‘X-Men’ and ‘Alice’ offer technology, imagination

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This week’s double feature includes blockbusters sacrificing narrative for wonderfully imaginative and technically advanced effects. Fans won’t mind the lack of intelligent dialog and others would do well to just sit back and enjoy the audio-visual extravaganza.

X-Men: Apocalypse

In the ninth film of the series (counting spin-offs), each director is seemingly challenged to provide more mass destruction than his predecessor. Bryan Singer returns for his fourth attempt and succeeds quite nicely in the mayhem and carnage departments. Fans will be pleased with this stage of the epic storyline.

taylor-swift-to-cameo-in-x-men-apocalypse-less-than-a-year-to-go-497184If you remember, “First Class” (2011) was about Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) empowerment and “Days of Future Past” (2014) featured Charles Xavier’s (James McAvoy) rise. “Apocalypse” is a culmination of both leaders’ first great challenge (taking place in 1983) against the original mutant from the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

The Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is the darkest villain in the series to date. Immortal and invincible, he concludes his immense powers prove he’s a god. He frowns on a world that lacks order and worships false idols. His solution is to wipe out civilization and start over. Apocalypse is even more powerful than Magneto and Professor Xavier, yikes!

The epic battles are similarly spectacular as prior films, but even more so. So, the “destructo-meter” is turned up to 100. The effects department provides such ample devastation in meticulous detail that, at times, the story is an excuse to display their art. Sure, some will get bored with the repetitive nature of the pyrotechnics, but we assume the theory is that most people rarely tire of Fourth of July fireworks either; same thing.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is 144 minutes and rated PG-13 for violence, destruction, language and images. Being a mutant is a gift and a curse; same could be said about the success of this franchise. Some had enough after the first film and others can’t get enough even if they make two more (already planned!). Depending on the situation, each mutant power conquers another. In some ways, this is just a big game of rock, paper, scissors.

(See next article for Alice Through the Looking Glass – Movie Review)

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Ron & Leigh Martel