Sunday, October 2, 2016

Video Review: "X-Men: Apocalypse"

“X-Men: Apocalypse” continues the saga of the mutant super-heroes in their brave new retconned world, in which the course of history has been altered and new, younger actors have taken over (nearly) all of the roles.

(Comic book heroes may be able to bench-press buildings or regrow their own flesh. But their Hollywood counterparts are still batting .000 in the long war against their arch-nemesis, Father Time.)

It plays out a lot like “Captain America: Civil War” – a messy but vigorous smackdown between super-powered beings. The mayhem definitely overpowers the characterization here, as we jump from one action set piece to another, with little pauses for talkie scenes that tend to drag.

The story here is that an ancient Egyptian evil has been unleashed in the form of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who has the ability to absorb the powers of other mutants. He quickly forms himself his own team of henchmen, including Storm, Angel and others. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is also recruited after a personal tragedy while trying to live a normal life.

The good guys are less organized, led by Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who’s taken on the mantle of the outlaw voice of reason in the mutant community. Sophie Turner takes over the role of Jean Grey, while Tye Sheridan and Nicholas Hoult are Cyclops and Beast, respectively.

The movie is overlong at nearly 2½ hours, though it’s more a matter of emphasizing stuff that didn’t deserve so much screen time to the detriment of things that did. Still, I’d call it the best of the lot of a weak field of 2016 superhero movies.

Bonus features are quite robust. Director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg do a feature-length audio commentary track. Singer also introduces a handful of deleted and extended scenes. It also comes with a gag reel, an hour-long making-of documentary, concept art and photo gallery plus a wrap party video.



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