Apocalypse’s “Four Horsemen” followed him.  Did they do it because they believed in his dream or because he put a mind whammy on him? Not very clear.  I wish there was a little more time to explore some of the new (old?) characters introduced (Cyclops, Jean, Nightcrawler, Storm) but I get that the movie can only fir so much.  They balanced it well for the most part.


Other Thoughts:

This movie really reminded me what I love about the X-Men.  While Marvel movies have been killing it, Marvel comics have gotten worse and worse over time (especially for the X-Men).  They continue to take great characters and make them worse and worse.  It’s apparently terribly boring in a story if someone tries to do the right thing.  They either become terribly messed up (or evil) but Lord forbid they actually continue to care about helping everyone they can.  I’m all for heroes struggling and making mistakes, that is what it means to be a fallen human, but seriously, do they need to degrade so many characters to become killers, schemers, and terrorists? Come on, give a few heroes who get knocked down but always get back up (I’m all about taking the character on a journey even a dark journey with redemption).  Like a paraphrase of  G.K. Chesterton, “Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”  Give people some hope in all that is good and right again.

Had a lot of religious themes and references in this movie but none of which seemed highly offensive.  Basically, Apocalypse claims to be a god, but he doesn’t care for anyone other than creating and amassing strength and power.  Mutant’s powers are refered to as a “sign of God,” multiple times they mention the grace of God, and Nightcrawler says a prayer as they head into danger.  I like that sort of thing, making people think a little about the meaning of life and where we get the moral law from, other than Apocalypse’s brand of “might makes right.”  If you dislike that sort of thing, this movie may not be your cup of tea.


Hope, Faith, Redemption, Family, Home

Survival of the Fittest vs. Strong Protecting the Weak


Specs from FoxMovies.com:

Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

GENRES Action / Adventure

DIRECTOR Bryan Singer
PRODUCERS Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner
SCREENPLAY Simon Kinberg
STORY BY Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris
ACTORS James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, Ben Hardy

Specs from IMDB.com:


Plot Keywords: mutant | x men | superhero team | superhero | year 1983See All (427) »

Taglines: Prepare for the Apocalypse. See more »

Genres: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images | See all certifications »

Technical Specs

Runtime: 144 min

Sound Mix: Dolby Atmos

Color: Color

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1

See full technical specs »



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