By: James Graves
2016 A.K.A the year of superhero/comic book movies have already graced with Deadpool, Batman VS Super-Man, and Captain America Civil War. Fresh off the hugely successful Deadpool, our newest outing with our favorite mutants while enjoyable was not without fault. The most glaring to me is how shallow the connection is to this movie and Days of Future Past. Days of future past events end at 1973. Mystique does not murder Trask and the future we see where most of the mutants were whipped out due to the Sentinels does not come to fruition. Apocalypse opens up in the year 1983 and Mystique is now seen as a Hero to her fellow mutants not just for stopping Magneto in days of future past but she’s also continuing her work as a sort of civil rights activists for Mutants. Charles and Hank (Beast) have reopened the School and now are home to a ton of new mutants. The two most important of course being a young Cyclops, and a young Jean Grey. I did like how both characters were portrayed on screen. Scott was everything that Havok wasn’t. Havok is obviously the prodigal son of the two and now Scott has to reunite with his brother as Havok helps him throughout this process.
Jean Grey story however is as recycled as it gets, and if you are truly a fan of X-men you’re probably tired of seeing her struggle to deal with her powers as they manifest and then eventually turn into a badass by sheer will. Seriously you would think by now they would’ve did a training montage or something with Xavier that shows a linear progress of her powers versus the whole embrace who you are story we’ve been treated to time and time again with this character. While the movie does feel clunky at times it does move along fairly quickly and is entertaining. I loved seeing a new Nightcrawler on screen and while he isn’t the sword toting badass that Nightcrawler has been characterized for years in the comics. Several aspect of his origin find their place in Apocalypse such as his circus and catholic background.
I also loved Quiksilver who returns in Apocalypse. Quiksilver once again steals the show from the moment he shows up. Whether it be the comic relief he brings to any scene he’s in or the way that they are able to visually show his powers on screen. Quiksilver does have a scene that’s as awesome and fun to watch as his prison break scene from Future Past. Apocalypse himself was great to see on scene but quickly fell into the classic villain with a God Complex trope. His Role in the movie gets extremely murky towards the end as he’s supposed to be an all-powerful villain capable of ending the world on his own, but by the time the last 20 minutes begin he’s on the bench while his horsemen do most of the work. Speaking of the horsemen I was extremely disappointed to see them switch sides so quickly it literally takes about 5-10 mins for his horsemen to see the error in their ways. It discredit’s every reason they joined in the first place and leaves you believing they really weren’t buying into what Apocalypse was selling. I also did not understand why Magneto was so central to Apocalypse endgame. An earlier scene in the film shows that Apocalypse was capable of using one of his powers the same exact way as Magneto’s was during the climax to accomplish exactly the same thing.
Even though X-men apocalypse does not succeed as a sequel as a film it’s solid and honestly if you treat it as a standalone film versus a wrap-up film meant to set-up a new team of mutants you should leave the theater satisfied and slightly excited for what’s to come.