Some Random Thoughts on X-Men: Apocalypse

Random thoughts in no particular order. Spoilers ahead.

  1. The ancient Egypt crowd scene looked appropriately brown. In a story that pings on some of the racialist elements of dynastic race theory and ancient aliens it’s good to see (ancient) Egyptians acting with initiative. It would be nice if we saw some modern Egyptians who weren’t bit-part cultists.160607Apocalypse
  2. Speaking of characters with initiative, it’s also good to see a lot of female characters taking charge and being the ones people look to in a crisis. Not to mention Charles Xavier being the damsel in distress, for variety.
  3. On the other hand, two fridged women for the price of one to get Magneto back in the game. *Sigh*
  4. Apparently Apocalypse’s superpower is… fashion design?
  5. This movie was worth the price of admission just to watch Quicksilver rescuing everyone from the exploding mansion. I could just watch that scene on a loop for a good long while.
  6. You know, maybe they should try making an X-Men movie without Wolverine some time, just for giggles.
  7. I still don’t get the point of launching the whole world’s nuclear weapons into space. How was that relevant to Apocalypse’s plan? It’s not like they were a threat to him and since his plan is basically “blow up the world” anyway, why waste the nukes?
  8. On the whole, this movie reminded me a lot of Age of Ultron. The same grand ambitions, the same dizzyingly large cast, the same lack of narrative chewing after too big a bite of individual character arcs.
  9. Did I really just use the phrase “narrative chewing?” Yes. Yes, I did.

Responses to Erik’s thoughts and additional randomness by Eppu

  1. Looked appropriately brown to me, too, but maybe not black enough…? Not my era, area, nor expertise; would be nice to hear from someone more knowledgeable. But: Definitely too few women in that initial Apocalypse-worship scene. We existed in ancient times, too, and would’ve been interested in a spectacle.
  2. Agreed. One notable exception being Jean Grey / Phoenix. There’s a lot to her arc, but we only saw the barest of bare minimums.
  3. Not enough facepalm in the world for that. *frustration!*
  4. Apocalypse needs to hand in his supervillain club card. Can you say milquetoast? What I reaaaaally enjoyed, though, was the slow buildup. It’s not that usual in an action-genre film. Unfortunately, the end flopped.
  5. That was an epic scene! But I have to say I liked Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver better in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s a shame that the movie rights are so entangled that we’re likely not to see MCU superheroes and mutants in the same flicks.
  6. Agreed. They did go to Canada, though; I always enjoy seeing northerly locations get screen time.
  7. And speaking of plot oddities, how is it a workable plan for Charles Xavier to exhort Jean Grey to just let go? On the other hand, I suppose it’s a change to see a deus ex machina of a woman asked to release her pent-up feelings and whatnot.
  8. Agreed. Going in with low expectations helped. As I said to someone else, it was less bad than I thought. Of course, that doesn’t make it good, per se. Overall it feels like no-one really knows exactly what to do with the mutant movies so they end up all over the place, whereas there’s at least some oversight or long-term planning for the MCU properties.

Other thoughts:

  • There were several introductory scenes (e.g. of Angel & Nightcrawler) that worked quite well. Too bad that stringing them together doesn’t make a movie.
  • I didn’t like Angel’s metal wings, but eh; not the end of the world.
  • I do like James McAvoy as Professor Xavier. If only someone would do more of Patrick Stewart’s and McAvoy’s Xavier in the same story.
  • I can’t say I remember Psylocke from my X-Men reading days, but I liked Olivia Munn. I might have to check out what else she’s been in.
  • Storm suffers from the same lack of attention as Jean Grey. There would’ve been a lot to delve into.
  • The screen version of Mystique’s skin is horrible. (Scales and/or raised nodules? Really? Mostly naked? REALLY?!?) Fortunately we saw less of it in this movie.
  • What a way to hand-wave Havok off the story. He never was a special character to me, but doesn’t he deserve better? Disappointing with a capital d.
  • Others have said this, too, but I’ll repeat: Oscar Isaac’s skills were wasted under all that makeup.

Image: Detail of still from X-Men: Apocalypse via IMDb

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.