Movie Date: X-Men: Apocalypse (PG13)
STARRING: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac
DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer
THE SKINNY: Who do you call when the world’s first mutant, En Sabah Nur aka Apocalypse (Isaac), emerges from centuries-long hibernation and decides to destroy the world because it has become too corrupted? The X-Men, of course. But first, they need to band together under Mystique’s (Lawrence) leadership after Professor X (McAvoy) is kidnapped by Apocalypse.
MARS by JASON JOHNSON
This instalment is pretty fun, but it doesn't have much of a second act.
It seems to jump right from character introductions to the climactic battle with little substance in between.
Not many ins and outs or ups and downs.
There are just so many characters that I guess it is inevitable that the story would get short shrift.
Honestly, there are more than a dozen of them who have major or at least reasonably major roles. I wouldn't even know who to call the main star of the film. Lawrence acts like she is, but I am not so sure.
All that said, there is still plenty to recommend.
For a start, Apocalypse himself is a hoot.
Isaac, who played Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is one of the finest actors working today and he attacks the role with a campy delight.
I love the idea of the world's first mutant transforming himself into a demigod. It makes sense, and the conceit is well-executed.
The film also looks nice, colourful and kinetic.
For me, the standout action scene would have to be the one where Quicksilver (Evan Peters) moves super fast to rescue the staff and students from an explosion at Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters. He brings a flair to life-saving that is refreshing.
I also enjoyed the newbie heroes such as Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan).
Sadly, they make Hugh Jackman, who has a cameo as Wolverine, look old.
VENUS by JOANNE SOH
I think I am suffering from superhero fatigue.
Unlike the recent Captain America: Civil War, which kept me engaged, X-Men: Apocalypse feels like it is simply going through the motions.
There are several solid moments, but for a film with so many intriguing characters, the wow factor is curiously absent.
There is also not much tension or suspense as to what will happen to our heroes.
So what if they are going up against a formidable enemy? You just know they are going to be all right.
As expected, the actors do a terrific job, with McAvoy, Lawrence and Hoult being the cornerstones.
The same can be said about Fassbender, whose subplot is beautifully told.
They deliver the themes of brotherhood, loyalty, loss and responsibility adequately.
No surprises there since they are all dramatic powerhouses.
Lawrence, in particular, stands out as the de facto leader of the younger mutants, who see her Mystique as their hero.
But again, there are no eye-opening moments. She may be the MVP here, but she is essentially channelling her Katniss Everdeen alter ego from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. Even her black costume is similar.
Still, this is a fitting close to the X-Men trilogy.
Everything is wrapped up nicely and the torch is clearly passed on to the newcomers, who already have their own spin-offs in the works.
THE CONSENSUS: This third go-round may not have the same X-factor as the previous movies, but it is still worth a whirl.