"X-Men: Apocalypse" traverses many of the resolute themes at the heart of Marvel and 20th Century Fox's cinematic "X-Men" franchise, from the mutants' universal desire for societal acceptance to their ongoing conflict between seeking vengeance against wrongdoers and using their powers for the betterment of the planet. It is a testament to how resonant these ideas are, then, that they haven't yet grown stale—quite a feat considering they were also at the core of 2011's super-cool, '60s-set Cold War mod caper "X-Men: First Class" and 2014's less stylish, still involving part-futuristic/part-1970s time-traveling adventure "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (not to mention the previous interconnected trilogy, 2000's "X-Men," 2003's "X2," and 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand"). "X-Men: Apocalypse" ups the ante to a larger scale, the immediate threat not merely confined to one part of the globe but to Earth as a whole. If director Bryan Singer (2013's "Jack the Giant Slayer") and writer Simon Kinberg (2015's "Fantastic Four") have dared to bite off more than they can chew, they retain surprising cohesion even as they juggle a gargantuan ensemble of no less than 15 central characters. There is also something to be said for any 147-minute movie that feels like it runs an hour, tops.
Ten years have passed since "Days of Future Past," and in that time Professor Charles Xavier's (James McAvoy) School for Gifted Youngsters has prospered as a safe haven for mutant children learning to embrace and responsibly control their powers. While bigotry against mutants has lessened, it still very much exists—a truth which has allowed them to live their lives even as they are aware the other shoe can drop at any time. For telekinetic Auschwitz survivor Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), who has put away his explosive anger to lead a quiet, blue-collar existence with wife Magda (Carolina Bartczak) and 6-year-old daughter Nina (T.J. McGibbon), that time arrives when his true identity is discovered and a cruel tragedy once again strikes close to home. His reignited rage coincides with the resurrection of the first and most powerful of all mutants En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), buried deep in a Nile Valley pyramid since 3600 B.C.E. As this ancient figure begins recruiting four new disciples for his reign of cataclysmic terror, Charles seeks the aid of a special person from his past, CIA senior officer Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne). Together, they and their allies—Charles' shape-shifting stepsister Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), the super-strong Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), the fast-as-lightning Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and students Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee)—set about tracking down Apocalypse and putting a stop to him before the entire world is decimated.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review