X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

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Someone has a god complex in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse. The story centers on an ancient Egyptian supermutant (Oscar Isaac), dormant for thousands of years until he suddenly rises in 1983. Repulsed by the systems that govern the world, he goes about assembling four horsemen who will help him carry out his apocalypse. Standing in his way are the usual suspects—Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence)—as well as some newcomers—Jean, Cyclops, Nightcrawler—while Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is the wild card capable of playing both sides. It takes at least forty minutes for all the pieces to get moving. The midsection of the film is especially robust, featuring a slo-mo scene in which Quicksilver (Evan Peters) uses his super speed to rearrange a tableaux vivant of frozen characters in peril. Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, X-Men: Apocalypse has a melodramatic, grave tone and thematically emphasizes virtue and hope. Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, X-Men: Apocalypse is less jocular. There are still jokes, but not a barrage, like in the Avengers movies, in which Captain America and Iron Man and Thor sass one another continuously. What Apocalypse does especially well, and better than Civil War and BvS, is mount sublime large-scale destruction, using special effects convincingly, to lull us into a wonder.

In English mostly, with occasional Polish, German, Arabic, & (ancient) Egyptian.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White

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