Surprise --- surprise! The second Marvel Comics action-adventure in a row --- and David has once again remained awake! I am shocked --- and also happy to report that "X-Men: Apocalypse" is actually very fun and highly entertaining!


Director Bryan Singer returns, with a story he created along with screenwriter Simon Kinberg, and two others, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Many in the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" cast are back, including Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicolas Hoult as Beast and Evan Peters as Quicksilver, who is a distinct favorite of mine..


It is the 1980's and CIA agent Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) is in Egypt when En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the world's first mutant, is released from the center of the Earth after millenniums. He sets out to take control of the world, and recruits other mutants, including Magneto, to assist him.


The action in "X-Men: Apocalypse" is non-stop and quite thrilling. The usual long and boring fight scenes don't exist in this swiftly-moving two hours and twenty-three minutes. The opening sequence is particularly fascinating with superb 3D effects.


Sophie Turner, better known as Sansa Stark in "Game of Thrones", stars as Jean Grey, unleashing her immense powers upon Apocalypse. She is amazing, and certainly provides a new and intriguing presence in the group. Her beauty is startling and exotic.


Tye Sheridan and Kodi Smit-McPhee are the other new standouts as Cyclops and Nightcrawler, as well as Olivia Munn as Psylocke. Sheridan was so impressive in "Mud" and Smit-McPhee equally mesmerizing in "Slow West", and as new X-Men they do not disappoint, either. Munn doesn't say much in this film, but she looks pretty darn hot in that get-up she's wearing --- plus she comes across mighty fierce in her battle scenes.


This is not rocket science --- it's Marvel Comics. But it's really good Marvel Comics --- impressive, like I said --- two in a row!


Opinion: See It Now!




An exceptional cast and eye-popping special effects dominate this third version of the "X-Men" series. Yes, it's still too long at 143 minutes --- the favorite mantra of ours when it comes to these superhero films --- but, as Jeanne mentions, I managed to stay awake for the most part.


I especially liked the first phase of "X-Men: Apocalypse" when we are re-introduced to the younger version of Professor X (James McAvoy) and his School for the Gifted. Here we meet newcomers Jean Grey (Sophie Turner, "Game of Thrones"), who can read and control minds, including making herself and anyone else invisible, and Scott/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan ("Mud"), who shoots destructive laser beams from his eyes.


For a while, we get to know the settled-down family man who is Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) --- until tragedy strikes, that is, and he joins forces with Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Apocalypse is an Egyptian mutant who has been dormant for 5000 years, but awakens in 1983. This deadly killing machine doesn't like what he sees in the world, so he assembles other mutants, including Psylocke (Olivia Munn),who, by the way, looks great in her spandex outfit. But you don't want to cross Apocalypse, who, in one scene, lops off three heads simultaneously with one simple movement.


Isaac does a really good job in his role as Apocalypse. He's menacing without going overboard. As the original mutant in the world, he's almost sympathetic, given the limited facial expressions he's allowed under all the makeup. But his eyes seem to reflect what he's really thinking. On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique is almost a non-entity in this film, seemingly going through the motions.


It would require too many words to describe the other plot lines, or talk about other characters in detail. Suffice it to say that if I can find this sort of thing entertaining, true fans of the genre should be handsomely rewarded. I'm a bit puzzled at the PG-13 rating, given the movie's violence, but it obviously just made the cut --- no pun intended --- to allow for a broader audience. 3D or no 3D, X-Men fans will find a lot to like about this film, including what I perceive to be a surprise appearance from a past favorite.


Opinion:  Mild See It Now!