*This review contains spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse, so if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know anything, do not continue to read.
So Apocalypse has finally come, and is much more menacing than the original set photos, which widely spread as an Ivan Ooze meme. As a whole, the movie sits well within the X-Men timeline that has now been corrected by Days of Future Past. After being awoken and rising from the rubble that collapsed upon him, Apocalypse sets out to retake the world and make it in the image that he once had. In doing so, he recruits his four horsemen, whom were chosen very well. Each of them (aside from Psylocke because this is her first time on the big screen and not much backstory is given) lead broken lives; either living as a thief, battling constant loss and sorrow, or living alone as a drunk washed up fighter, they all have a similar rage inside them, and Apocalypse seems to be able to grab hold of this. The studio could have chosen any characters to fall under his rule, but choosing them specifically helps to not only reveal more about each of them, but you can also see how these events might have shaped them to be the characters we’ve seen in the original trilogy. Speaking of trilogies, one of the more memorable lines of the film is where the young soon-to-be X-Men are walking out of the theater after seeing Return of the Jedi, and Jean Grey comments, “At least we can all agree that the third movie is always the worst”- a fun little poke at the poorly-received X-Men: The Last Stand.
It was very interesting to see Apocalypse completely strip humans of any weapons they had or anything they could use to forge new ones, so that he could destroy the world as it existed and “build a better one” on top of it, with only the strongest mutants left alive to see it. It was an engaging take on the “I think the world should be this way so I will destroy it and remake it in my image” sort of plot (much like that of Avengers: Age of Ultron). He kept mentioning how people rely too heavily on technology and machines to save them, and that is why he wanted to destroy everything so that only those who were naturally the best on their own could stand on top. It is not uncommon to hear someone say that technology is ruining humanity and that we are too dependent on it. Seeing this play out in a movie is like an exaggerated version of that belief; though the events are farfetched, the core of what drives Apocalypse is a bit relatable to reality.
Let’s talk about a couple cameos/ small roles- Striker is back yet again. Capturing mutants seems to be his agenda in each film, as he is not a fan of the genetically-enhanced. While he didn’t serve a large purpose to the bigger plot of the film, his capturing of the team made way for fans to see something incredible: Weapon-X Wolverine. Though his appearance is brief, it rounds out Wolverine’s story a bit more, and also nods to the future. When the young X-Men release Wolverine, he is basically an animal- he just goes throughout the compound slaughtering all of Striker’s men. When at last he comes to the exit with the kids behind him, he goes to attack them but Jean stops and not only comforts him, but gives him back some memories she could find of his to give him back some of his humanism. After he runs out of the compound, Cyclops says, “Hopefully that’s the last we see of that guy”. This is just a funny nod for what’s to come down the road but this sequence also hints a little at the Logan-Jean relationship.
Speaking of Jean, it looks like we could be getting a Dark Phoenix saga down the road, after all it wad the Phoenix that disintegrated Apocalypse. In The Last Stand it is explained that Professor X put blockers up in Jean’s mind to prevent the phoenix from coming out because as we saw in that film, once it comes out it is nearly impossible to contain. In this movie though, she is able to unleash the power within herself and then almost immediately go and use her powers to help the Professor. It would be very exciting to see her perhaps become more and more unstable as the Phoenix becomes more powerful and tries to overtake her, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.
As for the post credit scene, there is a very interesting road that could be taken here. Men carrying Essex Corp briefcases and placing Wolverine’s blood sample in with other samples seems to point to a corporation headed by Nathaniel Essex, better known as Mr. Sinister. In the comics, he is a man who is obsessed with learning about the evolution of mankind with mutants. While conducting and losing himself in his research he becomes a mutant himself with many different and powerful abilities. Seeing him as an “evil scientist gone mutant baddie” in the X-Men universe would be a pretty reasonable way to get the character on screen.
All in all, X-Men: Apocalypse was a very good film; great cast, great plot, great minds behind the scenes.
What do you guys think? Did it live up to the hype for you? Were there any parts where you wished things had been done differently? Be sure to let us know in the comments as well as on our Twitter and Instagram!