In Defense of Apocalypse
No I haven’t been hacked. Just hear me out.
By now everyone has seen the images of Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse from Bryan Singer’s next movie, X-Men: Apocalypse. To say people weren’t impressed is an understatement. The reactions and subsequent photoshops were hilarious. The most obvious comparison folks were making was comparing Apocalypse’s look to that of Ivan Ooze from the 1995 Power Ranger Movie. No matter how you feel about costume, there’s no denying the comparison is a valid one. But I’m here to give some comfort to those that seem a bit distressed.
I remember when Singer first announced he would be doing Apocalypse and I saw a bunch of people really excited. Now, I could be that asshole that goes “What did you expect from Bryan Singer?” but I won’t because no one likes that guy. Apocalypse is one of the biggest, baddest X-Men villains out there. So I understand why people were excited. Now it does kind of suck for those that were looking forward to this movie are now feeling a little down. But I think there are some legit reasons why most folks shouldn’t worry too much about what Apocalypse looks like. Here are some reasons to help keep you calm:
It’s Not For You
Yes you. The person the most outraged over the look of Apocalypse. Chances are you didn’t like Days of Future Past or First Class or any of the other X-Men movies. So yes, while I do support the jokes because…jokes…I have to ask, beyond that, why do you care? I know I’m not a fan of Bryan Singer’s vision for X-Men. I only saw Days of Future Past because 1. It was free for me as press and 2. I’ve just accepted that his movies will never represent the X-Men I’m familiar with. I do not understand everyone else though, who will willingly pay to go see these movies they claim to hate and not enjoy. I still haven’t seen Transformers Age of Extinction. I won’t be seeing the next one either as long as Michael Bay is attached no matter how good the trailer appears. I know my limit and know what I can sit through. At this point Fox has almost as many X-Men related films (counting the Wolverine films) as Marvel Studios has. You already know if your’e in or you’re out. Last year I saw people who HATED Days of Future Past but then were excited that Singer was doing X-Men: Apocalypse just because it was going to be Apocalypse. Why are you setting yourself up to be disappointed again? Just make a clean break and let it go. I think Byran Singer's movies aren't for people who are huge fans of the X-Men from the comic books. I think they're for casual fans who at most love the 90's cartoon and have only a surface level knowledge of them at best. Good for them. With Marvel Studios and WB/DC also in the game, I think there's enough for everyone. If you want movies more faithful to the comics, particularly what's being released now (not 15 years ago), then Marvel Studios has what you're looking for. WB/DC also seems to be taking cues from their recent comic book runs but with a darker tone. Both of those should be more than enough to satisfy any comic book fan out there, particularly those that are keeping up on what's going on (Newsflash: complaining that Hank Pym is "your" Ant-Man is a key way of telling me you haven't picked up a comic in a long time). For everyone else that just wants to watch a movie with with characters they recognize but don't have the entire Marvel Database in their head, Fox's X-Men movies are perfect for them. At this point it's not even Fox's problem but the problem of us who refuse to accept that we're the outcasts here and we need to move on.
You were fine with Quicksilver and Sentinels
So if you’re still reading then I’m assuming that you DID enjoy Days of Future Past and the other Fox X-Men films. So my question to you is: Why are you worried? We’ve been down this path before. First with Bryan Singer showing us his vision for the Sentinels which looked like giant Dyson vacuum cleaners. They didn’t look menacing at all and looked nothing like the classic mutant hunting robots from either the cartoon or the comics. Yet you got over that. Then there was Evan Peter’s Quicksilver. People HATED the look of Quicksilver. Then the movie came out and his one scene became a fan favorite. I’ve seen people legit say they enjoyed the DoFP Quicksilver more than the Age of Ultron Quicksilver. Full disclosure: I think those people are crazy. But what I think is beside the point. People enjoyed Singer’s Quicksilver. So, if you were able to look past the Sentinels and Quicksilver, I’m willing to bet the same thing will happen with Apocalypse. Obviously comic book accuracy isn’t your main concern which is fine. Truth is if the performances are enjoyable to you then does it really matter if the look is off from the comics? No…no it doesn’t.
Oscar Isaac Can Act
As critical as I’ve been of the X-Men movies, one of the things I will always give them credit for is casting. Fox always manages to cast some pretty big names for their roles. In a lot of ways, Fox does with casting what Marvel Studios does with picking directors: They try to lock up talent before they really blow up. Fox got Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult for First Class. They also have cast or previously cast people like Ellen Page, Kodi McPhee, Omar Sy and many others. This doesn’t even count their original cast which got them Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman and yes, even Halle Berry. Look, I’m not a fan of her in these movies but at the time, Halle was THE top black actresses in Hollywood to get and Fox got her. Still not sure about Alexandra Shipp but the miscasting and mistreatment of Storm by Singer is a topic for another article. Now sure, we could talk about how Fox hasn’t always put their talented casts to good use and how I think that’s partly to blame on Singer’s limited ability, but again, there’s no denying that talent is there. That continues with the actor cast to play Apocalypse. Oscar Isaac is a tremendously talented actor. I saw him last in Ex Machina and he was great. I have no doubt that, despite the costume choices, Isaac will pull off the role of En Sabah Nur perfectly. We’re going to see Isaac and Fassbender together in a film where both of them are villains. If you’ve been in on Singer’s X-Men movies then you have nothing to worry about.
We Still Don’t Know
The reality of the situation is, we still don’t really know what Apocalypse will end up looking like. While I’m still not a fan of their designs, both Quicksilver and the Sentinels looked better in the actual movie than their still photos. The only real video we have of Apocalypse is the leaked version from Comic-Con. I need folks to understand the reason why studios are so against the leaks of those Comic-Con trailers is because for movies like X-Men: Apocalypse which are still almost a year away, the visual effects in any early footage is still raw. They show it at Comic-Con as a treat for those in attendance and it’s not really meant for mass consumption because its not final footage. A lot of things can change between now and when the film comes out. Not only that but I’ve seen people complain about the size of Apocalypse in the picture released. He seems to be about normal height when we normally imagine Apocalypse towering over his foes. Now this issue can be easily addressed. Apocalypse’s powers gives him the ability to change his body shape and size. These still photos probably don’t tell the whole story with the character. Oscar Isaac has already teased that the final fight will be all of the X-Men taking on Apocalypse and I would be willing to bet, he’s going to be pretty massive.
Bottom line here: If you’re a fan of Singer’s work on the X-Men, you’re going to enjoy this movie when it comes out. If you’re not, then I’m not sure why you’re still shocked and why you’re going to spend money to see this when it comes out. It’s time for a clean break. Make a choice, either you’re in or you’re out. There are a TON of other comic book movies coming out next year. The only reason to watch X-Men: Apocalypse if you’re not of fan of these other movies is because you WANT to go and be pissed off. And to be honest, that’s just sad. It’s time to move on if the movies aren’t for you.