It's 1983, and the characters from X-Men: Days of Future Past have been busy. Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) has his School for Gifted Youngsters, teaching mutants and humans alike along with Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult); two of their new teenage students are Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner). Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has become a hero to mutants, and while she resists that title she helps other imutants -- most recently Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has created a family life for himself, until tragedy takes it away. And Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) has been investigating a group that seem to worship an ancient, almost all-powerful mutant,
Unfortunately, there's nothing really different in X-Men: Apocalypse that we haven't seen in other movies: Professor X wants everyone to get along and for the strong to protect the weak, Magneto's suffering makes him believe humans and mutants, and the villains wants to conquer the world. Most of the far too numerous characters have powers instead of personalities (even the usually terrific Jenifer Lawrence feels flat here), and the movie is far too long (especially with a tangential trip to a military base that seems to be solely for a character cameo). This movie may be setting up future films with teenage versions of the X-Men, but on its own X-Men: Apocalypse is mediocre.
Overall grade: C
Reviewed by James Lynch