Like Civil War, Xmen: Apocalypse is a culmination of the series so far. And, in order to get the full benefit of X-men apocalypse, you might have to see the rest of the series—excluding X-men: Origins Wolverine; Fox wants everyone to forget that happened.
First Class took place in the 60’s, Days of Future Past the 70’s, and you can imagine what decade sets the backdrop for Apocalypse. Xavier sports a suit jackets over a bright pastel sweater with sock-less loafers to complete the look, and Jean Greys shoulder pads seem like foreshadowing to her Dark Phoenix form. Night Crawler has Michael Jackson’s leather from Thriller and RayBan most definitely had a merchandise deal for the film. But I enjoyed the X-men: Vice visuals, and fingers crossed the next film takes place in the 90’s with the bright yellow and blue costumes stripped right from the cartoon.
The conflict is simple enough: A god wants to rule the world. So he recruits the first four mutants he finds to be his four horseman. But before he ends the world, he has to do some arts and crafts! As my sister pointed out, he’s a sort of cross between Doc Manhattan and Martha Stewart, spending more time crafting outfits and accents for his four horsemen than coming up with a solid plan for take over. When he’s not making a pyramid, or magneto’s helmet, he’s busy giving a monologue, and to Oscar Isaac’s credit, he pulls off each melodramatic word. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Fox decided to ramp up the violence when it comes to how Apocalypse disposes of dissenters, which gives a gravity to what he has to say. The mutants, of course, band together to try and stop him. The new recruits, Summers, Krieger, and Grey, get to flex their muscle and the old ones as well…
Spoilers—Wolverine makes a brief cameo as Deus Ex Machina. Magneto tries to be a nice guy but has another bout of revenge after the two “Birds” he loves more than anything else, get taken out by the same stone arrow head. There’s plenty more Irony throughout the film; an angel crashes, a human fireball explodes and the fastest kid on earth gets stopped, temporarily anyhow. I’m of course talking about Quicksilver, and to answer the question everyone has, Quicksilver has a slow-mo sequence, this time set to Sweet Dreams by The Eurythmics: The moment a bumblebee’s wings slowed to a near stop, I slapped my hands together and said aloud, “This gon’ be good.”
And it was. In many ways it topped the last one. Evan Peters as Quicksilver steals away every scene he’s in with a unmatched energy. It shows through a lot when you juxtapose his performance to Lawrence’s. She’s a great actress, but she failed to convince me that she’s a forty-something woman underneath her blue skin. She didn’t convince me of much, actually. Maybe it was the writing, or maybe she mailed it in, but she came across as bored, which in turn, bored me.
Maybe I’m expecting too much from a superhero movie, because, ultimately, during the climax of the film, I wasn’t thinking about her cardboard performance, I was cheering on Quicksilver’s brass when he decided to take on a God single handed, and sock him in the jaw. Throughout the film I found myself caught in the spectacle, routing for good to triumph over evil, and that’s really all you can ask for from a summer blockbuster. Hopefully, I haven’t given too much away. Go out and see X-men: Apocalypse if you’re looking for a fun summer movie.