Oh boy, another city-destroying battle for the future of Earth

Oh boy, another city-destroying battle for the future of Earth

It’s not even officially summer yet and already superhero fatigue has set in. Why must the world always be at risk? So filmmakers can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on special effects and our super friends can save us. My cape and mask to the next writer who can script one of these storylines so that some other planet has a crisis.

For this ninth X-Men movie — yes, it’s getting kind of tiresome —we have to go back to 3,600 B.C., where the mutant daddy of them all, En Sabah Nur, played by Oscar Isaac, lies in a pyramid just waiting to awaken and destroy the world (yawn).

Flash forward to 1983 (now 10 years after the last X-Men movie, “Days of Future Past”). Xavier (James McAvoy) is running his school for mutants and Magneto (Michael Fassbinder) is living in Europe with a family. They are all shaken to the reality of En Sabah Nur’s extreme power and forced into action. In the process some will choose sides against one another. Hmmm, kind of like “Captain America: Civil War,” playing on the next screen.

It used to be that Bryan Singer’s influence as director elevated the X-Men series. These movies were — and still can be — thoughtful, character-driven “can’t we all just get along” films where mutants beg for understanding and then get super mad about government overreach and go crazy on mankind.

This is still true, to a point. We get to know these mutants before they start tearing everything up and taking apart whole cities. Young Jean Gray (now played by “Game of Thrones” Sophie Turner), Storm (Ororo Munroe), Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and others all get some screen time before flexing those super mutant powers, and this is still why I keep coming back, although two and half hours felt like an eternity. Note to Bryan Singer: Do you really need that extra 30 minutes?

Despite the lengthy running time and the “ninth verse, same as the first” storyline, this is still a strong franchise. The introduction of new mutant characters and the par excellent cast give it the edge. But if I were Marvel Films, I’d be looking at the diminishing returns. This did $80 million in its opening weekend, which is great by most standards but still far behind the last X-Men opening weekend.

Also on the diminishing returns side was “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” one of Disney’s summer tent poles. It tanked last weekend, taking in a pitiful $30 million. Not good for its star Johnny Depp, and not good for Disney.

Thankfully, and hard to believe, there are no more superheroes scheduled until August when “The Suicide Squad” opens. It’s horror, romance and a little action adventure until then.

All of this has got me humming that Shirley Ellis classic, “The Name Game.” Let’s try it with this one:

En Sabah Nur, En Sabah Nur, Ben Sabah Nur,

bo Ben Sabah Nur, Bonana fanna fo Fen Sabah Nur

Fee fy mo Men Sabah Nur, En Sabah Nur!

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