X-Men: Apocalypse.Rated PG-13: for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images.
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Hault.
Let me start this off by saying I am a hardcore X-Men fan. I religiously watched the cartoons as a kid, read the comics, owned the toys and currently I own all the movies (yes, even The Last Stand.) Other than Batman, no heroes got me more excited as a kid. I also want to say this: I thoroughly enjoyed the new X-Men from start to finish, but I also can see why people who are not X-Men fans won't feel the same way.
Lets start with what I liked about this movie: The performances. I remember watching a scene in X-Men First Class where a young Professor X first entered the painful mind of a young Magneto, and the way James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender played that moment with raw emotion elevated the X-Men franchise performances to new heights. This is a standard met well in this film. They never seem to run out of interesting things to do with Magneto. The filmmakers are fully aware just how talented Fassbender is, and they don't waste it even in the slightest. While McAvoy matures the Professor in wisdom and compassion; and the two are as on fire in these roles as they've ever been.
Fassbender and McAvoy aren't the only ones worth mentioning. Jennifer Lawrence and Nicolas Hault are reliable as always and the newcomers are perfectly cast. Sophie Turner as Jean Grey (a welcome surprise!), Tye Sheridon as Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler (my favorite X-Men of all time, and homeboy didn't disappoint) and Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse all more than deliver here.
2. It captures the same tone as the other X-men movies. The dichotomy of Magneto and Professor X's philosophies, the friendship of the team and the themes of acceptance and rejection are as effective as ever here.
3. The villain intimidated the heck out of me! I've heard a lot of people flicking crap towards Oscar Isaac and the Apocalypse character; critiques I don't really understand. Oscar Isaac commands the screen; and every seen he's in my beats a little faster.
One of the things that didn't really work for the movie is that if you're not an X-Men fan, the movie doesn't really have much to offer you. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I'm a die hard X-Men fan. Days Future Past and X 2, the two best in the franchise worked so well because they were objectively some of the better movies in the year they came out; and they brought something new to the conversation. A non X-Men fan could watch those movies and enjoy themselves; and I really don't see that happening here.
Another thing is that it just isn't as aesthetically pleasing as a movie with this budget should be. Some of the costumes are corny and the visual effects are often sub par.
You guys, all in all I really enjoyed this movie. It's not as good as X-Men Days of Future past, but it didn't need to be and that is a ridiculously high expectation. If you're an X-Men fan, go watch it, if you're not, and superhero movies aren't really your thing, I don't see this offering much to you.
X-Men: Apocalypse: B+
parental guide: As typical of the X-Men films, there is your standard amount of superhero violence, as well as some provocatively dressed women. The villain will almost definitely scare younger kids. I wouldn't reccomend this for anyone 10 and under.