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X-Men: Apocalypse (English) Movie Review

3.5
X-Men: Apocalypse (English) Movie Rating

Gone are the days of individual super hero films, today in a race to make each new film bigger than the last, we see a plethora of characters being added to the story to make it more engrossing for the viewer. The latest release X-MEN APOCALYPSE is somewhat similar in this respect, with a number of characters being used and of course new characters being introduced all in a gambit to set up the awe inspiring Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).


X-MEN: APOCALYPSE follows the story of an ancient mutant who has existed long before the dawn of civilization, worshipped as a god over the years, this mutant has been called by different names by different settlers. However, the one name that stuck was Apocalypse. The first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, Apocalypse amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction. Will the X-Men manage to defeat the all powerful Apocalypse and his four horsemen or will they fall victim to this ancient destroyer of worlds... is what forms the rest of the film.


The movie starts off depicting ancient Egypt and the pyramids being built to honor their god. Later it is revealed that the god is none other than Apocalypse whose earthly shell is dying with his consciousness urgently being transferred into the body of a different mutant. However, he is betrayed by the non mutants who serve under his rule and he is buried under a pyramid. From here the film cuts to the present day where after the previous film ends, with each of the X-Men trained by Professor Charles Xavier drifting off to lead lives of their own. Though each lives an idyllic life, things are soon thrown out of gear when CIA agent Moira MacTaggert stumbles upon the now excavated site of Apocalypse' tomb awakening the ancient destroyer. While Agent MacTaggert is busy exploring Apocalypse's tomb, back home Professor X is introduced to Scott Summers (Cyclopse) who is just finding out about his mutant powers. Eased by Professor X, Scott soon settles into the life at the School for Gifted Children, but everything changes as Apocalypse awakes half way around the world. At this juncture, Raven who had in the previous film deserted both Professor X and Magneto returns to the school seeking help to locate Magneto. In their pursuit of Magneto with the help of Cerebro, Professor X comes face to face with Apocalypse, who till date lacks the power of telekinesis. Upon getting to know of Professor X, Apocalypse teleports to the mansion outside Cerebro and abducts Charles. Following this, Mystique/ Raven, Cyclopse, Gene Gray/ Phoenix, Beast/ Hank MacCoy, Nightcrawler/ Kurt Wagner and QuickSilver set out to get him back. But in order to free Charles/ Professor X, the team will have to defeat Apocalypse and his four horsemen viz. Psylocke, Angel, Magneto and Storm.


Performance wise the film is flawless. With convincing portrayal of each role by all the cast members, the film makes for a brilliant watch. In fact the entire cast of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne along with the new additions to the cast Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Munn, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp and Ben Hardy are absolutely spot on. Here a special mention goes out to Oscar Isaac who despite being saddled with tons of makeup and gear as Apocalypse still manages to put on a chilling performance that invokes fear and dread. As for the film itself, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE delivers at every stage. Though the first half might seem a bit slow, it is absolutely gripping taking the viewers through a visual treat while setting up the premise for the grand finale. No expense has been spared in the making of this film, the CGI and VFX boasts of awe inspiring visuals. Despite being in 3D, the film transitions smoothly between sequences leaving the viewers with a seamless end product.


Another point where the film scores is the direction. Bryan Singer does a magnificent job of enabling his cast to emote while at the same time perform some insane action sequences. This balanced display of acting prowess, combined with actions and well-timed humour that is interlaced makes the film an all encompassing entertainer. Unlike the previous X-MEN films, this one actually outlines each character perfectly, while simultaneously introducing new characters who have enough back-story to make it understandable.


However, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE does have its share of drawbacks. While the film in its entirety is gripping, the second half comes across as being highly predictable. After the story build up in the first half, one feels the culmination could've been more complex and thrilling. Also, Magneto/ Erik Lehnsherr, dominates in the first half of the film, however come the second half, he is sorely underutilized.


On the whole, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE checks all the correct boxes, be it action, drama, funny moments and scenes and well hidden Easter eggs/ references to other characters. The film does get a little predictable in the second half, but with crisp editing and spot on characterization, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE delivers what one expects from it.

X-Men: Apocalypse (English) 3.5 Bollywood Hungama News Network 20160519