X-Men: Apocalypse (15)
Okay, we can now call it a trend. The internecine scraps between Batman, Superman, Iron Man and Captain America (who really needs a “man” for this sentence to sound better) has reached the mutants-on-Earth fraternity of the X-Men. Can’t we all, like, just be friends?
The civil war in this film centres on Apocalypse, played by the suddenly ubiquitous Oscar Isaac, who awakes from hibernation in 1983 and is enraged by the terrible, terrible state of humanity – insert your own mullet and Madonna gags in here. The ancient mutant, whose name is the suspiciously Arabic-sounding En Sabah Nur, decides he must destroy humanity in order to rebuild Earth and manages to recruit Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Elizabeth Braddock (Olivia Munn), Ororo Munroe (Alexandra Shipp) and Warren Worthington (Ben Hardy) to his violent cause.
Standing in his way is James McAvoy’s Professor Charles Xavier and Jennifer Lawrence’s scaly blue-skinned Raven Darkhölme (you have to love the umlaut here), who lead a new brood of young X-Men to face him down and prove that, yeah, we make mistakes, but humans are people, too. And, naturally, there’s an awful lot of incredible CGI-ness to help keep the story rolling until its mammoth, rubble-strewn finale. Frankly, you should know the drill by now.
What is intriguing about this plotline, though, is the school for mutants that Charles Xavier – doing a neat Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice impression – has now founded, which will help keep the series rolling along, perhaps indefinitely. This is meant to be the last in a three-part trilogy of X-Men: First Class (2011) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), so while one storyline is being closed out, another half-dozen are being created, and will already come into play in the confirmed spin-offs The New Mutants, X-Force and Gambit.
It’s actually all enjoyable stuff and certainly more on the Iron Man side of the critical ledger than the sludge-fest of Batman’s clash with Superman. And the 1980s backdrop certainly adds to the subtle tongue-in-cheekness.
In cinemas from May 19