As you are no doubt aware, Movies Have (Basically) Stopped. Almost all the movies that used to be being made are no longer being made and those of us who depend on making fun of the winter’s nerdy blockbusters for their livelihoods are in a pickle. How can I, as someone who has professionally hated things for two full decades, make a buck when the future is currently bereft of films to hate? There’s only one answer: It’s time to look into the past.Or, to put it more simply, I’m using my patented “FAQs” to answer the questions you had about older superhero and science fiction flicks that I didn’t answer, probably because I didn’t want to subject myself to yet another terrible movie at the time. Now, though, beggars can’t be choosers, which means I just sat through X-Men: Apocalypse, a movie that should be in prison for its criminal misuse of Oscar Isaac. Enjoy…?Where does X-Men: Apocalypse sit in the X-film franchise?It’s the sixth movie in the X-Men film franchise, assuming you skip the Wolverine solo flicks and Deadpool, and the third movie in the First Class continuity/universe. It’s also the first First Class film to truly, truly suck.What’s it’s problem?Several things, as we’ll discuss. But really it’s less a movie than a checklist where director and alleged super-creep Bryan Singer started throwing in whatever popular X-characters he hadn’t gotten around to yet, including ones that had yet to show up in the movies.Shouldn’t including fan-favourite characters be a good thing?Yeah, if there’s something for them to do. With the exception of the new, young versions of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler, the rest of these characters barely figure into the movie’s plot, if at all.Hmm. So what is the movie about?As the label on the tin says, the movie is about the…well, I’m not sure popular is the correct word, but the prominent X-villain named Apocalypse, who is over 5,000 years old, possibly the first mutant ever, and a real big fan of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory. As a result, he likes causing apocalypses to weed out the weak (presumably humans) and leave the strong, which he figures will be mostly (if not all) mutants.Why is he so interested in killing off weak people?I don’t know. For kicks, I guess.What are Apocalypse’s powers?That’s a great question. Wikipedia lists the movie version of Apocalypse as having “various abilities, such as telepathy, telekinesis, technopathy, teleportation, flight, cellular regeneration, matter and energy manipulation, mutant enhancement, protective shielding, enhanced adaptive skills, and superhuman physical attributes” which covers a lot of bases. He mostly uses his power to amplify a mutant’s powers and to break down and control non-organic material, as he does when he turns most of Cairo, Egypt into a giant magic sci-fi pyramid that has a solar-powered consciousness swapper.Um, why does Apocalypse have a giant magic sci-fi pyramid?When he gets old and decrepit, he puts his mind in a fresh body. Although apparently, he doesn’t need it often because when he swaps bodies in 3600 BCE he stays in perfect health until a half-dozen nitwits reawaken him in 1983 (when the film is set).That’s what he does with it. I’m asking where did he get it? He’s just a mutant, right? And not an alien?Exactly right. Presumably, Apocalypse got the pyramid in the same place he got his high-tech body armour and sci-fi head tubes. There’s an answer for this shit in the comics, but since the movie refuses to explain it, I’m not going to either.That’s annoying. OK, so what are the old X-Men up to?It’s been 10 years since Days of Future Past took place, in which Magneto tried to murder Nixon. The X-Men have disbanded and Professor X refuses to reform them to focus on peace, which his pal Beast disagrees with. Mystique is travelling around the world looking to save mutants from bad situations. Magneto — who of course is not an X-Men member but I assume you also want an update on — is peacefully hiding as a steelworker in Poland with a wife and young daughter.Who are the new mutant characters in the movie?There are a lot, so settle in. Here are just the good guys: Jean Grey is already a student at Professor X’s school and having Phoenix nightmares. Cyclops gets his eye laser powers and is taken to the school by his older brother Havok. Nightcrawler gets rescued from an underground mutant fight club cage match by Mystique. Jubilee also attends the school and plays no part in the movie.
What about the bad guys?
Let me introduce them as the movie does, starting with Apocalypse. It’s in the past, and the villain rules some portion of Egypt. However, he’s also very old, so he gets in the magic sci-fi pyramid to transfer his mind into a young, hot, bald man with Wolverine-style healin