(PG-13; 136 minutes; Twentieth Century Fox): “X-Men: Apocalypse” is a veritable piñata of mutants, a picturesque eruption of the world as we know it – or at least as comic book fans do – scattering trails of smoke, rubble, dead bodies and genetically enhanced superheroes every which way. With a main cast of 20, including four unnamed mutants who are quickly dispatched during a prologue in ancient Egypt, the latest sequel in the beloved Marvel Comics movie saga about freaks of nature is, even by today’s bloated standards of the genre, a bit overstuffed. It’s as if “Captain America: Civil War” ate “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” swallowing everything except the most indigestible bits of social commentary.
At times, “Apocalypse” can be great fun, even if it doesn’t know when to hand its car keys to a friend and ask to be taken home. The super-destructive film boasts some eye-popping special effects, a cameo appearance by a beloved character and even a bit of self-deprecating humor at the expense of “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which is widely held to be the worst film of the original trilogy.
But it’s also about 20 minutes too long — and 10 characters too large.
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The party gets underway with the resurrection of the titular Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), a superannuated mother-of-all-mutants who has been buried in the ruins of a pyramid since the 37th century B.C. Shaking off his cobwebs and emerging into the light of 1983, — 10 years after the action of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” — the now understandably grouchy supervillain wastes no time replacing his dead acolytes, known as the Four Horsemen: War, Death, Famine and Pestilence. Luckily for him, the world is full of fresh recruits for his long-shelved plan: dismantling the old world order, in favor of a one overseen by mutants.
Contains sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images. Washington Post
‘Swiss Army Man’
(R; 95 minutes; Blackbird Films): “Swiss Army Man,” written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, is a movie about the safe haven of imagination, about loneliness and despair and resilience, about obsession and, um, stalking.
It begins on a desert isle, where a lone castaway, Hank (Dano), has had it. He’s in the process of hanging himself when he spots a body washed up on the beach. It’s a dead body, he realizes, but it has some life in it. The corpse (Radcliffe) can be bent and pushed and propped. And the bilious contents of its digestive track function as a source of motion, force. Hank soon discovers that there’s plenty he can do with this body. A certain suspension of belief is required here, as is the understanding that Hank’s sanity might be in suspension, too.
Contains language and sexual material. Philadelphia Inquirer
Also out Oct. 6
- “The Purge: Election Year”
- “Wild Oats”
- “The Wailing”
- “Kingslglaive: Final Fantasy XV”
- “Complete Unknown”
- “Into the Forest”
- “Amateur Night”
- “American Horror Story: Hotel”
- “Banshee: Season 4”
- “Constantine: Complete Series”
- “Penny Dreadful: Final Season”
- “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens”
- “Vikings: Season 4, Vol. 1”