You may not know this but there are two big houses responsible for the non-stop stream of Marvel superhero movies: Disney handles the likes of Captain America and the Avengers, while 20th Century Fox has the rights to the X-Men franchise. Thankfully, there’s not much to pick between them, so I enjoyed X-Men: Apocalypse as much as I enjoyed Civil War, and for much of the same reasons. In this outing, the on-off bromance between Professor X and Magneto takes a decidely dark turn with the awakening of En Sabah Nur, the first mutant. Having lived for a few thousand years, Nur has amassed an irresponsible level of power and knowledge which he intends to use to cleanse the Earth (because, you know – he has to) of the weak. I’ve always praised Disney for keeping their characters vulnerable. Fox has no such compunction, so we see Nur and his horsemen wreaking the kind of global havoc we haven’t seen since Dawn of Justice.
But somehow, they just about manage to get away with it, and I’m not really sure how.
The whole film is loud (especially if you see it under Dolby Atmos), bright and completely over the top. The action sequence are spectacular and there is nothing in the plot that’s going to surprise anyone (the whole thing seems to have been lifted straight from The Mummy). Compared to Disney however, I thought special effects were somewhat lacking. Still, the film does what Marvel movies do best: bring a little humanity to the whole superhero genre. There’s a lot of humour and when the world does look as though it may come to an end, the people trying to stop it appear genuinely afraid that they might just fail. Every actor delivers a workmanlike performance, but no one here really stood out. Oscar Isaac was a great villain, even if he did remind me of Emperor Palpatine. So I think the only thing that really disappointed me was the lack of inventiveness. It was a comfortable, moderately exciting ride, but I would have liked one or two surprises.
A very respectable seven out of ten.