Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is worshipped as a god in ancient Egypt. Although immortal, he is conspired against and trapped underground, left to slumber for thousands of years.
In the 1980s, Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) is running his school for the gifted, discovering young mutants from all over the world. Some of his students will become the X-Men, some will simply learn to control their powers, going on to live ordinary lives.
One such hopeful candidate is Magneto (Michael Fassbender), attempting to live a straight life in Poland, laying low.
Then Apocalypse wakes up and everyone’s plans become secondary to survival.
We ask, “Do you have to be a true fan to enjoy these films?”
TAYLOR: The short answer is, it helps. I’m not a fan of comic book movies, mostly because I have been inundated and grown numb to them. I am a fan of the X-Men, or was when I was a kid. Thus, I am biased, but I will go out on a limb and say that X-Men: Apocalypse delivers where other superhero movies fail: a strong story, interesting characters (a lot of them), and a more authentic approach to world building.
HOWE: It seems like every other week a new comic book movie is launched. There are a lot of them out there now, but I wouldn’t say I have grown numb from them yet. Yes, some of them aren’t that good, but this is one of the good ones. And for a movie to be just short of two-and-a-half hours, this flew by. It kept me entertained from start to finish.
TAYLOR: I thought there was a lack of action. I didn’t mind, but I commented to my wife about halfway through the film: “They haven’t bored me yet.” That’s the thing with the X-Men, there’s not a lot of clobbering. McAvoy puts his fingers to his temple to indicate his mental powers. Fassbender floats around levitating debris; his palms seemingly steering things. Jennifer Lawrence shape shifts.
I think Oscar Isaac as the godlike mutant Apocalypse was a lot of fun. He seemed very sincere and really not such a bad guy. I think they all just got off on the wrong foot.
HOWE: Apocalypse has to be one of the best baddies that I have seen. He is along the same lines as Loki (from The Avengers). They are both played by great actors who give the characters some depth. The action in the film is limited, but what’s there is like Goldilocks: not too much, not too little, but just right.
This has to be the best comic-to-screen conversion in the last couple off years.
TAYLOR: I couldn’t help but smile when it was clear they we’re going to use Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, again. The lighter scenes were expertly timed out, but this is still a serious film. It is not perfect and in a couple places jumped around a bit, but I still think it could be enjoyed by a non-fan. Somebody who knows nothing about the X-Men, go see it and tell us what you think!
– Taylor gives X-Men: Apocalypse 4 blue mutants out of 5.
– Howe gives it 4.5 necklaces out of 5.
Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star Fridays.