Apoc­a­lypse an un­for­tu­nate mu­ta­tion

The Tribune (NZ) - - MOVIES - LIAM MAGUREN

Bryan Singer fol­lows Matthew Vaughn’s ex­cel­lent First Class and his own su­perb Days of Fu­ture Past with the dis­ap­point­ing Apoc­a­lypse.

It’s not a be­wil­der­ing Bat­man vs Su­per­man kind of dis­ap­point­ment. It’s the kind that’s felt when a se­quel side­lines ev­ery great thing the fran­chise has built to­wards, in favour of a dull and dour plot sur­round­ing a bad guy who looks like he should be chas­ing the Power Rangers.

It’s also dis­ap­point­ing be­cause there’s good stuff in Apoc­a­lypse. The open­ing se­quence in an­cient Egypt is well chore­ographed and shock­ingly bru­tal, Quick­sil­ver gets an even bet­ter movie-steal­ing mo­ment, and I couldn’t be hap­pier with the scene that lets a par­tic­u­lar an­i­mal out of its cage.

How­ever, the film loses a lot more. The tent-pole re­la­tion­ship be­tween Xavier and Mag­neto is nearly non-ex­is­tent, tak­ing with it the themes of dis­crim­i­na­tion and seg­re­ga­tion that have pow­ered the best X-Men films. Th­ese sta­ple ideas are touched upon with the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Cy­clops (Tye Sheri­dan, Mud), Jean Grey (So­phie Turner, Game of Thrones) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee, Slow West), but the film seems more in­ter­ested in chuck­ing the trio in the thick of it with hardly any train­ing.

An un­recog­nis­able Os­car Is­sac gets a heap of screen time as Apoc­a­lypse, a one-note mega-mu­tant with a God com­plex and a Hitler in­cen­tive to cleanse the world of ev­ery­one. He also re­cruits his four mu­tant horse­men – Storm, Psy­locke, An­gel, and Mag­neto – but their col­lec­tive mo­ti­va­tion to help this guy purge the world is flaky at best. When the end of days ap­proaches, it feels more ex­haust­ing than hor­ri­fy­ing.

But if you’re just in it to see mu­tants scrap it out, Dragon Ball Z- style, you’ll prob­a­bly leave sat­is­fied. That won’t stop Dead­pool 2 from draw­ing stuff on this film’s fore­head.

Even star power like Michael Fass­ben­der can’t save X-Men: Apoc­a­lypse.

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