13 May 2014 1:49 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Non-devotees might struggle, but director Bryan Singer whips up the action towards a symphonic climax

The latest instalment in this sector of Marvel's comic-book empire is a film of two halves. It takes place in two different eras, which means two different teams of superheroes battling to save humanity in their own ways, and two different casts: the Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellen gang from the first bunch of X-Men movies, and the younger generation, led by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, from 2011's X-Men: First Class.

Unfortunately, it's a matter of two halves for the audience, too. If you've consulted your ring-binder of data from the previous six X-Men movies, you'll probably enjoy this. If you come to it fresh, it can be like trying to follow two games of chess at once.

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- Steve Rose

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