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'X-Men: Apocalypse' storylines would have benefited from major pruning

'Apocalypse' features the return of franchise stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender. The group must battle villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), an Egyptian god.

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'X-Men: Apocalypse' stars Jennifer Lawrence (l.) and Evan Peters (r.).

Alan Markfield/Twentieth Century Fox/AP

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Mutants galore infest “X-Men: Apocalypse,” but the pile-on quickly becomes wearying. Bryan Singer’s latest installment in the Twentieth Century Fox franchise is chockablock with the old standbys – even Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine makes an uncredited appearance – but the storyline, such as it is, would have benefited from major pruning. 

It seems that Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), an Egyptian god newly awakened after 5300 years in slumberland, wants to wipe away the world and all its awfulness and start afresh. This god definitely has a God complex.

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With supermutant powers beyond the paltry abilities of his X-Men combatants, he proceeds to wreak havoc. He does, however, teleport all the world’s nuclear missiles into outer space, out of harm’s way, so you have to give him that.

He’s aided by some handpicked mutant recruits, not that he needs help. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is his biggest catch. In a particularly distasteful scene, Apocalpyse brings Magneto to Auschwitz to seethe over the hellhole that wiped out his parents. Using Auschwitz as pulp fodder is remarkably clueless.

Some of the franchise stalwarts, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, are given too little to do. Most are given too much. Grade: C+ (Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images.)