X-Men: Apocalypse

First Hit:  Much better than the other Marvel (Comic) film “Captain America…” but it felt worn and reaching.

The beginning is a set up based on some past historical idea about a demonic force called En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) wanting to finish his evolvement which will give him total world domination. But to complete this task he has to usurp the powers owned and inherent in Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), the leader of the X-Men (and women). By obtaining this power he can rule the world.

The film fails to make this important task engaging enough thereby making the film uninteresting, let alone believable by any stretch of the imagination. The other story is that Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has distanced himself from the other X-Men(women) and Professor Xavier.

In this distancing, Magneto has joined with Apocalypse and will execute his commands to rearrange the planet by removing the metal structures of the earth thereby making earth’s inhabitants helpless. The interplay between the X-Men is good and does make this film interesting in ways that has some depth.

The most fun part of the film has to do with Quicksilver/Peter Maximoff (Evan Peters) because his scenes are lighthearted, well-conceived, and simply fun to watch. He brings a humorous element to the whole film and when he’s on the screen, I was engaged.

What seemed pressed were scenes with Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) as it seemed she really didn’t want to be in this role and is done with the X-Men series of films. I’d be surprised to see her in another, unless she needs the money.

Isaac created a good enough demonic Apocalypse character, and the makeup helped a lot. Fassbender was OK as the aloof, isolated Magneto. McAvoy was strong as Professor Xavier. Peters was fantastic and the best part of the film. His tongue-in-cheek and cavalier representation of the character was appropriately in-line with my view of what Marvel Comics were originally about. The rest of it has become too serious and seems only there to extract more money out of the public. Lawrence seemed done with the whole thing and her performance and character lacked inspiration. Simon Kinberg wrote the sometimes witty and sometimes labored screen play. Bryan Singer brought some interesting visual scenes to the screen but the attempt to make this story real falls on deaf eyes (yes I mean deaf eyes).

Overall:  Although fun enough, this franchise has to make more and more unrealistic set-ups to attempt to make the stories continue to work into the future.