* some spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse lurk within *
The Horsemen are coming, and Armageddon is nigh — yes, it's nearly time for X-Men: Apocalypse to unleash itself upon America. Now you might feel a little put off by the next chapter in the X-Men series due to the lacklustre reviews which have emerged thus far, but we suspect that it may go onto become a hit with fans, if not critics, once it releases to a wider audience.
Sure, Apocalypse is far from a perfect movie, and missed opportunities pepper the script like tragedies in Magneto's backstory. But it's still a thoroughly enjoyable time throughout, the narrative made to work by the ensemble cast of characters new, old and slightly different than before.
But the ensemble is what drags the movie down somewhat, too many characters and not enough screen time to adequately explore many of them, but Evan Peter's Pietro Maximoff — better known as Quicksilver — was certainly a high point.
The super-slow, beautifully scored scene of Days of Future Past — which has gone on to become the most famous moment for the silver-haired mutant — is recreated here. Let's watch the Days of Future Past one again, just for fun.
In a nod to this sequence in Apocalypse Quicksilver speeds around the school, saving the inhabitants, a dog, and some fish from an explosion which spoilers the heck outta that spoiler, whilst 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)' by the Eurythmics plays in the background.
The right amount of effective and cheeky is balanced in Quicksilver's character, carrying on the convention of Days of Future Past. But there's a big, big missed opportunity when it comes down to the Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) reveal. You know the one.
We've known for a while the true parentage of the Fox-Marvel Pietro Maximoff. The comic book Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the twin offspring of Magneto and, whilst Wanda Maximoff doesn't appear in Apocalypse, the connection between Quicksilver and Magneto has been teased as a major plot point even since Pietro's introduction in Days of Future Past:
Pietro Maximoff: They told me you control metal.
Erik Lehnsherr: "They"?
Pietro Maximoff: You know, my mom once knew a guy who could do that.
So if the end reveal, that Magneto betrayed Apocalypse and returned more or less to the X-Men fold as a 'good guy', felt a little out of place to you worry not, you're not the only one who thought this.
During the climactic battle of X-Men vs Apocalypse, Raven Darkholme/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Quicksilver confront Magneto as he pulls the Earth asunder. Mystique pleads with him not to do this, appealing to the emotional weight of the time they spent together as a family in the past, namely the events of First Class.
Though he appears unmoved at the time, Magneto returns to save the team's bacon by chucking a big metal X at Apocalypse, because subtly is apparently not in Simon Kinberg's back-catalogue.
But though it made for a great moment, this felt like a strange and sudden turn for Magneto, given the long trail of character motivation which had been established for him over the series' run.
Whilst filming Apocalypse Michael Fassbender told ScreenRant that the reason Magneto follows the resurrected god-mutant Apocalypse/En Sabah Nur is because, when the big blue shows up, he's at the lowest point in his life.
If you've seen the movie you'll know why — after still trying to work through the trauma of losing his family in the holocaust of WWII (as seen in X-Men and X-Men: First Class), tragedy strikes for him once again in Poland.
In a nod to his comic-book backstory, Erik's wife and young daughter are accidentally killed during a confrontation by a mob once Erik's identity as Magneto is uncovered.
At his lowest point, when Apocalypse shows up, Magneto accepts the outstretched hand as a way of unleashing his anger and pain back upon those he holds responsible, as Fassbender elaborates:
"[Apocalypse has] caught [Magento] at a very low, vulnerable point where he doesn’t really care anymore whether he dies or not or what happens, so he’s like, 'Yeah I’ll join this guy. I’ll go on this path of judgment.'"
When Magneto decides to Judas it up, it's presumed that Mystique's appeal to the sense of his family he still retains for her and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is what motivated him to turn against Apocalypse. But this makes little sense compared to the golden opportunity which presented itself in the form of having Quicksilver standing right there.
Days of Future Past already planted the seeds for this revelation, judging by Magneto's reaction to Quicksilver musing "my mom once knew a guy who could do that".
And there's a moment when it looks like we're going to get the reveal from Quicksilver during the conversation between Magneto and Mystique. But — despite the fact that Quicksilver's entire motivation thus far has been to find his father — when it comes down to it he doesn't tell him the truth, rather saying "I'm here for my family too".
Arguably this is the reveal which should've been used as Magneto's motivation for changing sides, not an ill-defined change of heart when confronted by the woman who shot him last time they met.
We've already had the motivations of Magneto's turn away from the X-Men clearly laid out in previous films, so for him to snap back to them after losing his wife and daughter at the hands of frightened humans makes little sense.
Especially when you take into account the fact that revealing Quicksilver to be his flesh-and-blood son would've made for a much more convincing turn, as this would've given Magneto the opportunity to protect his family, being in some small way a means of redemption for failing to save them previously.
This odd choice is reinforced during the closing scenes, as Storm/Ororo Munroe (Alexandra Shipp) questions why Quicksilver hasn't spoken to his father, he replies that he may tell him someday.
Whilst it's perhaps been left open in order to segue into future films, it is a bit of a let down for those who had been hoping to see a resolution to the Magneto/Quicksilver storyline, although hopefully this sets up a whole new lot of inside jokes between Quicksilver and the audience. After all, that's why we love him.
What's your take on Quicksilver and Magneto in X-Men: Apocalypse? Tell us in the comments below!