Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Apocalypse Now

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) might really be the end of the world - the last movie in the X-Men series (not counting Wolverine movies, I guess).

The villain is Apocalypse (they don't call him that, but never mind). He's played by Oscar Isaacs, but under a lot of make-up/facial prosthetics. He was the first mutant, living in ancient Egypt as a god. He finally ends up under a pyramid. Fast forward to the 1980s, and he gets loose. He picks up a Cairo thief, named Ororo (Alexandra Shipp), and makes her the core of his disciples. He also picks up Angel (Ben Hardy) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn).

We catch up with Magneto (Michael Fassbender) trying to live a quiet life in Poland, but you know how that will work out. Soon Apocalypse has his fourth horseman.

On the hero side, Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) brings Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to join the students at Prof. X's. Havok (Lucas Till) does the same for his little brother Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). Let me say that it took me a while to accept Scott Summers as a late addition to the team instead of a founding member, but remember I guess Days of Future Past really messed up the timelines. Anyway, I feel like they really got Scott in this one. He's a nerd and he's a rebel. His budding relationship with Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is nicely handled, although it's hard to beat the first trilogy for Jean Grey idolatry.

In fact, I think this movie does a great job on a lot of the characters. We get a nice chunk of Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), although she isn't as Scottish as I expected. Nightcrawler is a lot of fun, not Catholic and mopey like in X2. He and Quicksilver do a lot of great work, getting people where they need to be, moving things right along.

Too bad Storm got short shrift - She has a good origin scene, then is mind-controlled for most of the rest of the movie.

Finally, James MacAvoy as Prof. X gets bald. Destiny is fulfilled.

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