Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

X-Tremely Spectacular; but X-Men Apocalypse Is Puzzling

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

X-Tremely Spectacular; but X-Men Apocalypse Is Puzzling

Article excerpt

Byline: GEOFFREY MACNAB

X-MEN Apocalypse is a mind-bending trip of a movie - one likely both to exhilarate spectators and to leave many either with severe feelings of sensory overload or scratching their heads.

Like its predecessors in The X-Men series, it combines extraordinary special effects with cartoonish characterisation and moments of very dark "storm and stress" with scenes that might have been lifted from a kids' TV series.

It is certainly spectacular.

There is no sense at all that audiences are being short-changed or that the franchise is petering out. If anything, the film feels re-energised by the introduction of several new "mutant" faces.

The action begins in the Nile Valley in 3600BC, where the original mutant Apocalypse (an unrecognisable Oscar Isaac) is first trying to wreak havoc. Over the credits, we are then whisked thousands of years through a time tunnel. In 1983, he reawakens.

"I have returned," he growls in his impressively amplified and eerie voice.

With his green cased-armour plating, he looks like a more malevolent version of a teenage mutant turtle. Apocalypse gathers together his four horsemen and prepares to bring the world to ruin.

The film is set in the 1980s: the era of Reagan and Brezhnev.

The period isn't recreated with any great conviction, although we do hear the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams on the soundtrack at one stage.

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark from Game Of Thrones) is very impressive as a younger version of the telepathic Jean Grey whose blessing (or curse) is to know "what everyone feels".

Tye Sheridan also registers strongly as a young Cyclops: first seen as a high-school student with a hint of James Dean about him, who is trying to come to terms with the fact that he has a gaze fiery enough to burn trees in half.

Kodi Smit-McPhee is the young, long-tailed Nightcrawler with a neat knack of disappearing at moments of danger.

Newcomers in villainess roles include Olivia Munn - looking a little like a dominatrix version of Wonder Woman as Apocalypse's sidekick Psylocke - and Alexandra Shipp as fiery, mohawk-haired Egyptian street-punk Storm. …

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