- Yusuff Olayode Friday May 27, 2016
X-Men;Apocalypse is a decidedly fun, occasionally heartbreaking, beautiful, morally intriguing and progressive cinematic experience, it tries not to be predictable and offers spectacular performances from most of its actors, although it could have done more with less mutants.
Spoilers abound, you should turn back now if you do not want the movie to be spoiled for you;
Apocalypse begins with a beautifully constructed scene of four horsemen protecting En Sabar Nur (aka Apocalypse), as he goes through his soul transfer rites into another mutant body (Oscar Isaac). Apocalypse who has been supposedly referred to by many names over the century; En Sabar Nur, Yaweh, and Rah, was the first mutant, born thousands of years ago when humans haven't evolved, ruling the world with an iron fist, his principle? Only the strong deserve to live. The ritual was disturbed by natives of Egypt who feel apocalypse is a tyrannical god that needs to be stopped, although they succeeded in sealing him into a pyramid, killing all his extremely loyal horsemen in the process (the last of which protected apocalypse till his last breathe), the soul transfer was however completed, but lying in wait until his day of awakening.
Fast forward into the present day, professor X(Charles Xavier) has built a school for the gifted (mutants) where they can study and live peacefully as opposed to being dreaded by d outside world, Alex Summers(Havok) brings his brother Scott Summers(Cyclops) to the school so he will be thought how to control his power; a quite destructive one that allows him to shoot powerful beams of energy from his eyes leading him to always close them; a power similar to his brother's who simply projects beams from any part of his body.
Jean Grey is a student in the school, one that the professor keeps a close eye on due to her unstable nature and her hidden, potentially uncontrollable ability (the phoenix force), Jean possesses many abilities, some of which are telekinesis and telepathy. we see the professor running to Jean's room to check on her as she was dreaming, she revealed her dream was about the end of the world and the destruction and death felt so real to which the professor assures her that it’s just a dream.
Back in Egypt CIA agent 'Moira Mcterggart' investigates an underground cult ritual, where she mistakenly left the entrance to the tomb open, leading to the ressurection of En Sabar Nur (Apocalypse) who hastily makes quick work of the people around, fortunately Moira escaped only with her life to report back to the CIA.
Apocalypse begins his quest of gathering his new horsemen; the first one he comes across is Ororo Monroe, who was stealing food along with some kids so as to survive, with her ability to control the weather, she would cause a little whirlwind, and in the confusion the kids will gather as much food as they can, they have been doing this for long but today she was caught in a corner only for Nur to come go her rescue, cutting off the heads of her attackers and burying one deep in the wall with his ability to control sand.
His second is the swordswoman, and solid-light generating mutant 'Psylocke' who then took him to 'Angel'(the third horseman) a mutant with wings and who occasionally fight in ring matches to earn money, his last fight lead to the damage of one of his wings, and finally they sought after Magneto on his journey for vendetta, for the loss of his wife and daughter due to the discrimination towards mutants, and the reckoning of his participations in the events of 'Days of the future past', Magneto is a mutant with the power to control metals; rounding up his list of 4 horsemen. Apocalypse amplified all their powers; giving Strom(Ororo Monroe) more control over the elements, replacing Angel's wings with blade-like projectiles that still allow him to fly becoming 'Archangel', increasing Psylocke's control over her energy generation, teaching magneto to not only control metals but the molecules of any object, Apocalypse also shields the minds of his horsemen from telepathy so they won't be controlled by professor X, to our surprise their enhancements came with new clothes and paint jobs, as if that wasn't odd enough, Storm even got a new hair color(black to white), woe unto anyone who thinks apocalypse doesn't have a sense of fashion.
Halfway around the world, the X-men are doing their own recruits too, or at least the shapeshifter 'Mystique' who we last saw in the events of 'Days of the future past' disguised as 'Major Stryker' -now colonel Stryker-, she went to rescue Nightcrawler (Stephen McPhee) from a cagematch, Nightcrawler has the power of teleporting as far as his eyes can see or anywhere he has been before but usually one person at a time.
Mystique quickly shares this newly acquired information about magneto with Professor X, so they would help him get over his grief.
Professor X visits the CIA office in a bid to find out more about Apocalypse from Moira, he simply walks through the door as he froze everyone in the room with his telepathy, Moira was once a love interest of the professor until the events of 'X-Men: first class' forced the professor to wipe her brain clean of any memory of him or the other mutants, as was evidently shown on screen, the reunion was awkward to say the least, and it was one of the most fun moment of the movie as it turns the great professor into a stuttering stammerer.
The information the professor obtained coupled with Mystique's Intel led them to use the Cerebro -a machine which amplifies his(Charles) power and let's him search and find every human and mutant on the planet- in search of Magneto who was an old friend of his, but what he saw he could not have guessed, finding magneto who is beside Apocalypse, he subsequently sensed apocalypse too; who quickly overwhelms him leading Charles to comment on how immense Apocalypse's power is and how he has never seen any power like that before, taking control of the cerebro, apocalypse launches all the nukes of the world into space lamenting that humans are weak and that they needn't depend on such pitiful technology and that he will destroy the current word and from the ashes of the old one, he will build a better one.
Professor X(Charles) asks Havok(Alex Summers) to destroy the cerebro to prevent apocalypse from using it further which he did but not before apocalypse found them and teleported there to kidnap the Professor.
Havok reacts by shooting his ray at the escaping Nur and his 4 hoursemen only to wreak havok to the school, luckily Quicksilver wanted to find his father(Magneto) after listening to the news and decided to visit the professor's school, seeing the imminent destruction, he evacuated everyone with his superspeed, except for Havok who died in the blast because he was too close to it.
Just as things were settling down, the military came-led by colonel Stryker- and rendered all the mutants unconscious capturing a selected few; Professor Hank McCoy(Beast), Pietro Maximoff(Quicksilver) Raven(Mystique), but not before Jean Grey, Scott Summers(Cyclops) and Nightcrawler got on board.
Stryker wants to know what happened at the mansion while holding the X-MEN against their will, but when Jean frees Logan(Wolverine); things took a decidedly dark turn for the military as wolverine armed with his adamantium claw and his savagery cut them down one by one before running off into the bush, indirectly helping Jean to save the imprisoned X-MEN.
Many intertwining events and plot beats led to a single showdown; Apocalypse's goal which is to instill fear in the heart of all world leaders, possess professor X as that would grant him the power of mass telepathy, and destroying civilization as we know it.
The X-MEN gathered under the leadership of Mystique to rescue the professor and convince Magneto to abandon his new master(Apocalypse) effectively putting a stop to Nur's plan, this unavoidably led them into a fight with the 4 horsemen of apocalypse and some awesome action scenes from QUICKSILVER(am not kidding, his slow motion action scenes always leave us asking for more).
Overall X-MEN: APOCALYPSE is a fun movie(you'll always burst into laughter in most of the scenes with Quicksilver), that dialed all notes, living up to it's title 'apocalypse' meaning end of days, it treated the concepts of good and bad, existentialism, our place in the world, and whether humans are subject to change or not.It succeeded in introducing new characters and establishing the existing ones, although it may seem crampy in their, director Bryan Singer handled the movie with expertise; one you can only see in a director who has handled a pparticular franchise for over a decade living up to his title as one of the forerunners of superhero movies.
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE isn't without it's flaws, like I always say 'there is no movie with no flaw'; some of the actings were lazy, except for James McAvoy(ok maybe he cried too much), Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac who nailed it as the charismatic, over the top Apocalypse who unintendedly comes across as a fatherly figure sometimes, and a selected few imbuing the movie with emotion and depths, but the A-lister Jeniffer Lawrence looked dead in her role which makes us wonder if she is tired of playing a certain naked blues skinned mutant. And yes the matter of rarely dimensional villains, while apocalypse was indeed powerful(Oscar Isaac did all he could with what he was given posing a cerebral and physical threat to the team, he didn't really have a genuine reason for being bad, ok so he touches a television and saw the destruction and how pathetic humans have been after he was sealed away due to his supposed betrayal, and now hr has returned, he wants to rule the world? This isn't reason enough, if this was early age of comicbook movies (when we didn't mind a villain seeking to expand his real estate shares), it could have been accepted, but today, a villain without a real drive just doesn't cut it.
Then there is the timeline, the events of 'apocalypse' takes place 10 years after that of 'Days of the future past' and yet the villains haven't aged a day, that is insensitive on the filmmaker's part if not anything else.