This weekend the newest Marvel X-Men movie X-Men: Apocalypse hit the theatres. Check out our latest review…
Movie starts with a blast from the ages showing En Sabah Nur as the 1st mutant back in ancient Egypt. It shows a rebellion that entombed En Sabah Nur after a powerful transformation to a new body. Now fast forward to the 1980’s where we see how the world has reacted to the events in X-Men: Days of Futures Past. Cut to Scott Summers dealing with maturing into a mutant who can shoot energy blast out of his eyes. Moria McTaggert uncovers an Egyptian death cult for En Sabah Nur and by her own error, awakens the worlds 1st mutant. Charles Xavier is quickly in on this news, following up to see Moria, while also dealing with the newcomer in Scott Summers aka Cyclops. Back to En Sabah Nur coming out in a marketplace of Egypt and crossed paths with Ororo Munroe aka Storm and makes her one of his horsemen, giving her powers over the weather even more powerful. Raven aka Mystique is a mutant hero while Magneto is a wanted villain. We find Mystique is roaming the world, rescuing mutants like Nightcrawler from a battle to the death with Angel. Magneto has another life in Poland as a steel worker, a wife and a child. When uses his powers to save a co-worker, things go south and his family is killed. This turns Magneto evil again. Mystique goes to a mutant underground railroad run by Caliban, a mutant who can find / knows all mutants. Sooner after Mystique leaves to find Magneto then En Sabah Nur & Storm arrive to find powerful mutants. This enlists Psylocke to join En Sabah Nur and also track down powerful mutants. This leads En Sabah Nur, Storm & Psylocke to Angel to make his powerful & restore his wings as a horsemen of war. Mystique and Nightcrawler head to see Xavier about Magneto while En Sabah Nur courts Magneto to join him as a powerful horsemen who can take his vengeance out on the world. Xavier uses Cerebro to track down Magneto but it leads En Sabah Nur to use Xavier and Cerebro to launch ALL the nuclear missiles of the world into space leaving the world powerless to stop him. En Sabah Nur and his horsemen then appear to take Xavier away so he can use Xavier and then transfer to his body and become all might powerful. Magneto starts ripping the metals out of the Earth and around a city in Egypt to help build En Sabah Nur grand new world. Unfortunately the X-Men try to save Xavier from being taken away but it leads to the entire X-Mansion to explode and fortunately Quicksilver arrives in time to save 99.9% of the students and X-Men save Havok / Alex Summers. Before anyone can do anything, Col. Stryker arrives and takes the main X-Men away along with Moria. Jean, Nightcrawler and Scott arrive and hide away from a time at the mall, they manage to sneak aboard Stryker helicopters and go off to Weapon-X hidden base from Wolverine history. Jean, Nightcrawler and Scott sneak around and unleash Weapon-X who tears the base apart and has a moment with the 3 mutants before rushing off into the snowy wilderness. If you know who Weapon-X, you know the cameo, and this helps the trio rescue the rest of the X-Men and gives the team both uniforms and a new flying plane to take them to Egypt to rescue Xavier and stop both Magneto and En Sabah Nur. The X-Men then battle En Sabah Nur & his horsemen of the Apocalypse. En Sabah Nur shows his disappointment with his horsemen of war, seemingly killing Angel which then has Storm & Magneto change sides while Psylocke sneaks away. This leads to a mind battle between Xavier and En Sabah Nur which leads to it’s critical moment of Jean Grey tapping into her Phoenix force, unleashing it and destroying En Sabah Nur with the help of Magneto, Cyclops & Storm. The movie ends with Magneto and Jean Grey fixing up the X-Mansion, yet another Xavier and Magneto parting ways and lastly the X-Men in their full costumes and preparing to battle Sentinels from X-Men: Days of Futures Past in the X-Mansion’s noted Danger Room.
END CREDITS Scene: Men in Black and Black Ops people go to the Weapon-X base for Wolverine’s blood and put in a base with other mutants blood and the briefcase is labeled: Essex Corp. which is an X-Men villain known as Mister Sinister’s business corporation.
Robert: So a quick summary review is simple…
X-Men: Apocalypse is the BEST Worst 90s X-Men Comic book made to a movie.
Robert: X-Men: Apocalypse is a fun popcorn flick where you stop thinking & just enjoy whats happening at the moment. If you ignore things like continuity, no one ages (just like in the comic books) & stupid super powers to assist the plot (blah). I loved Sophie Turner as younger Jean Grey, Quicksilver & Nightcrawler steal the movie with their comedy beats and I didn’t mind teenage Cyclops. I wanted more Ororo Munroe and less Psylocke (although I’ve always like Olivia Munn since she talked about my old blog on G4TV) That said, Oscar Issac was good but I kinda felt that ANYONE could have played his role, he didn’t bring much different to this role as the big bad guy Apocalypse aka En Sabah Nur. The big cameo in the movie was fun & great nod to the comic but did it need to happen? Likely not but much like the other Marvel movies, this was an Advertisement for upcoming new X-movie (not giving the cameo away).
Robert: For the bad – there is a big WTF when you try to figure out how are all these characters move forward? Do the movies X-Men 1, 2 and 3 even matter anymore? If so, then Jean and Scott knew about Wolverine before the 1st X-Men movie?! Wha? Angel is now dead (or seemingly so) and there is no Iceman yet who was only in the first 3 movies & made a cameo in X-Men: Days of Futures Past. Honestly, it’s a giant mess that Bryan Singer has done that it’s a massive scramble moving on. Glad to read Bryan Singer is done with future X-Men movies, hope they can sort things out and move forward with X-Men heroes that the geek audience knows and is relative. Given the coming of Mister Sinister (that is the END CREDITS bit) for a 90’s X-Men movie means it should tie in Gambit, Cable and Bishop. Maybe even Rachel Summers and then maybe introduce more Morlocks past Caliban. Oh OH and hopefully the next movie will let Jubilee actually be APART of the X-Men have more than a single mutter of a line (did she even talk or just grunt after the blast?).
Ian’s attempt at explaining canon time – I think it’s implied that despite how much the end school scene in Days of Future Past establishes back to the old timeline (casting mostly for the nostalgia factor of the worst X-Men movie as Halle Berry is in a movie again), that the road ahead is unclear as to how everything is back to normal. It basically tossed X3 and X2 (mostly due to Cyclops/Jean being alive) and in the grand scheme, how much did X1 really matter aside from the team forming up anyway. I think Singer gets all the same props/jeers that Whedon does when it comes to Avengers 1/2 as there’s some parts that work and some stuff that just kinda falters, either in terms of what comic fans expect vs the average movie goer.
Ian: For the bad – so I think it’s kinda hilarious that when it comes to Hollywood, big name actors/actresses are always pushed as the core element, basically how J-Law becomes a major focus despite her character being a big deal for not that much of a good reason. I mean, in terms of past events in the current timeline – the character is more important than in the previous three films but again, this is due to the casting. Which brings it back to the main villain, Apocalypse, that really didn’t need to be Oscar Issac but it just kinda works – It never really felt like “It’s Oscar Issac as APOCALYPSE!” which is a bit of a relief as it’s the biggest annoyance about J-Law being Mystique and her role being so large is such an obvious Hollywood tactic. It’s a big shame that all the parts of Jubilee were trimmed or cut out but maybe it’ll be like the Rogue cut for Days of Future Past. If they do move forward with another X-Men film as the end roster training scene heavily implies, it’s pretty easy to switch out cast members as in terms of just the current X flicks, it’s only down to Beast and Mystique as senior experienced mutants.
Robert: The movie overall was fun and for that, I have to say that I’m surprised by the work Bryan Singer did on this movie. I didn’t think I would like the movie before it started but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the movie. The END CREDITS part was Meh, kinda pointless and FAR TOO VAGUE for the general audience which is stupid. Before the END CREDITS, the best scene is the final shot of the new X-Men in their costumes!
Ian: As you can tell with my impression of Civil War, I have this feeling of being burnt out by the amount of comic films that are being developed and it seems like there’s a big drain as critics seem to be done with cape films. The oddity of it all is that Deadpool did well for both critics and audience members but mostly because it tossed out all the usual formula or at least just poked fun at it.
This film had all the same quip like moments that Marvel flicks are known for. It wasn’t afraid of being too cheesy as Psylocke is straight out of the comics in a way that Marvel builds comics around the films (notably with Guardians as other titles get tweaks or go the opposite way like Jane Thor) and that when they do dramatic moments like Erik’s showdown with the police in the woods, it has more weight to it as there were steps building up to the moment that made sense in the context of just the film itself.
I’m gonna be completely bias but once Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams kicked in and we get Quicksilver’s big moment, it was pure joy. The biggest contrast of why it worked so well compared to CW’s airport fight is that the movie sprinkles in all these goofy over the top bits throughout the movie (such as the final take down of Apocalypse that is done in giant dramatic face melting extravaganza) so it works in a meta sorta way as the simplest reason is that’s just how the character works and based on his previous bit in Days of Future Past, it’s a given moment.
The weird down side to just that moment is despite how everyone feels bad for Havok being the only one not saved by Quicksilver, it’s almost dismissed shortly afterwards but I guess it’ll be a passive reminder to inspire Scott to be more of a leader.
Speaking of Scott, it’s so great to see his character not have to take a dive to another character cause as far as comics go recently, Cyclops has been taking a punch to the face repeatedly (in a larger aspect, any X-Men element has been dragged through the mud as Marvel isn’t really hip with mutants being popular compared to their own properties). Granted that the film pushes Mystique really hard to be the central focus, the team work bond that Scott/Jean/Nightcrawler share was really natural and it’ll be good to see it develop further, bringing in more characters to fold like Jubilee hopefully.
I think the big difference between how Fox is doing things compared to Marvel is how willing Fox is take a chance when it comes to character adaptions and the idea of a real world timeline to match up with gives it a sense of realism that uses it as a baseline before building it’s own sequence of events on top but sometimes it doesn’t work out that well as despite the first film and the latest having a 20 year gap, nobody has really aged but it’s that weird comic book like rule that really only makes sense to the readers.
Overall, it falters in the same way Civil War did for me when compared to Winter Soldier and in this case, this movie isn’t as good as Days of Future Past but it could have been worse. I’d be concerned if they didn’t have Singer on board but if they had Vaugh instead, it’d still be alright (maybe even better) but I’d dread the idea of X3 happening again and as Jean points out in acknowledge the audience moment in this film – Usually the third film in a series sucks but this one actually turned out ok!
Robert: So go and enjoy the movie, let us know what you think!