When it comes to handling its properties, Fox Studios aren’t exactly known for being the best. You just need to look at last year’s Fantastic Four (or Fan4stic if your Fox’s marketing department) or any of the older X-Men instalments to see that Fox hasn’t had the best streak in adapting the mutant side of the Marvel universe.
It’s surprising, then, that the newer line of X-Men movies have been doing so well lately. Apocalypse marks the third entry in the new X-Men series (technically sixth in the main line and ninth in the franchise but we’ll get to that) and will see the introduction of the more classic X-roster as well as big bad Apocalypse.
First, though, let’s straighten out the mess that is the timeline of the X-Men cinematic universe. For those who don’t know, Fox had been making instalments in the X-Men franchise long before the superhero boom came along. Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was conceived and long before the triumph of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, there was the X-Men.
X-Men can be argued to be the main reason why we even have an age of the comic-book movie, so some respect is due, but the problem with having a series run since 2000 with all its sequels and eventual reboot, is that your timeline is going to get a bit blurry.
Basically, the original trilogy and Wolverine spin-offs are now the old canon, which means they are no longer relevant to the overall story, while First Class and Days of the Future Past have taken over as the legitimate canon. Still with me? In short you only need the latter two movies to know what’s going on. Oh, and then there’s Deadpool somewhere in the timeline, but no-one really knows where.
Now that’s cleared up, let’s talk about Apocalypse.
X-men: Apocalypse will continue the precedent of being set in the decade following the last instalments, thus the setting of the 1980’s. The story sees ancient mutant and all round nasty piece of work Apocalypse wake up from a hibernation that lasted millennia. He doesn’t like what he sees in the world (with 80’s fashion being what it was I don’t blame him) and decides to recruit the Four Horsemen (no not the old-school wrestling stable, but could you imagine?) to wipe out the world of humanity and rule mutant kind in the aftermath.
Well, that simply won’t do for Professor X and Mystique, who decide to form the X-Men (properly this time) from a group of his students. This team, despite being new, are in a classic vein with original comic book members Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beast all appearing, though expect their inexperience to be a major hurdle for the team. After all, most of them can barely control their powers at this stage, never mind use them their full potential.
The rest of the team is rounded off by new favourite QuickSilver, Night Crawler, Jubilee, Havok with Professor X and Mystique acting as leadership for the team – and expect the history between the latter two to cause more than a little bit of tension.
All in all a solid team, so surely this Apocalypse chap can’t be that bad, right?
Apocalypse, or En Sabah Nur (“The First One”) was born in Ancient Egyptian times. He was the first mutant, and one with an unlimited power at that. Using his power to rule, he convinced early mankind throughout the world that he was in fact a god. However all this travelling and divine worship tires a man (well mutant) out, and after unearthing advanced technology finds he can develop an armour that can recharge his power – all it takes is a nap for a millennia or two.
So, what can we expect from this movie then? Well, mass destruction for one. Apocalypse is a force of nature and it looks like he’s going to unleash every bit of anger he has on humanity, so expect a decent amount of carnage. Plenty of action too, what with the X-men trying to stop Apocalypse and his four Horsemen from destroying the world, so a mutant vs mutant showdown is guaranteed for this instalment.
A final expectation is from the characters themselves, and seeing them continue to grow and their interaction with those they once called friend. This will be a hit for Fox with Bryan Singer at the helm; he knows the characters and is responsible for some of the best entries in the franchise.
Throw in the strong cast and it’s pretty much guaranteed to draw the crowd in to the box office. What will be interesting to see is if Apocalypse can beat Deadpool, the little merc that could.
So grab your popcorn, head to your nearest cinema and wait out the Apocalypse.
X-Men: Apocalypse will be in UK cinemas on 18 May.