X-Men: Apocalypse (12A)

10 years on from the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past the gang returns to defeat an unparalleled evil force.

When the world’s first mutant Apocalypse emerges from a serious beauty sleep the X-Men must once again unite in order to quash his extinction-level plan.

Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) has been kipping for thousands of years so when he wakes up in 1983 he doesn’t know what to make of it. After a quick TV catch up sesh he’s up to speed. The ruthless tyrant knows all about Liverpool’s triumphant win at the 1983 Football League Cup Final, the Atari 5200, oh yeah and how man is now capable of creating weapons more powerful than him.

As you can imagine this majorly pisses him off. In a bid to take back the unrivalled power he once had Apocalypse begins a slapdash recruitment process. Basically you can be one of his minions if you’re slightly peeved at the world and have a whiff of mutant talent.

He rounds up three sub-standard mutants named Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Angel (Ben Hardy) and gives them an upgrade worthy of Apple. But the maniacal menace isn’t going to stop there. He won’t be satisfied until he adds Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to his posse.

Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) isn’t about to let him create a new world order though. Plus he kind of feels bad about ditching Magneto 10 years ago. I mean he is the one person in the world who knows where anyone is at any given time, but failed to locate his bestie. Not cool man.

The Professor teams up with Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and a team of young X-Men to stop Apocalypse and save the world from complete annihilation. Their combined powers may be impressive, but will it be enough to defeat Apocalypse?

McAvoy and Hoult slip seamlessly back into their roles while Lawrence brings a newfound Everdeen-esque energy to her role. Evan Peters continues to produce the majority of the laughs as Quicksilver, and GOT’S Sophie Turner gives Jean Grey a much-needed makeover. No longer shackled to Cyclops we see Jean’s full potential for once.

Newcomers Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) are immediately irritating, which reminded me of how much the old X-Men movies sucked. The real star of the show, as always, is Michael Fassbender. He plays the role of Magneto to perfection. Sadly the same can’t be said of Star Wars’ Oscar Isaac. It’s as though all the prosthetics that are shoved on his face are blocking his talent.

The biggest hurdle that this movie struggles to overcome is that Days Of Future Past was so energetic that it makes Apocalypse look like an afternoon special. I mean how many times are we supposed to listen to Professor Xavier tell us how Magneto is a good bloke deep down? How many times can Mystique protest that she’s not a hero whilst continuing to save people?

Apocalypse isn’t much of an evolution for the X-Men gang. It relies too heavily on the old movies and they weren’t all that and a bag of chips.

By Ruth Walker

★★★☆☆

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