Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse

MPAA Rating: PG-13for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Superhero Sci-Fi Action Adventure Adaptation Sequel 3D IMAX
Length:
2 hr. 24 min.
Year of Release:
2016
USA Release:
May 27, 2016 (wide—4,000+ theaters)
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

In this film, Apocalyse claims to be Yahweh, plus various false gods, and wants to be worshipped.

compare the great differences between the false god of this movie and the one true God

false gods

the TRUE origin of false gods and religion

apocalypse

Biblical Horsemen of the Apocalypse

a villain that distinguishes only between the weak and the strong

compare God’s coming judments on Earth to Apocalypse’s / and their purpose

good versus evil

goodness and righteousness

bravery / courage / self-sacrifice

mass destruction

Featuring: Jennifer LawrenceRaven Darkhölme / Mystique
Oscar IsaacPsychic mutant En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse
Rose ByrneMoira MacTaggert
James McAvoyCharles Xavier / Professor X
Michael FassbenderErik Lensherr / Magneto
Hugh JackmanLogan / Wolverine
Lucas TillAlex Summers / Havok
Olivia Munn … Betsy Braddock / Psylocke
Nicholas Hoult … Hank McCoy / Beast
Sophie Turner … Jean Grey
Evan Peters … Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver
Tye Sheridan … Scott Summers / Cyclops
Stan Lee …
Monique Ganderton … Death
Alexandra Shipp … Ororo Munroe / Storm
Kodi Smit-McPhee … Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler
Ben Hardy … Warren Worthington III / Angel / Archangel
Josh Helman … William Stryker
Lana Condor … Jubilation Lee / Jubilee
more »
Director: Bryan Singer—“The Usual Suspects” (1995), “House M.D.” (2004 TV series)
Producer: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Marvel Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) has used his mutant powers to enslave all of Ancient Egypt (3,600 BC) and has empowered four (4) other mutants to help him enforce his unholy reign. Worshiped as a god he has grown weak and needs a powerful mutant sacrifice to go on living. During a ‘rebirth’ ritual, rebels decry him as a false god and destroy his pyramid trapping him forever. Buried over 5,000 years he is awakened in 1983 and sets out to find mutants who can aid him in subjugating this new world. He soon recruits four modern ‘horsemen of the apocalypse’ including a young Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Angel (Ben Hardy) and a disillusioned Magneto who convinces anew to make the world pay for their crimes.

After the events of the previous film, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has become both a hero and an icon as the mutant who stopped the mutant terrorist known as Magneto back in the 1970’s. Living under the radar she now seeks enslaved mutants in order to set them free even if that means bringing them back to her old friend and mentor, Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy).

Unfortunately, Xavier has caught the attention of Apocalypse and has become an integral part of his plan for Earth’s domination. With time running out can Xavier’s untrained students bring Apocalypse’s reign to an end before it begins or will the immortal with delusions of godhood finally make the apocalypse a reality for all of mankind?

Reuniting many of the characters from the previous two movies, including “X-Men: First Class” (2011), “X-Men: Apocalypse” is an exciting addition to the franchise that will thrill most fans of the films but may leave others confused at the brisk narrative that takes little time to ‘catch up’ new audiences, explore relationships or cover previous story lines. As with the other X-Men films there is a lot of content to be wary of.

Objectionable Content

Violence: Heavy. People are disintegrated, turned into skeletons, electrocuted, made to become part of walls/floors, impaled by metal/shrapnel/claws, cut open for sacrifice, a throat is sliced open and many are killed by debris, crushed while whole towns and cities are laid to waste, mostly from a distance but some close up shots are included. A mother and child are harrowingly impaled and killed and many soldiers are viciously attacked in a melee that leaves the dead and dying in their own blood. A strong sense of peril pervades much of the film including one suggesting possible worldwide nuclear armageddon. By far the most violent of the X-Men movies, there is no mistaking that you are witnessing mass genocide and children should by no means be allowed to have their impressionable minds tainted by this.

Language: Moderate. Inappropriate language is not extensive but the following was still heard: Ass (1), Ass-h___ (1), piss-off (1), hell (2), the Lord’s name taken in vain twice (OMG and God-d___) and the “F” word was said one time by Magneto for laughs. Aside from the violence the foul language should likewise give pause to parents both for their kid’s sake and that of their own.

Sex/Nudity: Mild. The closest example of near nudity are the few scenes showing Mystique in her naked blue form. Other scenes deal mostly with provocative clothing once when Mystique is in a very cleavage bearing dress and throughout when focused on Psylocke’s skimpy battle attire. The only kissing shown is between a loving husband and his wife. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) makes a short but obscene gesture with his hands when describing that his mother and father had sex.

Lessons

As with most films featuring heroes and villains lessons, both good and bad, can be seen if you choose to look for them. Some of the topics included; humility, prayer and pronounced blasphemy.

Humility: Raven/Mystique, who had previously been so proud of her mutant form she rarely wished to look human, now constantly dons her ‘human’ guise while helping to fulfill Xavier’s dream of peace yet all the while maintains, “I’m no hero”. Charles, who mostly lived the life of a recluse in the last film, now embraces his role as servant and as headmaster of his school as he nurtures the young mutants in his charge. Throughout the Word of God we are taught how much our Lord values humility.

“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

“He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.” Proverbs 3:34

Prayer. After calamity strikes and several of Xavier’s students are in peril, Kurt/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is heard praying, “Dear Father… Oh to be in the light of God. Protect me from danger. Save me by your command. Listen to my prayer and keep me safe,” which harkens, in part, to Psalm 71 where it says,

“Be a rock of refuge for me, where I can always go. Give the command to save me, for You are my rock and fortress.” Psalm 71:3

Earlier, while not quite a prayer, Moira mutters a “Thank God” upon the arrival of some needed medical assistance but, like Nightcrawler’s prayer, this is the only instance heard throughout the film.

Blasphemy. The central villain of the film states that he has been known by many names one of which is ‘Elohim’. This Hebrew name for God is used frequently in the very first chapter of the Bible, Genesis. However, it is also used throughout the Old Testament to refer to pagan gods and idols showing how Satan has been trying to usurp God’s place before mankind from the very beginning. This would not be possible without willing human accomplices both then, and now.

Simon Kinberg, one of the writers of the film, has said in reference to Apocalypse, “He is the God of the Old Testament…”. Likewise, Director Bryan Singer describes the film this way, “It deals with ancient mutantism, the origins of the mutant state; or the origin of gods and religion. There’s a mixture of ancient religion and cultism in the character of Apocalypse.'

The character himself minces no words again about his deity when he declares, “You can fire your arrows from the tower of Babel, but you cannot strike God.”

In another example, when Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult) comments that the ‘four horsemen’ is a name he [Apocalypse] probably got from the Bible, Moira (Rose Byrne) interjects, “Or the Bible got it from him,” alluding to the supposed fictional nature of the Word of God.

While audiences will know going in that these are comic book characters and the concept of super-humans is, in itself, that of fantasy, we as Christians need to be aware of underlying motives particularly when it seeks to belittle or defame the one true God and question whether or not our Lord would want us to knowingly support that media.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me.” “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:2-5)

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is another action-packed and riveting installment in the X-Men franchise whose obvious weakness is a narrative that, as mentioned before, depends heavily on the audience’s familiarity with the other films and spends little to no time properly developing characters and relationships including that of the villains’. The special effects are top-notch, Quicksilver steals the show again with his appearance, and the actions scenes are jaw dropping at times with fights fought in both reality and, in a new twist, in the psychic realm (astral plane). Spoiled by unnecessary language, pervasive violence as well as blasphemous overtones I cannot fully recommend this otherwise well-made comic book film.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie was a really good movie. There was some swearing, but, other than that, a really good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Daniel, age 24 (USA)
Positive—Loved it
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brittanie, age 26 (USA)
Positive— My husband, adult daughter and I saw this movie today. I left quite anxious to get the “Christian perspective” from Spotlight. I just completed a nine-month study of the book of Revelation, so I was especially attuned to the apocalyptic references and similarities. I am completely ignorant of the actual comic book stories, so my only knowledge of the characters and events come from the X-Men movies. I was very wary of how Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) would be portrayed. The creators and actor Oscar Isaac presented a Super Villain like none other. When this character called himself Elohim, my husband and I felt so disturbed at hearing such blasphemy that we considered walking out of the theater. I am glad we didn’t. Instead, we allowed this feeling to remind us of Satan’s true agenda, his deceptions and of the spiritual battle against unseen forces that Paul warns us about in Ephesians 6. The fact that Apocalypse had need of anything proved that he was not Elohim.

I was disappointed to read that the creators referred to this character as the “God of the Old Testament.” But, thankfully the events of the movies exposed Apocalypse’s duplicity and vulnerability. I agree with the reviewer, parents of young children should not take their children to this movie. However, I believe this is a good family movie for teens and adults, and should be used as a wonderful opportunity for great discussions. As well, every able Christian should be a student of God’s Word, and thus be able to discern fiction from truth, while appreciating the creativity God has given human beings.

C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are the masters in this arena of igniting our imaginations to consider unseen spiritual realities. This movie is incredible in its use of entertaining technology. Hopefully, Christians will equip themselves to be able to “give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope you have, with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15). I believe we should engage with the culture The Lord has providential placed us (Acts 17:26). Sometimes the arts can be a fun and wonderful tool in that engagement.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Roxanne Suggs, age 54 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I have a friend who is a fan of the X-Men who dragged me to see this movie. Well, after last night, I am not sure I will associate with this friend anymore. Unfortunately, I had not heard anything about this film before I went to see it, I should have checked a Christian review Web site. The movie was borderline blasphemous. The villain proclaims himself as God. The other characters state that Christianity and Christ were simply made up copycats of this villain. It is blasphemous and obscene, and I am not sure why any Christian would excuse it.

Other than that, characters swear left and right (s-words, f-words, d-words) and make filthy the name of our Lord by using it as a curse. I suppose I should talk about the quality of the movie, although I am not sure why any Christian who read the above would care about the quality of such a blasphemous film. I will say that the effects are impressive, I suppose, but the story is boring, and I didn’t understand it very well, too many characters, all with different powers cluttering up the screen fighting for screen time. The movie has a Hollywood secularist feminist angle that says women can fight just as well as men can and can even beat a man, and throws women straight into the line of combat, which is something I disagree with.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Tom Garcia, age 71 (USA)
Negative—Christians who support this movie are being used by the enemy… Even under the vail of entertainment… this movie is beyond blasphemous. And there’s no excuse, as a Christian, to somehow try to find some silver lining in pure visuals of satanic ritual. Package it as they may, this is another attempt of the enemy through “Hollow-wood” to indoctrinate the masses slowly but surely. Even my husband, who dragged me to this movie, and who has seen all the movies from this franchise, conceded that this was evil. Please guard the hearts of your kids against this! Mathew 18:6. I wish I could un-see it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Beth, age 52 (USA)
Negative—This movie is offensive due to the sexual costume of the main female blue character. She might as well be naked. The language is bad many times, they pretend to be God. There is too much wrong with this movie to even write it all down. I was horribly uncomfortable, and I would never recommend it for an adult, let alone a young child.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—H, age 64 (USA)
Negative—As a fan of the X-Men comics, I found this movie to be a big disappointment. From a filmmaking aspect this movie is overstuffed and a lot of the characters get no development whatsoever. Cyclops is still a boring character when in the comics, he’s very intense when he needs to be, he’s a tactical mastermind and has a bit of a snarky attitude. Psylocke (who is very popular in the comics) only gets a handful of lines and is given a very outdated costume with no explanation. The climax is way over the top and doesn’t make that much sense when you think about it.

But from an adaptation standpoint, this movie is a whole bunch of missed opportunities—Angel being the most glaring example. In the comics, he was a founding member of the X-Men and is good friends with the other originals. He loses his wings after they’re damaged, and then someone he mistakenly trusted has them amputated against his will. He’s broken by this, and ends up turning to the wrong people to get his wings back. These people (secretly working for Apocalypse) give him the metal wings but also brainwash him into an emotionless killing machine. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Healed1337, age 29 (Canada)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—The only thing you need to know is this movie is that it is extremely blasphemous. If you feel the entertainment value excuses it, you may want to talk to your pastor about your addiction to movies including having trouble distinguishing satanic movies. The harder you laugh at this, the deeper your addiction is. It is amazing that satanically inspired movies and the dialog in them is so accurate and devilish. However, making godly and inspired movies is not possible. more »
—Bob Maclean, age 67 (USA)
Neutral—I have to laugh at the negative comments, at the same time saddened by the minds they come from. Most of you don’t even realize X-Men, more than any other comic, has always been a commentary of the real world. Many Characters are openly strong in their faith (Christian, Muslim, Jew), the question(s) of sexuality, AIDS, racism, and right and wrong are explored more in the books than any where else. Superman is straight forward right and wrong. He never has been hated for being an alien by the masses. The X-Men struggle daily with protecting a world that hates them, from their own kind who seek to subjugate and destroy those they feel are inferior. more »
—Conrad Sutton, age 48 (USA)

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie and would like to share your observations and insights with others to be posted here, please contact us!