If you want to get technical about it, it’s easy to identify exactly what killed the X Men Movies: Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox. Disney, owner of Marvel Studios, had its own plans for the beloved Marvel Comics series, and that plan could not be implemented if they continued to move forward with the Fox cast and the (confusing) continuity of the X-Men timeline until then. moment. For additional evidence, look at Disney’s boring marketing of Dark fenix after its acquisition of Fox, and the miserable box office result. It was a whining ending for a franchise that helped propel the comic book movie genre as we know it with its critically and financially successful opening 2000 installment.

However, prior to the Disney acquisition and even Dark fenix, the franchise was already headed for failure thanks to a truly terrible entry that marked the beginning of the end: 2016 X-Men: Apocalypse. Turning five this month, X-Men: Apocalypse It’s not the most reviled entry in the main X-Men series, but it’s the one that signaled that the best days of this franchise were behind us. If you are looking for the culprit behind who really killed these movies, you will surely find the fingerprints of X-Men: Apocalypse.

Apocalypse He is an anchor that dragged the X-Men movies along in many ways but was especially deadly in his creative inertia. Movie franchises can’t survive stagnation for long. Even James Bond and the greatest superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe require new faces and storytelling every few installments. When you refuse to go ahead with new filmmakers or ideas, you get the Transformers franchise.

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X-Men: Apocalypse it is an exercise not only to adhere to the familiar, but to embrace it. Bryan singer again to direct his fourth X-Men film, and as the film features younger versions of Cyclops (Tye sheridan), Storm (Alexandra shipp) and Jean Gray (Sophie Turner) to try and refresh things, he also clings to the past with the return of Michael Fassbender, James mcavoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Y Nicholas Hoult.

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Image via 20th Century Fox.

Cyclops and the other new versions of familiar mutants don’t have much time to register as distinct personalities. The old is new again and these characters are once again overshadowed by other figures in history. Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique are at the center of the story for the third film in a row, while Hugh jackmanWolverine even returns for a puzzling piece in which he feels completely out of place.

And while future To all the boys that I fell in love with star Lana Condor barely has anything to do as Jubilee, the most tragic victim of X-Men: ApocalypseLack of interest in new characters is Oscar Isaac’s titular villain. This poor actor had more specific characters to play Body of lies Y The Bourne legacy of what he did to this forgettable villain. Isaac is buried under pounds of prosthetics and his entire character is basically a monster who wants to destroy things for reasons.

It must also be said that Isaac, Condor, and Shipp have nothing to do with this movie reinforces the X-Men franchise’s general problem of not giving artists of color absolutely anything substantial to work with. How depressing that Storm has less to do with a 2016 movie than he did in his initial appearance in 2000. The X-Men movies were supposed to depict the struggles of ostracized voices, but Apocalypse The worrying trend in this series continues, largely ignoring the perspectives of non-whites. H.H.

Problems with giving heavy material to characters of color aren’t the only thing Apocalypse has decided to carry over from past movies. MercuryEvan Peters) is brought back for another slow motion piece with a period tune, while Magneto is once again a good person until abruptly he isn’t. Sometimes, Apocalypse feels like a clip from the past X Men films; the cinematic equivalent of a greatest hits album cover.

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Image via 20th Century Fox.

Even with all these repeated beats from older movies, one of the few consistently distinctive elements of this incarnation of the X Men has been completely removed. The first two X Men The films did not stop being an allegory of the experiences of LGBTQIA + people. A scene in X2 of Bobby coming out of the closet to his parents especially resonated as a reflection of queer reality rather than the typical flight of fantasy you’d expect from a comic book movie. Even later X Men stem Deadpool 2 it would tip its hat to the idea that mutants are reflections of queer oppression with the Firefist character experiencing abuse in a “mutant re-education center” that resembles a conversion camp.

Any trace of that kind of subtext is fine and gone now that Apocalypse has arrived. The closest we get is the circumstances that led to the death of Magneto’s family, which is fueled by general intolerance against mutants. By the time we come to an ending where Psylocke is circling Beast in a collapsed apocalyptic wasteland, the idea of ​​using these characters as metaphors for queer experiences is a distant memory.

That ending is where it becomes especially evident that Apocalypse he has completely lost his way. As a group of mutants prepare to fight Apocalypse and his minions, a movie that was already on shaky ground begins to unravel before your very eyes. Each line of dialogue looks like something out of a completely different movie, while the abundance of supporting characters means that most on-screen players don’t have much to do. Some characters like Moira McTaggart (Rose byrne) they just hang around, which is the kind of exciting behavior we all come to see in summer blockbusters.

As the ending sequence progresses, it becomes clear that all this movie wants to do is emulate the style of the movie. Avengers movies, with a lot of computer-generated chaos posing a global threat. There is no chance for distinct character personalities or unique artistic visions to emerge here as the desire to copy other major superhero movies has become too overwhelming. When trying to create your own Battle of New York, Apocalypse it just proves that you can wipe out a real-world city in amazing detail and not inspire any reaction from the viewer. With no characters to invest in, all this carnage just registers as pointless.

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Image via 20th Century Fox.

The concept of X-Men: Apocalypse Relying heavily on influences from other superhero movies is certainly not a shocking development. The main X Men Movies have never been entirely bastions of originality. Just look at those black leather suits that the characters danced to in the early movies, which bore more than a passing resemblance to the costumes worn in the Matrix Movie (s. But in general, these movies were at least mainly original, how to open the first X Men with a flashback to Auschwitz or the use of a 1960s stage in X Men First generation or even how time travel was used in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

But in Apocalypse, the originality has been replaced by apocalyptic derivative images that you can find anywhere Roland emmerich disaster movie as Oscar Isaac delivers forgettable dialogue in Ivan Ooze’s terrible cosplay. A series that could once be counted on for at least flashes of freshness had completely given up.

On X-Men: Apocalypse, the day is saved once Jean Gray unleashes her fiery phoenix powers to stop Apocalypse. It’s supposed to be a crowd-pleasing, one-time double whammy, as Jean Gray not only eliminates the film’s main antagonist, but is also setting up a new cinematic incarnation of the Dark Phoenix storyline from the comics. In the run though, it’s just an awkward moment that ends the lengthy visual effects fireworks show on an anti-climatic note as he taunts the audience with a story we’ve all seen before in X-Men: The Final Decision.

It’s a microcosm of the entire movie itself, an empty show montage punctuated by retreads of things we’ve already seen. By this time, it becomes apparent that the sense of stagnation that has gripped so many blockbuster franchises before has gripped the X-Men movies quite fiercely, not long after the franchise had a new breath of life. in the form of the youngest bias X Men First generation and the sequel to the legacy Days of future past. And although 2017 would bring us the last great (and possibly the best) X Men film in the form of James mangolddramatic split Logan and 2018’s Deadpool 2 was financially successful, Apocalypse essentially killed any remaining interest in the principal X Men franchise itself and predicted the doom of its future.

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