After a long wait, X-Men: Apocalypse debuted in the US last Friday, the 27th of May. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not as bad as the critics said it would be. But, to be fair, who listens to them anyway? For example, Rotten Tomatoes has it listed at 49% rotten, which is way worse than The Last Stand (58%).
X-Men: Apocalypse is, nonetheless, ages behind its predecessor, X-Men: Days of Future Past, even if it is set a decade later. But that might be because it also has a lot more loose ends to tie up than the previous movie. This list is all about that and then some: the questions that remain unanswered.
So, without further ado, let us begin. Of course, you might not want to check out this list if you haven't seen the movie just yet. So consider yourself warned - there are big spoilers ahead!
What are Apocalypse's powers?
The entire marketing campaign for X-Men: Apocalypse is built on Apocalypse himself, the greatest enemy the X-Men have encountered until now, the mutant who has all the powers in the world. And so the fans expect to see a multifaceted villain, one that would rival Magneto in complexity.
It wasn't really so, though, as Apocalypse has a pretty basic plan, which falls along the lines of Sebastian Shaw's schemes - to kill all humans and leave the Earth only for the mutants. The twist is that Apocalypse has no problems in killing the lesser mutants (the death of Archangel says it all). However, unlike Shaw's powers, I have no idea what this Apocalypse can actually do.
The X-Men Cinematic Universe is built on the idea that genetic mutations are the basis of the mutants' existence - in other words, it’s easy to understand how each of the powers work. However, how does Apocalypse’s work, when he is not bound to one single body? How does he manage to steal, as an energy entity, and store all of those powers, if he doesn't have a body of his own?
Furthermore, what is the extent of his powers? To be honest, other than matter manipulation at a molecular level, Apocalypse is pretty basic in his skills. That would count the world in the comics - however, this is something else. And when you are called Apocalypse and some guy Magneto does all the apocalyptic things for you"¦
Can this Apocalypse die?
And this leads me to another question - can Apocalypse actually die? In other words, did Bryan Singer build X-Men: Apocalypse's villain so ambiguously because he will be used in other movies as well? It isn't hard to understand why I believe that - in the comics (and in the movies, as well) characters rarely stay dead. And the fact that the viewers don't understand how a character's powers work makes it easier to bring that character back to life - you know, he can't be killed, and you should have understood that from the first time. Or something along these lines.
And the biggest question mark is raised by the way in which Apocalypse transfers his consciousness - in the movie, he basically downloads himself into another body; this takes time. However, who is to say what will happen in the future with Charles Xavier, in whom Apocalypse was unsuccessfully installed? Is there a small part of Apocalypse's psyche living inside the Professor's mind?
In the final battle of X-Men: Apocalypse, Jean Grey destroys the villain's body and mind. Is that his final end? I doubt it. And, hopefully, this will be addressed in future movies. Speaking of which"¦
Is there any consequence to the destruction of the world?
From this point of view, X-Men: Apocalypse delivers - it presents a villain who actually brings destruction upon the world. However, since this is a cinematic universe, the consequences of this aren't addressed.
Thus, in the end, we only see Magneto and Jean Grey rebuilding the X Mansion and that is about all. What happens with the destroyed cities? Who will pay for the millions dead? Will the humans come up with a mutant deterrent, just in case someone like Apocalypse arises in the future? Will this bring back the Sentinels?
So many questions, all tied one to another.
The thing is that the X-Men universe is built upon the idea of exclusion. But this is nowhere to be found at the end of the movie, where everything is fine and dandy. In X-Men: First Class, the world fears the mutants because of their colossal power. In X-Men: Last Stand, the world learns that not all mutants are evil. In X-Men: Apocalypse, the world…does what?
I’m not saying that the X-Men universe should follow in the footsteps of Batman v Superman and Civil War, as far as the world's stance on the existence of superpowered beings is concerned. However, a bit of continuity doesn't hurt.
And, again, speaking of which"¦
What happens with Magneto?
If anything, Magneto is the perfect reason why the world should fear all the mutants and have a backup plan in case one of them decides to change the order of things. If in First Class he’s at the beginning of his path as a villain, with few knowing that he’s actually close to killing so many American and Russian soldiers (potentially uniting the two super powers against the mutants), Days of Future Past makes the entire world aware of his intentions.
And that is why his return in X-Men: Apocalypse seems a bit odd to me. Yes, he went into hiding. However, he’s been seconds away from killing the President of the United States, and everybody knows his face, so it’s difficult for me to think that he could actually lead a normal life.
Furthermore, X-Men: Apocalypse sees Magneto yet again at the center of all the destruction, doing all the heavy lifting. And to say in the end that he’s forgiven just because he had a sudden (and poorly played) change of heart"¦
Okay, nobody says that he is forgiven. However, this is what’s implied when he’s allowed to rebuild together with the X-Men, as well as when he’s able to walk away freely. So what happens with Magneto and how does the world see him now?
It’s an odd choice to make, having this happy and ambiguous ending. Or, at least, this is how I see it.
Where did Wolverine come from?
Yup - as Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg have said, Wolverine is the most important part of the X-Men universe. However, his presence in X-Men: Apocalypse leaves quite a few questions unanswered. And the biggest one concerns his capture at the end of Days of Future Past.
As we’ve seen, he’s pulled out of the Potomac at the end of Days of Future Past. And he is captured by Mystique, disguised as Stryker. If this is what happens, how does he end up in the Weapon X program? Mystique has no intention of bringing any harm to her fellow mutants. So having her handing Wolverine over to Stryker is, without a doubt, a false assumption.
The best explanation is that it isn't Mystique being disguised as Stryker, but some other shape shifter who hasn't been fully introduced until now (the credits scene for X-Men: Apocalypse is the biggest hint as to whom that is). But, still - this is bothering me, since no genuine explanation is offered in the movie.
It is as if I’m left to believe that for two years that Wolverine is fine and dandy, only to discover much later on that I’m a fool to have believed it. It is as if we were already introduced to the idea of other powerful shape shifters in this universe - in other words, Sinister should have been announced or hinted at earlier for Wolverine's comeback in the Weapon X program to make any sense.
And speaking of Wolverine and Days of Future Past"¦
Did Professor X even attempt to find or rescue Wolverine?
One of the biggest setups of Days of Future Past is Wolverine asking Professor X to find the rest of the X-Men. And the professor does just that - X-Men: Apocalypse introduces the younger versions of the X-Men from the original trilogy. However"¦
Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Wolverine is allowed to enter the Weapon X program in the first place? I can't be the only one.
Professor X hears his advice and seeks out the other powerful mutants. However, why not search for the one who gives him the advice in the first place? Seeing that Wolverine's role in Days of Future Past is essential for changing the future, this is the least Xavier could have done - search for him and rescue him.
This doesn't happen and no explanation is offered.
The Weapon X origin from X-Men: Apocalypse is one of the most awesome moments of the movie (including the Wolverine and Jean Grey special moment). However, it was half-ruined by the fact that the entire scene happened in the first place. Again, it is as if I saw a different Days of Future Past than what Bryan Singer created.
Next, another of the horsemen"¦
What is Psylocke going to do now?
Among all of the horsemen, Psylocke is the most underused - just kidding. She has the same amount of screen time and the same amount of backstory as Archangel. However, unlike the dead horseman, Psylocke lives in the end - and, without a single word, she leaves. I get it - she saw in Apocalypse her chance to do something fun, something more exciting than being Caliban's bodyguard. And with Apocalypse gone"¦
And, for that matter, she had no reason to intervene when her remaining fellow horsemen switched sides and attacked the villain. However, the fact that she leaves so undecided is a bit annoying.
As I see it, Olivia Munn's character arc isn’t done. It’s just been interrupted (some might say that it hasn’t even begun). On the web it is said that she will be the one to bring Apocalypse back - I doubt it, since it would be out of character (or, at least, out of her X-Men: Apocalypse character). Most likely, she will return.
But the way in which she leaves is utterly disappointing.
I have no idea what she'll do next. Bryan Singer did an excellent job in Days of Future Past, fleshing out the mutants who die. He doesn't do so well in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Why doesn’t Quicksilver tell Magneto about their connection?
This is the best example of how not to prolong a story. In Days of Future Past, it is hinted that Quicksilver is Magneto‘s son. In the promotional interviews, Evan Peters says that Quicksilver is aware that Magneto is his father, and he’ll be searching for him. For the arc to be completed, and for Magneto to have a better reason for switching sides, Quicksilver should have told him that he’s his son.
It doesn't happen. And I don't know why. Yes, it would be a bit cheesy, and all those who are familiar with the characters would see it coming a mile away.
Instead of doing that, the powers that be decided that Quicksilver's story needs to be prolonged. Why? I guess we'll find out.
And speaking of Quicksilver"¦
Where are Quicksilver's sisters?
In Days of Future Past, Quicksilver has two sisters - one of whom is presented in the movie. Although he is introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse with his mother, there is no sign of anybody else living with them. And since his character arc revolves around the idea of a family, this seems a bit weird to be - to not have his sisters appear.
Of course, this would mean other underdeveloped characters, considering that one of them is the powerful Scarlet Witch. However, since these characters are not pulled straight out of the comics, this could have been basic fan service, like in Days of Future Past, with all those future characters.
And it would have been great, since it would have given a continuity to Quicksilver's arc - he has a family, but he also searches for his long lost father. Did Fox try to avoid any confusion between the mutant Scarlet Witch and the miracle from the MCU?
It would be a shame if this isn't addressed in future movies. Especially since Scarlet Witch would be a great opportunity for Fox to reboot the entire X-Men franchise (yeah, I am ok with that, if it happens at the end of another trilogy).
Can mutants age?
It’s pretty clear why Mystique didn't age - it’s explained in First Class. And we already knew that - even if it’s the simplest of all explanations, her mutation allows her to age more slowly than others. Besides, why would a shape shifter choose to look old when staying forever young is a possibility?
But this is just Mystique. And, as we see, not all mutants have this regenerative ability - case in point, the younger versions of the first X-Men trilogy movies. This being said, and having the Days of Future Past characters in mind, why don't they age?
This might seem a small detail. However, at times, it can pull you out of the movie. But I guess this is what happens when a shared universe is rebooted and in which the same characters are being used. And I guess this happens when the timeline is entirely messed up via time-travel.
Just check out Havok and his parents (who are also Cyclops' parents). Bedazzling.
Speaking of which"¦
Is Havok really dead?
Havok must have thought that he had a chance against Apocalypse and his horsemen - he actually blows up the entire X-Mansion. And, if it weren't for Quicksilver, he would surely kill everyone in the house. As far as I see it, his presence in X-Men: Apocalypse has no impact at all (since the house could have been destroyed by other means).
This being said, I’m uncertain that he died. It isn't specified in the movie - it’s just said that he’s the closest to the explosion. Why is this not made a bit more explicit in X-Men: Apocalypse? It would give Cyclops all the more reasons to fight harder.
I guess that I’m more inclined to believe that he hasn't died, and that, somehow, he’ll return in future X-Men movies. And, if he has died, at least he wasn't killed off-screen, as so many characters from X-Men: First Class are.
Do you think Havok is dead? And, for that matter, is Angel also dead? It seems pretty clear about the latter, but you never know…
Nightcrawler and Mystique
In the comics, Mystique and Nightcrawler are mother and son, with Azazel being the father. I get it - it isn't essential for the plot at the moment, but this issue could have been addressed, pretty much like Quicksilver and Magneto in Days of Future Past. And it should be addressed, because Nightcrawler is as blue as Mystique is, and because he has the same powers as Azazel in First Class.
But, no, it isn't even mentioned that they are both blue - I believe this could have made an awesome moment. And it would have answered another question: Why is he introduced in the way he is, being saved by Mystique?
One more thing that seems weird about Nightcrawler is his ability. In the comics, at least, he can teleport anywhere he can see. However, this isn't the case in X-Men: Apocalypse. I understand what happens in the helicopter, since Striker could have something in place in order to prevent the mutants from using their powers.
However, this isn't the case during the cage fight. Am I supposed to believe that electricity can prevent Nightcrawler from teleporting out of that cage? Or am I supposed to assume that it’s a special kind of electricity, one that prevents teleporters (and just teleporters, as if there are scores of them) from using their powers?
Credits scene - Mister Sinister setup and more?
Lastly – and this isn't in any way a question that has no answer – the post-credits scene obviously says that Mister Sinister will be the villain of the next X-Men installment. However, I believe that it will be more than that and he will appear in several other movies in this shared universe instead of just one.
Gambit (whenever it will happen) is also rumored to feature him. Furthermore, the last Wolverine flick starring Hugh Jackman is also rumored to have Mister Sinister appear in one way or another.
There is a question about this, nonetheless - is the credits scene hinting that X-23 will replace the no-nonsense mutant? Everybody believes that it will be so. And it is interesting to see what role this new mutant (if she appears at all) will have in the shared universe.
Thus far, these are the biggest unanswered questions of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Obviously, more could be said - but this would mean nitpicking. Maybe some other time. What do you think? Are there any other big questions to be asked?