Refuge Reviews- X-Men: Apocalypse
The latest installment in the ever popular X-Men franchise, Apocalypse is a darkly satisfying adventure for comic movie fans.
X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in the 1980's, about a decade after 2014's Days of Future Past and sees the rise of the titular villain, who has been imprisoned since the time of ancient Egypt. He assembles his new Horsemen, including Michael Fassbender's Magneto and seeks to cleanse our planet and start a new one with himself as its ruler. Typical megalomaniacal plan, but one executed well by the writers in a suitably dramatic way. Every scene of the villainous Apocalypse is intense as he convinces other mutants to follow him and proceeds to destroy entire cities! The X-Men have to suit up to stop him, but first have to recruit some younger blood to fill in the gaps left by the old cast. Fan favorites like Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler team up beside Beast, Mystique and of course, Professor X (played excellently for a third time by James McAvoy). The entire cast is strong with a couple notable exceptions, particularly Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. She is undeniably a strong actress as exemplified by her pair of Oscar wins, but in this film seems to, for lack of a better word, "phone" it in with rote line delivery and little facial expression.
The first half of the film is very strong as it sets all the pieces of the plot into motion, while the second half is primarily action as the X-Men face off with Apocalypse. I know many people who did not care for the second half, but I loved it finding it to be a blast (literally and figuratively)! In fact, unlike Batman v. Superman and Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse is a film that moves at a brisk pace and spaces its action scenes out perfectly (though none hit as hard as the airport scene from Civil War). It should be noted that this film is particularly dark and features a handful of gruesome deaths as well as an abundance of biblical references, which is to be expected with the villain being named Apocalypse and having four Horsemen that seek to destroy the world, so if you are sensitive to that, you might want to skip this particular film. But as always, X-Men promotes the idea of people being afraid of what they do not understand and that topic of discrimination and fear for those that are different is still very relevant in today's society. Mutants have amazing powers in this film but most of them are still very much human, dealing with a world that doesn't want them there. I think as Christians its a good thing to contemplate as we live every day as Christ would, loving one another as ourselves.
This is one of my favorite installments of the X-Men franchise. I was riveted from the opening scene to the inevitable after-credits scene thanks to its excellent pacing, eclectic cast of characters and action packed finale. The dark tone serves to compliment its epic feel and intense action that evoked an emotional response from me. I recommend this film to any and all fans of comic or action movies.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images. Beyond the aforementioned biblical references and dark tone, the film is largely bloodless but full of gruesome deaths that are too graphic for younger viewers. There is very little language, just a couple instances of strong words being used and no sexual content. I would say 14+ for X-Men: Apocalypse.