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Now You See Me 2, An excellent sequel

Now You See Me 2, An excellent sequel

I was honestly not expecting anything impressive from this sequel, which is a bit strange considering that the central topic is magic (or rather, illusions). I wasn’t sure Lizzy Caplan would hold her own as Isla Fisher’s successor either, or that there would be anything interesting about the plot at all. But while Now You See Me 2 isn’t the cleanest movie, it did satisfy and exceeded a decent amount of my expectations. Watch Now You See Me 2 Movie Online

Its strongest trait is that it not only does well what the first movie did poorly, but it also set right a few wrongs from its predecessor, both within the plot and outside it. In the first film, most of the characters felt like caricatures (with the exception of Mélanie Laurent); this was perhaps the point of the opening act but in my opinion it became a little too contrived. In NYSM 2, the characters have come to life as organic, believable individuals, although they still effortlessly retain their eccentric charisma. And I needn’t have worried about Lizzy Caplan playing the newest member of the Horsemen; the character of Lula is delightful, hilarious, and more than a little off-centre in a way that strangely feels more right to the group dynamic than Isla Fisher’s straight-edge performance. This time around, the story becomes much more personal and I believe it does what any sequel should do: raises not just its own expectations but also strengthens its preceding film and the franchise as a whole.

But of course, NYSM 2 is not without its weaknesses. Much like the first film, the pacing is a little unwieldy at times, and once again the movie doesn’t give nearly as much detail about the Eye as its frequent name-dropping may warrant. The character of Agent Natalie Austin has very little presence despite what the script clearly intended for her role to be, and she absolutely pales in comparison to the first film’s Interpol agent, Alma Dray. And the final plot reveal at the end (between Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo), while not as excessively complicated and nonsensical as the first film’s, still prompts a little head-scratching and doesn’t quite connect all the dots between the two movies in a way that appears consistent. (Now You See Me 2 Watch Movie Stream)

Overall, NYSM 2 has learned from some of its predecessor’s mistakes, but it still has the same overarching problem of pairing its strong ideas with its considerably weaker execution. Still, it is an enjoyable flick if you are able to suspend your disbelief, not take it too seriously, and decide to enjoy the show. Final rating: 7.1/10.

Movie review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

Watch Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie: Crumbling into a fantasy globe, younger Alice discovers herself a little peckish. “Eat me,” says the lovely wrapper, and she balloons like Purple in Charlie and the Candy Manufacturer. A mushroom changes her into a giraffe-ish fear. And of course, the popular Tea Celebration is an limitless celebration of special treats, permanently just unattainable.

Meals is again essential to Alice Through the Looking Glass, a type of follow up to Tim Burton’s 2010 hit, which hoovered up the most unforgettable of Lewis Carroll’s unique figures and his more effective meaning. Looking Cup, therefore, is mostly a conference-room mixture.

We meet Alice (Mia Wasikowska) a while after her first nice. In a getting captain’s cover, she commandeers a deliver given pursuit by cannon-firing cutthroat buccaneers. Returning on land, her newly found freedom is tempered by generally domineering male experts, and a quick jump through a wonderful reflection returning to Wonderland is organized.

There, she discovers the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) unpleasant, alone and grieving his close relatives for factors never completely described. The only way to resolve this psychological health problems, Alice is informed by the organized range of expositors (the Cheshire Cat, the March Hare, et al), is to touch a “Chronosphere” from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen doing ultra-camp again) and change the past. (Watch Alice Through the Looking Glass Streaming)

The Conjuring 2: One of the scariest movies in the recent times

The Conjuring 2: One of the scariest movies in the recent times
Among cinephiles is a unique distain for sequels, which is too bad considering how outright satisfying a good one can be. I happen to love the promise of sequels; looking forward to revisiting characters and cinematic worlds I’ve previously fallen in love with can be an incredible joy.

The Conjuring 2 delivers in spades. Not only in creating a kitchen-sink horror piece where literally everything is thrown at the audience, and I mean literally thrown. The Conjuring 2 delivers due to director James Wan’s understanding of why the previous installment was so well received and his ability to double down on the elements that work, creating a kind-of formula for modern horror.

The Conjuring 2 begins similarly to the first one, with our heroes, Ed and Lorraine Warren tackling an unrelated, but infamous haunting. I won’t reveal that here as watching it for yourself is part of the fun. Meanwhile in London, sinister goings-on are afoot. A single mother, Penny Hodgson (Frances O’Connor), and her children are being tormented by the vengeful spirit of Bill Wilkins (Bob Adrian), who punishes the family through extreme physical and emotional duress. He singles out Janet (Madison Wolfe), not quite possessing her, but infesting her body and utilizing her as a conduit for his relentless ferocity. (The Conjuring 2 Movie Online)

It isn’t long before Ed and Lorraine are on the case as a kind of empathetic ghost-buster team. Those who have studied the actual case of The Enfield Poltergeist, by which this film is loosely derived, may be familiar with some of these happenings. Thankfully I was not, and was able to take the plot at face value as it unfolds.

Horror’s closest genre cousin is comedy. Both rely on their efficacy to either frighten us or make us laugh. A failure of either results in complete failure of the piece. However, to create either successfully requires absolute mastery of craft, which can come in many forms.

You will read a lot of similar praise in other reviews for this film, as James Wan is deserving of recognition for absolute, confident control over his craft and his audience. I’ve said many times, when I sit down in front of a film, I open myself to allow the movie to work on me. I’m frequently asked if I predicted certain plot points or resolutions. Typically, I try not to as I prefer to get lost in the experience. The Conjuring 2 works much like a haunted house attraction. We know we’re in a staged production of a fictionalized horror scenario.

There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, but that matters little. We tune in for the surprises within the conventions. Wan isn’t playing with any new chess pieces; he’s just that good at the game.

The film works best when we give in to the fiction and allow the haunted house to work on us. Predicting what happens next may be possible by viewers, yet I dare you to not to miss that one trap hiding just around that one corner you didn’t check – BAM! Don’t worry, it got me too and that’s the fun! Wan’s mastery involves his understanding that we’ve all seen a hundred horror films and all know the conventions. He knows the difference between convention and cliché. There are no false scares, cheap tricks, or smoke and mirrors to be found here. Just pay attention to the brilliant use of tracking shots, which offer a sense of space and size.

That doesn’t just go for the scares. This story and these characters feel real. Enough time is spent on allowing us to deeply empathize and invest in what comes next. Much of the terror in this film relies on the dread we feel should a character we have come to love befall a terrible fate. Wan’s balance of benevolence and malevolence resonates through a beautiful dichotomy of perfectly contrasted tones. He offers us genuine heart to offset and give texture to the genuinely horrific. These are truly evil spirits at work and they seek to exterminate hope, faith, and love.

Many horror films have transcended the genre and have resonated with audiences through the years and become classics; films such as Rosemary’s Baby, Carrie, Silence of the Lambs, and The Exorcist. The Conjuring 2 maybe doesn’t quite make the cut on its own. However, paired with its predecessor, and with the promise of more conjuring on the horizon as a franchise, it could be just as transcendent. In a period of cinematic universes, The Conjuring 2 presents a universe I would gladly visit again, even if, as Lorraine assertively states, “This is as close to hell I ever want to get.” (The Conjuring 2 Streaming)

Warcraft: Action packed and the graphics were fantastic!

Best cgi I have seen in recent years, and finally a 3d movie that’s not over the top. Effects completely stunning and not obnoxious as in other 3d films.

About 10 years of story passes during the movie and I felt if you didn’t pay close attention it could have seemed like a week, they didn’t explain the amount of time passing. (Warcraft Full Movie)

As someone that doesn’t play the game I thought it was very easy to follow along, plot was very straight forward and gronas story was great, I wasn’t expecting such in depth with an orc character. And my Warcraft buddies got real excited when they identified a certain weapon or location from within game. But it was never important to the story, not playing the game I never felt lost in the movie.

The world would be a happy place if only we had core game to movie adaptations like this.

Also both my retired wow buddies are resubscribing to the game and my wife and I are giving it a shot, got game DLd at home ready to go. Great work. Its bringing players back, and in like myself. Watch Warcraft Full Movie Online

Review: Fun, Action and comedy movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review

I admit the 2014 reboot was nothing to get excited over considering it was being produced by Michael Bay whom had already had control bringing the ‘Transformers’ Hasbro property to the big screen after 4 movies he tackles the next 1980’s craze with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the reboot was pretty much April O’ Neil’s story, with a disappointing version of Shredder, an unfunny Will Arnett, and a plot that’s ripped from other movies. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Movie Online)

The re-design of the Turtles didn’t help much either as it seriously derived from the previous incarnations
the 2014 movie had only a few decent action scenes of the Turtles but it did move by very quickly not to mention making a lot of nods to what the Turtles franchise was known for now with ‘Out of The Shadows’ the filmmakers have gone back to the original source material by bringing in favorites such as Baxter Stockman, Beebop and Rocksteady, Casey Jones, the Technodrome, and Krang finally it’s way more entertaining this time around as it tries to cater to the hardcore fans even if some of those Michael Bay staples never cease to show themselves like the toilet/sex jokes, big explosions etc.

I will say though the improvements here include Megan Fox not being solely focused on, there’s plenty of Beebop and Rocksteady to go around, Shredder is actually handled much better here than being in the shadows and just plain boring, Casey Jones is integral to the plot, Tyler Perry is just hamming it up as Baxter Stockman but in a laughably good way, and Krang may be only in 2 scenes but he looks very grotesque and ‘slimy’ as he was in the show.
I like the action here better, the fact that the Turtles have a chance to be normal and not be feared and persecuted by the public eye, and the plot is easier to follow. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Full Movie

Leonardo is also having to deal with being a great leader but the rest of his brothers aren’t in sync with him as far as decisions.

Laura Linney is an odd replacement for Whoopi Goldberg as far as cameos are concerned but thankfully it isn’t wasted
this isn’t a perfect incarnation of the comics, the TV show or on par with the original 1990 movie, still the fans as well as little kids will go crazy with Turtle mania given that was lacking last time around is more present here
hopefully Bay and crew can make the next one more to everyone’s actual liking of the Turtles. Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows movie online

Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass – Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska

Back in 2010 Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland made over a billion dollars at the box office. And while over time it has enjoyed a nice spot in pop culture obscurity, that didn’t stop Disney from going forward with the sequel which is quite possibly even more whacky than its predecessor!

I was a fan of the original Tim Burton film as were plenty of other people but Disney’s decision to go forward with the sequel has undoubtedly stirred up some controversy. I for one was excited for the film and it ended up being pretty much what I expected, a sequel made exclusively for fans of the original. Although I did enjoy the first film slightly more. (Alice Through the Looking Glass Streaming)

The film picks up six years after Alice Kingsleigh (brilliant as always Mia Wasikowska) set sail for the trade routes at the end of the first film. Alice has returned from England where Hamish, the pompous rich kid she was set to marry in the first film has taken over his father’s business and is looking to buy out Alice’s father’s fortune and employing her as basically a tea maiden. Disgusted, Alice runs away and encounters the caterpillar turned blue moth, Absolom (voiced once again by the late Alan Rickman in his final role), and is whisked away back to Wonderland where she learns that the hatter (once again played with giddy weirdness by Johnny Depp) has essentially lost his personality following a realization about his own family. To save the hatter from losing his “muchness” she must travel through time to save his family. All while avoiding the wicked advances of Helena Bonham Carter’s malicious Red Queen and the warnings of Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) that if she rescues the hatter’s family, the very fabric of time could be destroyed as Wonderland knows it.

The story may be a bit simplistic for readers of Lewis Carroll’s works, I myself found the writing to be rather sketchy in parts, but one has to consider that the Wonderland books don’t exactly lend themselves to making faithful film adaptations. Alice Through the Looking Glass is its own story all together.

As far as tonality is concerned, this is a vastly different film than the 2010 movie. The first movie wasn’t completely dark but it definitely had Burton’s trademark macabre touch to it. Through the Looking Glass, being directed by James Bobin rather than Burton, has a much lighter tone to it. Arguably more faithful to the mood of the Lewis Carroll books.

Saying the actors give it there all is kind of an understatement. If Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter weren’t over the top enough for you in the first movie then you are in for a treat because Through the Looking Glass is a celebration of exactly how weird and over the top their performances can go. This is particularly the case with Depp and Bonham Carter who both are known for going great lengths to out weird each other. The three characters are given fleshed out back stories that really help with their development this time around. I found Depp’s Mad Hatter’s story about his father to be particularly well-rounded and also very touching. Besides Mia Wasikowska’s Alice, the only other predominately non-animated character is Time (played with eccentric indescribability by Sacha Baron Cohen), who is the ruler of all things time related. Time ends up becoming a very interesting character because he isn’t so much a villain as he is a neutral force who must keep the balance of time in check at all costs, even if it means preventing Alice from rescuing the hatter’s family. Alice Through the Looking Glass Full Movie Online

There’s a lot going on in Alice Through the Looking Glass and it all adds up to one big zany fruit cocktail of a movie. It’s definitely not for everyone but those who enjoy the talent involved, and the first movie, will have a swell time with it. And families will appreciate its messages about putting family first. The visual effects are great, the CGI characters are colorful if not slightly underused (I.e. Cheshire Cat), Colleen Atwood’s costumes are some of the best I’ve seen of hers, and the performances are weirdly brilliant.

Also keep an ear out for all the time related puns throughout the movie as well. Just for fun.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Great feminist storyline, refreshing to see a comedy

It is usually rare for comedy films to deliver the laughs and be quite as entertaining than there predecessors. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Rose Byrne were all entertaining. The movie was a lot of fun; usually a lot of crude raunchy humor throughout, every joke was better than the previous scene. It is what happens when you have Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg and a few others writing the script. Sure, there were probably many improvisations with the cast filling in with what they have to say. (Watch Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Full Movie Online)

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Great feminist storyline, refreshing to see a comedy

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are finally planning on moving to another house and trying to sell there current house. Only thing they did not know, when their realtor mentioned about a 30 day escrow with the buyers wanting to do inspection for a month. Mac and Kelly are also facing a new problem, as a sorority has moved into the house next door. Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), has moved in next door, with her hard partying friends. Mac and Kelly are trying to shut their parties and are going to need the help from Teddy (Zac Efron).

The first film was decent with its fair share of laughs. The sequel, has outdone itself, which provides more laughs. Plus seeing Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne playing parents that are trying to be responsible but slipping as there toddler daughter treating her mothers sex toy as a doll or expecting there daughter to not learn from there language. Then, there is Zac Efronâ(TM)s character, who is having trouble with his job, as they now prefer there models to wear shirts, and his best friend Pete (Dave Franco) is getting married to another guy and they break the news to Teddy that he needs to move out. Teddy still has trouble adjusting to responsibility and tries to move in back at the sorority house, only to be kicked out again. Teddy, switching sides, to helping Mac and Kelly in shutting down the sorority house is a fun idea. (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Streaming Online)

Especially, seeing Mac and Teddy, trying to bond from stupidity trying to cook to planning there attack to the girls to seeing them trying to escape a garage that they got locked in. There is so much more, to laugh about, if you love stupid humor or raunchy jokes. Plus seeing them trying to crash Shelby selling pot at a college event was also historical. With everything fun about Neighbors 2, like the first film and this, it does suffer from lacking a strong plot. When it is focused on one hilarious scene after another, as the sorority girls and Mac and Kelly are continuously trying to ruin each others day. Neighbors 2 does prove that sequels can be worthy sometimes, and be better than the last with being funny and having a fun group of cast that also bring the energy to their characters.

Reviews: The Angry Birds Movie , Cute graphics and music

Rovio Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment built a great final product, within the limits of cinematographic quality adaptations about video games.
Reviews:  The Angry Birds Movie , Cute graphics and music
Despite of that the fame of the digital game already isn’t in vehemence, it did in 2009, when Finnish Rovio games company decided to sell a video game based on angry birds and green pigs. So huge was its success that seven years later, a film adaptation has been established in the theatres around the world, while retaining the same color palette of the game, its main characters and even a song from the original. However, its characters aren’t the only ones angry, spectators are really angry to see the silly and unbalanced screenplay of the story. In certain way, the extravagant colors, cheap jokes, and even references manage to hide that lack, even so, lack is evident. Nevertheless, “Angry Birds Movie” is the greater favorite video game adaptation in the summer season, with the support of adolescents, adults and most children. At least at the box office amass more fortune than its competitors due to the level of recognition, although “Warcraft” and “Assassin’s Creed” may give the fight. (The Angry Birds Movie Download)

Fortunately, Sony film is not worthy of the ratings and opinions negative by the audience, well, at least not of all. The expectations for this film were too low, due to the complicated and arduous work to create a story with so few elements, adding to this, the little experience evidenced in previous adaptations of electronic games. Sony gets to engage in a true animated movie, failing in its terrible script, creating lack of chemistry and consistency, not very present in neighbouring companies (Diney – Pixar and even Dreamworks). Bird design is beautiful, majestic and excellently projected, its colors, textures, personalities and sizes make this adventure, a real game of “Angry Birds”.

We meddle in its main scarcity, “The Lego Movie” is a clear reference of a flawless screenplay. Perhaps, screenplay by Jon Vitti (Alvin and the Chipmunks) is simple and limited by the almost nil tools on which they are based, hampering the creation of characters more deep. They thought that by being a film directed mainly to the public children, the plot should be simple and clear, without much depth or complexity in order to solve the basic questions of the game. Watch The Angry Birds Movie Streaming Online

Why are angry the “Angry Birds”?

In an anthropomorphic world, all kinds of birds coexist in a peaceful, fun, colorful and friendly place (an island), all but Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) a embittered and resentful bird with life since child due to his physical appearance, his temperament was not the best and he is forced to attend classes to control his anger with the beautiful and delicate Matilda (voiced by Maya Rudolph). There, he finds to his three companions of adventures, Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad) an animated yellow canary with speed powers (with a clear scene referenced to ‘Quicksilver’ (“X-MEN”)), Bomb (voiced by Danny McBride) a black, bomb-shaped bird, which cannot control his temper and simply explodes and finally and less present Terrence (voiced by Senn Pean) a biggish red bird with noble feelings. The group of misfits will have to save their city from the dangerous and malicious green pigs, an unprecedented adventure began.

“Angry Birds” pleases to infants with a predictable, colorful and entertaining story, but also meets with ironic humor to the public adult with perfect and clear references to “The Shining”, “X-MEN” and classic Tex Avery gags. If the screenplay had not been so redundant in the themes and repetitive objectives in animated films (the family, the hero, save your city, happy ending), would be the perfect blend with high quality graphic effects. We consider, this film like a game of “Angry Birds”, where all pigs have been defeated, but the final score doesn’t reaches three stars of score. Watch The Angry Birds Movie

Reviews: The Nice Guys (2016), Directed By Shane Black

Writer/director Shane Black – known for penning the 1980s blockbuster “Lethal Weapon” and the 1990s flop “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (a favorite of mine), among other scripts, before jumping into the director’s chair, in 2005, with “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (another flop, and another favorite) – clearly has a thing for buddy movies. Whether pairing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson, or Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, Black has long exhibited a real knack for witty banter that has served him well (artistically, anyway, if not always financially), time and again. Now, with his third theatrical feature as director (his second was “Iron Man 3”), Black returns, yet again, to the format he loves, this time matching Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in a pulpy private-eye tale set in 1978 Hollywood. It’s loads of fun, even if a complete mess. (The Nice Guys Full Movie Online)

Reviews: The Nice Guys (2016),  Directed By Shane Black

Crowe (“Les Misérables”) plays Jackson Healy, a detective-cum-enforcer (unlicensed) who meets Holland March – Gosling (“The Big Short”) – a real (as in, licensed) private detective when he tracks him down for a client and breaks his arm. That’s this movie’s version of meeting cute … and it actually works. This is Los Angeles at its seediest, back in a period when much of the city, including the Hollywood sign, was in decay, and the larger metropolitan area suffered from a serious smog problem. The film opens on that sign, in fact, setting the tone and look of all that is to come. The (mis)adventures of Healy and March will take them through the lives of porn stars and corrupt government officials, stand-ins for a society on the brink of collapse. They may crack wise while cracking skulls, but the subtext underlining their actions is that of a serious misalignment of national priorities. No wonder that the subtitle of the 1982 documentary “Koyaanisqatsi” was “Life out of Balance.”

And crack wise they do, which is where the film is at its strongest. Crowe and Gosling have a wonderful rapport, proving that the ease with which Black generated bromance sparks between Downey and Kilmer was no fluke. Unfortunately, as the movie progresses, the underlying story becomes increasingly ridiculous, making the dramatic stakes almost meaningless. This would be less painful if the set-up and actors were less strong. As it is. I could not shake the plaintive cry of “Come back, Shane” on auto-loop in my head, starting somewhere in the second act. Such a shame. Still, there is much to love, including the performances and production design. (The Nice Guys Download Full Movie)

The plot revolves around a central mystery of a missing young woman, whose starring role in a porn film may or may not be related to the auto industry’s plot to derail government mandates to install catalytic converters in all new cars. Cool and crazy idea, right? Emphasis on the crazy, for better and for worse. Healy and March, (gentle) brute and (alcoholic) dandy, pursue bad guys while tackling their own internal demons, March’s tween daughter in tow (which makes for some uncomfortable moments of a young girl placed in sexual and violent situations, however much they are played for comedy). Along for the ride are Keith David (“Cloud Atlas”), Yaya DaCosta (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”), Matt Bomer (“Magic Mike XXL”), and even Jack Kilmer (“Palo Alto”), son of Val – all very good – and Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential”), who is not (sorry, Kim, but you nearly ruin the film). Then again, poor Ms. Basinger is given some extremely expositional dialogue to spout at the end, so the problem may not be all hers. In any case, failures of plotting aside, if the film is ultimately a muddle, at least it’s an entertaining one. I’d watch this any day over another “Iron Man.” (Watch The Nice Guys Streaming)

X-Men: Apocalypse – Thrilling, Dramatic and Action-Packed with Interesting Plot

X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypes is the culmination of the Bryan Singer franchise of X-Men movies brought full circle. With no contract to do another film as a director, this one is fitting to be the end of his relationship with the series should he choose. Coming off the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Singer has built upon his clever and subtle reboot of what should be rightfully be his franchise. From the shock value of the opening scenes to the goosebumps of nostalgia erupted from the final frames, we are taken on a joyride filled with stunning visuals, powerful performances, and memorable characters. Fans of the cartoon and comics along with the casual audience are given a well-packaged gift from 20th Century Fox. (X-Men: Apocalypse Streaming)

Singer’s greatest success lies in his ability to balance all the elements that make the franchise great. While the plot is simple enough, it is the density that surrounds the simplicity that makes this installment so memorable. The maturation of the First Class cast blends smoothly with the origins of the fan favorite X-Men we are well accustomed to seeing. Characters are handled with delicate care in their motivations, archs, and actions. Storytelling and special effects are symbiotic with one another. The visuals serve more than entertainment value as they amplify the story’s high stakes rather than distract from them. In turn, the scope of the conflict blazes in a grand scale, siphoning empathy from the audience for the level of desperation the protagonists are faced with.

The cast represents one of the finer ensembles of this generation. From McAvoy’s and Fassbender’s Professor X and Magneto to Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey and Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, few characters felt insignificant or forced. X-Men is one of the few franchises in which the collective personalities excel better together rather than isolated to glorify specific individuals. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Nicolas Hoult as Hank McCoy are memorable in their roles, yet do not steal the show for themselves, demanding tribute to Singer’s ability to juggle the franchise’s characters appropriately. Oscar Isaac delivers another classic performance as Apocalypse, embodying the all-powerful villain on a self-righteous crusade for destructive remodeling of the 1980s world. (Watch X-Men: Apocalypse Stream Online)

While this is a story of mutants with extraordinary abilities, it is the humanity of the film along with the themes revolving around it that shine brightest. Every interaction and relationship among characters is genuine and perfectly paced with progression of the story and foreshadowing of films to come. The empathetic draws from the cast with fear, agony, self-doubt, and helplessness are so pure and authentically displayed that the payoff for triumph, love, passion, and infatuation is that much greater. The theme of compromising with the world’s flaws is again cleverly personified in the conflicting ideologies between the anger of Magneto and hope of Professor X. The students struggle to control their power mirror our own battle as human beings to overcome our fears to reach our greatest potential. A subtle call to action places a moral responsibility to unite, promoting strength together to fight for what we inherently know is right.

With a large ensemble this high profile, a universe this grand, and a history of source material to pay tribute to for the fan’s sake, Singer successfully orchestrates each piece of the puzzle in a manner that still enables charismatic storytelling. X-Men Apocalypse is another episode in the franchise that tells a complex story of characters revolving around a conflict of grand proportions. Themes, personalities, and undertones are successfully blended together in a formula that captivates the audience. This is something to be applauded and appreciated, given that we have seen what failing in this department can result in (See Batman v Superman). It is through the careful balance of these elements that raise X-Men as one of the strongest franchises in the Marvel Universe, allowing it to flourish without the need of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that surrounds The Avengers.