If the world were ending tomorrow, what movie would you go see? Maybe this one?
X-Men: Apocalypse has the titular heroes facing down the titular bad guy and his plan to take over/destroy the world. Is it the a beneficial mutation or a genetic freak? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this movie? James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, and Evan Peters all reprise their previous X-Men roles. Newcomers include Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones as Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan of Mud as Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee of ParaNorman as Nightcrawler, newcomer Lana Condor as Jubilee, Ben Hardy from EastEnders as Angel, Alexandra Shipp from Straight Outta Compton as Storm, and Olivia Munn of Magic Mike as Psylocke. And, of course, Oscar Isaac of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is the big bad Apocalypse.
The director-writer team of Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg return from the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past to bring us this film. Hopefully, they’ll be able to balance the characters and bring us a story just as interesting and fun as their last effort.
The trailer opens at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where Professor X tells Mystique that “Things are better. The world is better.” Ever since the last movie changed the future and retconned out the parts nobody liked. “Just because there’s not a war doesn’t mean there’s peace,” Mystique counters, showing that she’s never read a child’s book of opposites. “He’s coming.”
Who’s coming, you might ask? Only the first mutant, Apocalypse himself. We see him reborn in Ancient Egypt and using a wave of dust to kill some people as Moira tells us his evil plan to steal the powers of a bunch of mutants and rule the world with his Four Horsemen. Today, those Horsemen are Angel, Storm, Psylocke, and Magneto, even though Professor X begs him not to join the rodeo. “Whatever it is you think you saw in me,” Magneto tells him, “I buried it with my family.” And we see him crying over someone’s body, implying he’s lost a second family on top of the one the Holocaust took. Gosh, can we please cut poor Magneto a break here?
Apocalypse starts Phase 2 of his evil plan to cleanse the world by sucking crumbling landmarks into the sky. “Everything they’ve built will fall,” he declares, “and from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one.” This guy must have been a nightmare to play Legos with as a kid. Professor X uses his mutant-finding Cerebro to tap into Apocalypse’s brain and discovers power like he’s never felt before. Mainly the power to grow and smash you around the room, which may or may not all be in your head.
Whatever the case, the leader of the X-Men is now gone, so Mystique has to step up and lead them, because Jennifer Lawrence runs everything ever since The Hunger Games. With the help and encouragement of Beast, she teaches the next generation of mutants how to fight and rescues more like Nightcrawler to help. Nightcrawler says, “You’re her,” probably because she’s his mother, at least in the comics. Speaking of parentage, Quicksilver finally admits what we’ve all been waiting to hear, that Magneto is his father. At least he didn’t have to lose a hand to find out.
“Not all of us can control our powers,” Cyclops points out, referring to the fact that his eye beams never turn off. “Then don’t,” says Mystique. Yeah, let’s have a bunch of teenagers let loose with their powers with zero control. That sounds like a recipe for all things not disastrous. Cyclops and Storm square off with their powers, and eye beams and lightning meet in the middle (and I’m not sure that’s how lightning works).
Apocalypse unleashes a bunch of nuclear missiles because I guess it was too much effort to turn everything into dust like he was doing earlier. Someone points out that the X-Men are up against a god and the world’s most powerful beings. Question: how is a guy with wings more powerful than telekinetic Jean Grey? Beast and Psylocke fight, and considering where she plants that blade, I’m guessing he’s never been happier to have opposable big toes.
Professor X’s mansion explodes and Quicksilver rushes to save everyone, Colonel Stryker goes to Canada (most likely to visit his buddy Wolverine), and Mystique says to “Forget everything you think you know; none of that matters.” So everything you’ve been taught up to this point, throw it out the window. Why did we make her their teacher again? “You’re not students anymore,” she adds; “you’re X-Men.” Well, they’re still learning, so they’re kinda both.
Things blow up, Mystique elbows a guy in the jaw, and Magneto says he’ll “take everything from them,” most likely the human race. We’ll steal all their toys! No wonder Apocalypse liked him. Havok lets a burst of his chest energy loose, Psylocke falls off a plane, Jean Grey screams, Magneto screams, and Apocalypse grabs Mystique by the throat before she can scream. Meanwhile, all around them, the world turns to dust because Apocalypse remembered he could do that, I guess.
And the trailer ends with a bunch of soldiers lying on the ground. “You’ve been busy,” Mystique says. “We had a little help,” Cyclops admits, and we get a glimpse of Wolverine’s claws. You know, just because Civil War put Spider-Man at the end of their trailer doesn’t mean it’s cool to spoil every cameo. I mean, I’m glad he’s turning up, but that reveal might have been better saved for the movie. Still cool, though.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend the movie? Yes, yes I do. The cast and crew are some of the best, and many of them have already proven they can do great things with the material. It’s got high stakes, great action and visuals, and it takes place in the 1980s. What more could I ask for? True, I have a couple of qualms (some of the God/Apocalypse comparisons, JLaw emphasized to sell tickets instead of for story reasons), but those could still turn out to be unfounded or not enough to turn me off. On the whole, this is one I plan to see in theaters.
That way I guarantee myself a front-row seat for the Apocalypse.
X-Men: Apocalypse is owned by 20th Century Fox.