The Apocalypse. Armageddon. Aren’t we smack-dab in the middle of it right now?
Edgar Cayce, “The Sleeping Prophet,” predicted fully two-thirds of the world’s human population would get wiped out. Like, right around this time. He was rarely wrong.
One Eastern take on it says the Creator made the cosmos, and forthwith began to descend, incarnating down through millions of space-time layers and dimensions to arrive here, on this tiny speck of Earth—the center of the cosmos—at this time we currently find ourselves in.
He would then upgrade, from the inside out, his vast creation (Cosmos 2.0) and set it spinning with a brand new set of laws. And a whole mess of humans would get wiped out in the process.
Why? Because humans are stomping all over the old laws; who keeps the 10 commandments anymore for starters? By that logic, it’s the ripple effect of flagrant disregard of cosmic law that’s lead to overpopulation, climate change, humongous Canadian forest fires, and eating too many moo-cows.
Western theology posits similar things, adding the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse—Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. So aren’t we currently right in the middle of all that? Okay, granted, we haven’t seen much of the four horseman in the good old USA … but take a look around! Look at the rest of the world! We might be next!
So isn’t it good that we now have a movie about the apocalypse? No, I tell you. It is not. It is not good. It is perhaps fair to middling. Perhaps not even.
Apocalypse as King Tut?
In “X-Men: Apocalypse,” director Bryan Singer gives us instead of a creator, a green-faced (with black racing-stripes) Ur-mutant named Apocalypse, created by comic books, and played by Oscar Isaac under enough makeup to sink Atlantis.
We find ourselves in the Nile Valley, 3600 B.C. It’s all very Egyptian, with exceptional visuals, except it’s all high-percentage CGI, and very 12-year-old, squeaky-clean.
Not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that, generally speaking, a movie’s yawn-index is directly proportionate to its CGI-reliance.
Come Down to the Lab
So there’s a big ceremonial thing happening; the first mutant Apocalypse has, Darwin-istically speaking, survived down through the ages by draining other mutants of their primordial chi and sucking up their superpowers.
There’s a whole chi-sucking ceremony going down in the pyramid basement, an Egypt-centric version of “Rocky Horror’s,” “Come up to the lab, and see what’s on the slab!”
The top of the pyramid is revealed! It’s pure gold! The sun melts it, and molten gold drains down to the basement, lighting up hieroglyphics like the doors to the Mines of Moria, in “Fellowship Of the Rings!”
Let the chi-energy transference from the unwilling sacrificial mutant’s stone slab to Apocalypse’s slab begin!
Ah, but he is foiled. There’s a revolt; some proto-ISIS types, who’ve infiltrated the ceremony, stage a proto-jihad and overthrow the transference. Smash the pyramid. Rubble. Yawn.
A few thousands of years later, Apocalypse wakes up, still looking like a great, gray, green, grease-paint-y pharaoh, and sets off on a mutant-recruit to help him, basically, reboot civilization to his specifications.
Not the cosmos—Earth. So he’s not a god, just a mega-mutant who does evil; and who can manipulate earthly things. But it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature; there’s always retribution involved.
So now’s the time to trot out the now over-familiar cast of mutants: Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) the young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Professor X (James McAvoy), and the rest. They’ve got to stop this dastardly superpower-greedy Apocalypse, a task, which they set about in a distinctly Hardy Boy-like fashion.
And There You Have It
You know a franchise is getting tired when you go, “Yawn, there’s that narrow ramp thingie in that vault that could still really use some guard-rails, where Charles puts on his elvish helmet and peers at the collective souls of the world. Oh, yawn, there’s Wolverine tri-clawing people. Oh, yes, yawn, there’s Jean Grey blasting telekinetic energy with her face.
“X-Men” are action flicks but there’s very little CGI, or non-CGI—action here, that’s fun. Maybe the smidgen of mutant-on-mutant cage fighting? Maybe the mini-Wolverine-rampage scene?
“Weapon-X (Wolverine) is loose!” “Really? Aw yeah! Here we go!” Nope, yawn, it looks like they caught Hugh Jackman in a non-jacked, atrophied-muscle phase. When we see him skedaddling into the forest, he’s comically middle-aged: a bit skinny—no lats, traps, or delts, and with a tiny pudge of love-handles.
Next time, please schedule Jackman properly, so he can get a decent steroid-cycle going, and peak on time; I don’t like my Wolverine under done and normal-looking. He must be a beast.
And while J-Law can, in any other situation, act circles around Rebecca Rojimin, Rojimin rocked the blue body paint—owned it with great charisma. Why? Well, basically because you’re looking at a bare-naked lady, and Rojimin’s a supermodel. Which is why they’ve got Lawrence in the body paint much less, than more. Not that Lawrence is a slouch in that department, just, you know … sayin’.
Only Fun Thing
The best scene in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” was also the best thing in Singer’s previous mega-hit, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (since it’s recycled, I’ll recycle what I said about it last time):
“This outranks all scenes to date that depict a character moving in another dimension with a much faster time-speed, including Keanu’s bent-over-backward ‘Matrix’ bullet-swerve.”
I’m talking about Evan Peters as Quicksilver, running around, tweaking stuff, hilariously, at the speed of light. Skip the movie, wait till that scene comes out on YouTube, and just watch that; it’ll be the cinematic equivalent of dumping the crackerjacks out, and getting the prize, with no indigestion.
And next time, director Singer, please just shuck all the other mutant-cornhusks and give us a Quicksilver-cob. The guy needs his own movie now.
Armageddon Right Now
The buzz on social media is that people are vaguely aware that there’s some kind of hard-to-pinpoint, deep polarization going on among the world’s people, as we speak—be it jihadi fighters against the West, Trump-ers versus Berners, vegans versus milk-drinkers, or good old communism versus democracy. In any case, it’s definitely starting to look like some kind of biblical sheep versus goats thing is forming up; everyone seems to be choosing a side.
Will seeing “X-Men: Apocalypse” help you make a decision about what side to be on for the Apocalypse? Maybe. Maybe you’ll be more able to recognize a mutant when you eventually see one. Think about it: pretty much the only movies nowadays that get any kind of play in America are about people with superpowers. Batman (okay not Batman) Superman, Hulk, Apocalypse … maybe there are mutants already among us! Maybe they’re gonna save the world! Let’s hope.
Film Review ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Olivia Munn, Hugh Jackman
Running Time: 2 hours, 24 minutes
Release Date: May 27
Rated 2.5 stars out of 5