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Monday, June 20, 2016

Review of “X-Men: Apocalypse”

Over the weekend, I watched X-Men: Apocalypse and I enjoyed it immensely.  Here’s a brief review of it:

The GOOD

The latest movie features the first live screen appearance of my favorite villain of all time: Apocalypse.  He’s basically a mutant who powers made him near god-like and who managed to augment his powers even further using technology from the Celestials.  You know, those giant god-robots who are briefly seen in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Anyway, in this version Apocalypse is a mutant who transfers his essence (or “soul”) to new mutant bodies as he grows old, each time coopting the powers of that mutant with each transfer.  His latest transfer, seen in the beginning, is a mutant with accelerated healing, which enables him to live forever.

Unfortunately, some of his high-ranking guards betray him and bury him alive.  Flash forward 5,000+ years and it’s the 1980s.  Xavier has re-established a school for mutants but isn’t interested in weaponizing them into a superhero team and Magneto is living in secret in Poland following his attempted assassination of President Nixon.

Xavier takes in Jean Grey, Scott Summers, and Kurt Wagner as students, the next generation of mutants.  Meanwhile, CIA agent Moira MacTaggert accidently wakes up Apocalypse while spying on some of his worshippers.

He then begins a covert war on humanity in order to ensure that the strongest survive.  To this end, we see him showcase many of his powers which is a real thrill.  On top of that, he represents everything which Professor Xavier opposes, which is to not protect the weak but let them die off and even create the situations where that happens.

He is also an expert demagogue, masking his true intentions to his horsemen until they are fully onboard and luring them in with enhancements to their power.

We see the continuation of the alternate timeline created in Days of Future Past with Xavier not locking down Jean’s powers and basically all previous five movies (the first X-Men trilogy and two Wolverine movies) are nullified.

The Bad

The altered timeline created by the previous movie does make some flimsy plot points to explain why Apocalypse appeared this time around.  The main reason was that because of Magneto’s public appearance in the 70s, people started forming cults around the world.  And one of these cults worshipped Apocalypse.

The other issue was that Angel appears in this continuity in his 20s when he appeared in the third movie at the same age, which took place 20 years later.  No explanation is given for this inconsistency other than the writers wanting a live action version of Archangel appearing in this movie.

Also, it is hinted that Mystique is Nightcrawler’s mother, but this is very subtle.  Basically, she targets him and him alone for saving from the mutant cage arena and no one else.

The Ugly

Didn’t see Apocalypse grow in size in real life.  That was only done when he was in the astral plane fight with Xavier.  Between that and his shape-shifting,  these were the few powers he wasn’t demonstrating, which made him even more menacing in the comics and animated shows.

In summary, I highly recommend seeing this movie if you are an X-Man fan or just a superhero fan in general.  I consider it to be just as good as Captain America: Civil War and is worth the price of admission.