Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Hugh Jackman and Lucas Till. Written by Simon Kinberg. Directed by Bryan Singer. 244 minutes long. Budget $234 million.
So, here it is, X-Men: Apocalypse, or X-Men 6, if you prefer.
So, what's the plot, David? Well there's this big, blue mutant, no not Beast, Mystique nor Night Crawler, but a new one who's blue called – Apocalypse as played by Oscar Isaar. He's a really old baddie, maybe 10,000 years old who gets buried inside a booby-trapped pyramid in 3000 BCE and then gets woken up accidentally in the 1980s by Prof X's on-off squeeze Moira MacTaggart (Rose Byrne). Actually my old therapist used to say there's no such thing as an accident, so in that case, this whole film is Moira's fault.
3000 years later, Apocalypse (who joins a list of people who get things named after him, like Wellington, Sandwich and Crapper) wakes up in the 80s and decides the Earth needs a make over and so recruits four new horsemen, including Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and sets about destroying the world so he can remake it in his image, leaving it up to Prof X, Mystique, Beast, Cyclops, Quicksilver and lots of others mutants to stop them.
After that, it's a whistle stop tour of our massive cast of characters, each getting a good minute or two of screen time to propel this monster of a film on to the next plot point. never pausing for breath or for any other emotion other than angst, moodiness or action, before the huge big-boss smack down at the end of the film in an city weirdly devoid of any humans. Then there's just time for the world to forgive the X-Men, before we get 10 minutes of credits and the obligatory post credit clip which sets up something really sinister, if you know your Marvel lore.
There's no real story, just pure plot and nothing more, one action beat linking to the next, building to the final showdown, this is a fun-free, thunderously dramatic, action-packed, super-hero smack down which easily eclipses Batman Vs Superman but comes nowhere near being as exciting as Captain America 3: Civil War.
Sticking the old adage of 'more please but bigger' Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg up the ante by unleashing Apocalypse whose actions kill literally 10s of millions of innocent bystanders and civilians who seem to matter not one jot to the X-Men who despite being the heroes make no effort to save anyone. This film also has no time or patience for humour and is as dry as English mustard powder, the only glimpse of lightness comes courtesy, once again, from Quicksilver who, as he did in the last film stars in the highlight sequence of the movie.
Not a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination and it's certainly and utterly action-packed, but this suffers from a strong case of been there, done that, it's entertaining enough, just not very original and the need for upping the ante every time is getting a little wary, Bond film villains don't need this threat of global destruction every time, so why do so many superhero films? Anyway, this should entertain, but like all the best popcorn this will leave you ripped to the tits on sugar but strangely hungry for something more.