X-Men: Apocalypse Narrates the Franchise’s Genesis

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Matthew Lee
Staff Writer

Marvel movie series Iron Man, The Avengers and Captain America have all been insinuating the end of their respective storylines. X-Men: Apocalypse, however, was a film that introduced new beginnings into the series with a hopeful future for Marvel’s X-Men.

X-Men: Apocalypse tells the story of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and the former X-Men who were living calm and peaceful lives in harmony with humanity until Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the first mutant, rises from his multi-centurial slumber and threatens to destroy and recreate the world with mutants ruling over humans. The film features the X-Men characters seen in the previous movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, such as Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Havoc (Lucas Till), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and even Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). It also introduces many new X-Men characters seen in the comics such as Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee).

The plot of the movie was fairly predictable, as Marvel movies tend to have a very linear storyline of the heroes winning without much repercussion, but it had some twists such as changes of allegiances of a few characters, as well as a very unemotional minor character death. Every single character in the movie was unique and I’m glad that the movie incorporated almost everyone’s backstories and powers in some form.

However, I would have enjoyed the film more if a few of the characters were cut because it felt like the movie was spread too thin and didn’t give enough coverage to the major characters, due to there being so many X-Men to work with. It isn’t entirely a bad thing, as there is room for individual X-Men to have their own storylines and tangential movies such as Wolverine has gotten in the past.

One thing that I would have liked to see was more explanation on who certain people were and how they ended up where they were in the film. It really seemed that X-Men: Apocalypse only explained the existence of major characters in the film and just hastily glued together the others to appear out of nowhere just so they can have a few minutes of screen time. This is one thing that ought to be addressed when introducing new characters who are fairly unknown, such as Psylocke, to the section of the audience that doesn’t read the comics books.

I also felt that the film’s timeline really lacked in organization, as the events of X-Men: Apocalypse took place in a time span of one day, or even less. It’s really hard to imagine the emotional changes and allegiance changes that characters go through when they seemed so different a few hours or even minutes ago.

The main events in the movie were mostly buildup scenes for the final fight against Apocalypse. A lot of the movie was dedicated to explanation of the origins of characters like Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Angel, Apocalypse and the resurfacing of Magneto. I didn’t like how the backstories of Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler and Angel were so quick and ambiguous, but I enjoyed the emotion and great detail that went into building and explaining Apocalypse’s backstory and Magneto’s resurfacing. X-Men: Apocalypse also did a good job of reconnecting Wolverine’s solo movies into the story, which allowed him to smoothly transition into a future film, which there is bound to be.

In my opinion, most of the major plot points of the movie were explained well to the general audience, but X-Men: Apocalypse is not an introductory film, so there are bound to be references and connections to past films and comics, which can heighten the relevance of scenes that might be considered unnecessary to a first-time watcher. After watching the movie, my dad said that he didn’t really understand where a lot of the characters came from. He questioned why all of these different men and women from different parts of the world ended up coming together in what seemed to be a randomly triggered event. As a person who watched the majority of the past X-Men movies, I still felt that some of the side details should’ve been straightened out and not left so ambiguous.

Speaking of ambiguous, the end credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse was pivotal to the success and future expansion of the X-Men films. Because this film introduced so many new characters, the end credits scene confirmed that X-Men: Apocalypse was meant to be more of an entry-level film, creating many different possible paths for Marvel to take the series with many tools at their disposal.

This might seem confusing because in the previous paragraph I wrote that this movie is not an entirely introductory film, but here’s the explanation. X-Men: Apocalypse is a film released in the middle of a series, so it incorporates previous characters and storylines. However, because it introduced a plethora of new characters along with the resurgence of classic ones, you can say this was more of a “refresh” to the series and not an entire reboot. Because of this sole fact, I have hope for the X-Men series and am able to allow some of the ambiguity and lack of detail, hoping it will be addressed in future films.

X-Men: Apocalypse would be more enjoyable for a person who read the comics or watched some of the film’s predecessors, such as X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: First Class, because it’s a refresh on the series. X-Men: Apocalypse is still a decent film that I would recommend to anyone, especially if you’re interested in comic book or Marvel movies.