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X-Men: Apocalypse

The mutant muscle is crazy fun in this latest outing


It’s been a year of consequences for peace, justice and international diplomacy. First Batman and Superman boringly battle each other and learn lessons in humility. Then nearly a dozen Avengers thrill us as friendships fray and shatter. Now, in X-Men: Apocalypse, our contentious mutant family faces its most massive menace imaginable: a long-dormant ancient brethren, a sort of anti-Klaatu, who plans to rid Earth of nuclear weapons — and then conquer it.

Director Bryan Singer helms this installment (his fourth), and he gets it just right enough. The story, of course, is totally whack, and because we know everyone’s future, there’s positively no suspense (just a cameo surprise in a very big box). But the mutant muscle is crazy fun, and the intimate origin stories continue to emerge (along with a revised initiation for Nightcrawler). Fans can argue all day about who’s the coolest mutant (as opposed to the most powerful — it’s Jean, duh). My vote goes to the charismatic Quicksilver (Evan Peters), who executes another clever rescue mission.

At the heart of X-Men, past and especially present, is the notion the tapping into rage and pain is no way to solve problems. And while work on this movie began long before the evil mutant and presidential candidate Repello materialized as something more than a TV game-show jester, its fantasy message seems inimitably crucial in these truly dangerous times.

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