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I grudgingly watched X-Men: Apocalypse from a free preview weekend on HBO. I was too lazy and cheap to actually go to the theater and pay money to see this thing when it came out, but watching on my couch for free seemed reasonable (well, I do pay for satellite so it’s not free, per se.).

The X-Men series is really enjoyable. Those early ones with Capt. Pickard as Prof X were a lot of fun. Apparently after three they wanted to reboot the franchise so they went back in time. First Class and Back to the Future of Days Past or something were set in the 60’s and 70’s, respectively, with new actors of course. Anyway, they were fun movies but they made no sense so I just enjoyed watching people get tossed about and break things.

The last in this time travel trilogy of sorts is Apocalypse, set in the 80’s. The job of Prof X is now in the capable hands of James McAvoy.

Apocalypse is the Big Bad

As is the case in hundreds of sci-fi movies he gets buried in ancient times and some dumbass in the future unearths him. Since apparently he is the first mutant he has enormous powers and has the ability to enhance other mutant’s powers as well. So, he runs about looking for mutants to create a super team of destructors to destroy, and then subsequently rebuild, the world with him as the supreme all powerful leader.

The good mutants aren’t impressed so they set about trying to figure out how to beat him. On team good we have Prof X, Jean Grey who is prepping for her fearsome turn as the Dark Phoenix, Beast, some long tailed disappearing dude, a speedster who incidentally participates in the single best shot of the movie and Jennifer Lawrence sleepwalking through her part as a shape shifter.

On team bad is some Angel dude, Olivia Munn in a cool blue curve hugging cos-play outfit, Magneto fresh from a revenge killing spree and soon to be Storm.

Good Versus Bad

Without giving anything away, team good prevails against team bad. In fact, some bad turns good which is always satisfying. The CGI was quite fabulous. I mean really, really good. I could have watched about 15 minutes of the speedster guy running around messing with people.

The acting was a bit stale in parts but James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were game as the Prof and Magneto. I really enjoy when those two bros hug it out and join the same team. We all know how that ends up ultimately but in these early days their relationship is enjoyable.

Evan Peters was fun as the speed dude. He seemed to be enjoying himself. Oscar Isaac was great behind all that makeup as the super bad guy. I think Sophie Turner will carry the Dark Phoenix movie quite well.

The Xmen Ladies Failed to Impress

Unfortunately I was a little bummed at Olivia Munn’s turn as blue cos-play outfit mutant. She was hardly featured and ultimately just skulked away into the debris piles.

Jennifer Lawrence was rather awful. It seemed apparent she was over appearing in another big budget tent pole or maybe she was just sad this was not another shitty David O. Russell movie. I’m not much of a fan of hers as I don’t find her all that interesting on screen unlike 99% of the movie going audience so, you know, bias.

Apocalypse stands alone quite nicely if one has never watched one of these Xmen movies. Watching previous ones is not a prerequisite. I liked the story. The CGI, as mentioned, was fantastic.

So a year removed from the initial release I can recommend it. It’s worth the space on your DVR if you see it spinning up among the listings on cable. Like most of the Marvel super-hero movies I’ve seen I wouldn’t have been pleased spending time in traffic to get to a theater to plunk down $12 bucks and watch it in a crowd in uncomfortable seating. But for free and no travel logistics X-Men: Apocalypse was a good time.