Director: Bryan Singer (2016)
Yawn your way to the end of the world in this inert episode of the increasingly under powered superhero franchise.
Bloated and boring, an exasperting multitude of characters are poorly served by laboured direction, haphazard editing and dialogue empty of any lyricism, humour or subtlety.
Lines of exposition are expanded to scene length and decorated with close ups of actors indifferent to the weightless CGI events occurring behind them. Presented with a lacklustre script, the top drawer cast offer up correspondent performances.
James McAvoy returns as Professor X, the wheelchair bound and telepathic leader of supergroup the X-Men who believes in peaceful co-existence with non-mutants. As his one time friend Magneto, Michael Fassbender wants the world to feel his pain.
Minor characters pose in heroic silence as the pair once again rehash their world views. In a film adverse to brevity, their relationship is underlined by the inclusion of footage of earlier films.
Oscar Isaac is barely recognisable and mostly immobile as the eponymous Apocalypse, a mutant from ancient Egypt who is resurrected by devout yet curiously security lax followers.
With the ability to turn people to earth and metal, Apocalypse wants to build a better world from the ashes of the present one and starts recruiting mutants to serve him in his nefarious plan.
Jennifer Lawrence looks bored as the shapeshifting Mystique who seems to have mutated into a thin copy of her character Katnis Everdeen from The Hunger Games series (2012-15).
Now a reluctant global poster girl for mutants in hiding, Mystique needs convincing to take arms against Apocalypse.
Hugh Jackman cameos as Wolverine while Rose Byrne is beginning to rival Fassbender for being the best actor making the weakest career choices.
Evan Peters and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Quicksilver and Nightcrawler are the best of the B team. Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp and Sophie Turner are eager but forgettable.
The setting of 1983 allows for pop culture references to be scattered around but there’s a lack of the wit to exploit their comic potential.
Though the Cold War and the nuclear arms race are a major subplot, a nuclear launch occurs and is promptly forgotten about while our focus hurries away elsewhere.
Director Singer kickstarted with his career with the masterful The Usual Suspects (1995) and launched this series with the energetic X-Men (2000) but this is closer in muddled mediocrity to his Jack The Giant Slayer (2013).
The end of the world can’t come soon enough for this flatlining franchise.