SPOILERS are ahead from X-Men: Apocalypse!
X-Men: Apocalypse marks the third entry to the young mutant trilogy. While the film hasn’t been given the best reviews from critics (it currently holds a 48% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes), the audience however has been more appreciative for Singer’s latest effort, giving it a respectable 74% rating. Some fans have said that this latest chapter is the weakest of the three films which also includes X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. X-Men: Apocalypse is not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a step down after what was arguably Singer’s best X-Men outing, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
With the word Apocalypse in the title, you would believe the film to be all doom and gloom. On the contrary, the film has plenty of lighter moments, though sometimes they aren't handled well or placed in the best possible spots. With all that said, X-Men: Apocalypse is a very enjoyable film and should go down as another strong entry and jump starting yet another trilogy with a new team of X-Men.
Here is a list I believe to be the ten best scenes in the film. The scenes are in chronological order, so this is not a ranking list. Let’s start the list off with the opening scene of the movie!
1. En Sabah Nur’s Transference in Ancient Egypt
The entire opening act brings us to ancient Egypt. We see all of these Egyptians worshiping their king En Sabah Nur (The First One); however, there are some who are planning to destroy him. En Sabah Nur is taken inside one of the Great Pyramids and is ready to transfer his decrepit body into a younger one. For reasons unknown, some of his servants want him dead and decide to betray him by trapping him inside the pyramid. As the servants are attempting to kill him, Apocalypse’s current Four Horsemen protect him and annihilate them.
Some of the powers these Horsemen have are pretty graphic. One of them is able to melt the skin right off human bodies. Another is able to control the flames in the room and burn the other servants. Perhaps the most gruesome take is the Horseman who grabs one of the servants mid-air and folds his body like a pretzel, killing him instantly. Finally, another Horseman slowly builds a barrier around Apocalypse, shielding him from the crumbling debris around him. Unfortunately for the Horsemen, they are all killed inside the collapsing pyramid. However, Apocalypse is kept safe underground and will be re-awakened over 3,000 years later.
2. Nightcrawler vs Angel Cage Fight
This particular scene appeared to be a nod to the very first Bryan Singer X-Men film, when we saw Wolverine take on a few humans inside of a metal cage. In X-Men: Apocalypse, it is Angel’s turn to battle in front of an audience. After defeating The Blob, he is introduced to the swift Nightcrawler and becomes badly damaged after his wings touch the electrified fence. The scene is entertaining and barbaric at the same time, as we watch the crowd cheer on the mutants to take each other out.
3. Cyclops Destroys an Old Tree
After his older brother Alex introduces a young Scott Summers to the Professor, he is asked to destroy a few targets located across the lake using his optic force blast. In one of the film’s more lighthearted moments, Scott is shown taking his glasses off and accidentally splitting a very large tree in half.
This isn’t just any old tree, but rather a tree that Charles is very fond of. As the tree slowly splits in half, Charles begins to reminisce how both he and his grandfather planted that tree and remembers swinging on the large branches when he was just five years old. He also made it clear that it was his favorite tree. Scott assumes he is now expelled, but Charles promptly says “on the contrary,” and accepts Scott into the School of Gifted Youngsters.
4. Erik Loses His Family
Erik Lehnsherr has attempted to live a quiet and peaceful life, raising a wife and daughter in Poland. However, after saving one of his coworkers inside a factory, he exposes himself as Magneto and realizes that he and his family must get as far away from there as possible before getting caught. Unfortunately he is too late and finds his daughter being held in captivity by the Polish Police. After being questioned if he is in fact the mutant humanity calls Magneto, he obliges and asks for his wife and his daughter Nina to be set free.
Erik is arrested but his daughter disapproves. The police learn that his daughter is also a mutant and possesses the ability to control animals- in this case, a flock of birds. The birds begin attacking them and one of the police accidentally fires an arrow straight into both Erik’s wife and daughter. They are killed instantly as we see Erik holding both his daughter and wife in his arms. Wasting no time, Erik uses his daughter's charm made of metal and slices the throats of the entire police force. Erik screams out to God declaring, “Is this what you want from me?! Is this what I am!?”
This was a devastating moment for Erik because all he tried to do was live a true life, but it all came crashing down on him. Fassbender proved yet again how great of an actor he is, as the entire audience mourned for his losses.
5. Apocalypse Recruits Storm
After waking up and witnessing Ororo Munroe showcase her powers, Apocalypse follows her to her hideout, while learning that she is a mutant just like him. It is here that Apocalypse learns that humanity has created weapons of mass destruction and they are all living in fear. As Apocalypse claims, there is no longer anyone who rules over humans as there are many false gods now living on the Earth. Apocalypse feels betrayed, learning about all the superpowers and weapons that have consumed humanity. En Sabah Nur begins to construct a plan to once again rule over humanity and provide the world the necessary order he believes they deserve.
Apocalypse asks Storm to join him on his quest to make the world a “safer” place. Storm is transformed into the first Horsemen of Apocalypse as her hair becomes a pure white color.
6. Angel’s Transformation
Shortly after Apocalypse recruits both Storm and Psylocke to join as two of his Horsemen, we see Angel in a state of disarray. With his wings badly damaged and his cage fighting days over, Angel is found drinking his life away. However, Apocalypse has other plans for him, as we see him give Angel upgraded wings in the form of pure metallic alloy.
Angel’s transformation into Archangel is pretty brutal as it takes the form of a David Cronenberg-like body horror scene. His rib cage is ripped right out of his skin, forming his new body armor and metal wings, while 'The Four Horsemen' by Metallica plays in the background.
7. Magneto’s Introduction to Apocalypse
Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen are complete after his first meeting with the metal-moving mutant named Magneto. After Erik learned that his coworkers had spoken to the authorities about his powers, he attempts to kill them all inside their own factory. However, his attempt is briefly halted once Apocalypse arrives. Erik’s reaction is undeniably humorous as he spouts out, “Who the f*** are you?”
Erik is seen pleading with Apocalypse to make sure that nothing would prevent him from killing the construction workers. It turns out that Magneto doesn’t need to do anything, as Apocalypse makes quick work of them while showing off another of his many abilities. After killing the workers, Apocalypse mentions that he’s not here for the sake of humanity, but that he’s here for his mutant brethren and for the strong. With nothing left to lose, Magneto joins Apocalypse as his fourth and final Horseman.
8. Magneto is Taken to Auschwitz
For his first therapeutic session, Magneto is taken to the place where his family was stolen away from him. Singer does a fantastic job with this scene, revisiting numerous clips from the first X-Men film. This particular scene allowed Magneto to let his powers loose, as he grows stronger with the help of Apocalypse.
Apocalypse asks Magneto to reach far down into the ground to "rebuild a better world." Erik is seen ripping apart the very place that caused much sorrow and loss for everyone involved, including himself. It’s a scene that gives audiences a taste of his expanded power, which he will use to begin ripping the entire world apart.
9. Quicksilver’s “Sweet Dreams”
How could Bryan Singer possibly top the infamous kitchen scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past? Well, fortunately Singer found a way, and once again chose another perfect track to go along with Quicksilver’s speed; "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics.
After Havok mistakenly blows up the Blackbird Jet, there is an explosion inside the X-Mansion. Arriving just in the nick of time, Quicksilver is tasked with saving everyone including all of the students who are currently in class. This scene showed many funny moments including saving a girl from what looks to be a bad kiss waiting to happen, a dog chowing down on a slice of pizza, a girl and her pet goldfish, and a kid in a bathroom.
Unfortunately Quicksilver couldn’t save everyone, as we learned that Havok was the closest to the blast and thus didn’t make it out alive. It was a valiant effort by Quicksilver and once again proves why he’s one of our favorite mutants.
10. Xavier vs Apocalypse
While there weren’t too many one-on-one battles against Apocalypse, one mutant did have a few great moments against the big bad. After thanking Apocalypse for “letting him inside his head,” Charles begins to fist fight him in Xavier's own mind that resembles the X-Mansion. However, Charles's plan is short-lived and he's eventually overcome by Apocalypse’s sheer might.
Singer once again does a great job giving a nod to fans of both the comics as well as the ’90s cartoon by having Apocalypse grow large in size. Xavier is overrun by Apocalypse’s strength but is given help when Jean Grey unleashes the Phoenix force. It’s a great moment for X-Men fans and also gives us hope that we may see the Dark Phoenix Saga finally become a reality in the next few years.
So those are the 10 scenes I thought stood out the most for me in X-Men: Apocalypse. Did you agree with my list? What were some of your favorite scenes? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below and please share!