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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 22, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review: Another Over Long Superhero Movie With Many Laylay & Boringga Moments

‘X-MEN: APOCALYPSE’ starts in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago to show an ancient mutant called Apocalypse end up being buried inside a collapsed pyramid and under tons of rock for several thousands of years. From there, the flashy opening credits are shown and we are whisked through some sort of an astonishing time tunnel until it reaches the 1980s, the era of Pres. Ronald Reagan.

In this time travel movie, some of the mutants we’ve met before in other `#XMen movies are still very young, like a young Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and his brother Havoc (Lucas Till). We also meet a very young Jean Grey who can feel what everyone feels. She’s formerly played by Famke Janssen, but now by the beautiful Sophie Turner who’s Sansa Stark from “Game of Thrones”.

We then see Raven/ Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) helping a young Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit McPhee) in East Berlin. A fugitive Erik/ Magneto (Michael Fassbender) lives a quiet life as a blue collar worker in Poland with his wife and daughter. But when he loses his family, he goes on a rampage and joins the forces of evil.

We then see Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, who’s unrecognizable in his makeup/get up) being revived by some diehard fans of his, looking like Ivan Ooze from Power Rangers, as witnessed by Rose Byrne, the CIA agent who was romanced before by Professor X. He proclaims “I have returned” in his eerie voice, then recruits other mutants to be part of his team, the four horsemen, including Psylocke (Olivia Munn, who looks more like a dominatrix), Storm (Alexandra Shipp, replacing Halle Berry), Angel (Ben Hardy, who’s given a new set of metal wings) and Magneto, so they can destroy the world and build a new one.

The wheelchair-bound genius, Prof. Charles Xavier/ Professor X (James McAvoy), in turn, teams up with Mystique and the other good mutants, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) to fight Apocalypse and his gang in their own version of Civil War or Avengers flick.

This leads to the rousing climactic showdown where we see cataclysmic shots of bridges collapsing and tall skyscrapers being pulverized into dust while Charles and Magneto engage in a philosophical discussion about good and evil and the value of annihilating mankind. Trust Director Bryan Singer to combine elements of ruthless destruction and high brow ruminations about existential questions.

Still, let us say that the new X-men movie suffers in comparison to the classier and more entertaining “X-Men First Class” (set in the 60s) and “Days of Future Past” (set in the 70s). Just like “Batman v Superman” and “Captain America: Civil War”, “X-Men Apocalypse” suffers from being unnecessary long at two hours and a half so there are just so many laylay and boringga moments that drag.

But there’s sensory overload from the amazing special CGI effects sequences and there are some very real good mind-bending moments, like Quicksilver’s (Evan Peters) set piece where time stands still and he gets to rescue and save in a jiffy all the mutants just before their entire school is obliterated by Apocalypse. We also like Magneto reliving his past as a boy in Auschwitz concentration camp which they blow up into smithereens later.

No matter how silly some of the proceedings might be, the movie is almost always redeemed by the major cast members, notably by Fassbender and McAvoy (two of the best British actors working in Hollywood today), and the Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence who is so effective as Katniss and as Mystique. They’re good reasons to watch the movie and enjoy it enough for you to wait for the next sequel. And just like in other superhero franchises, don’t leave the theatre right away and wait until after the closing credits are over to see a teaser preview of what’s coming up in the next X-Men flick. That is, if you’re not yet suffering from superhero fatigue.