X-Men: Apocalypse News

As we are just on the brink of getting our mitts on the new X-Men film in 2014 – X-Men: Days of Future Past, it is hard to see how our hopes could possibly be risen any more. Well the most recent news from the X-Men world is that in 2016 we are going to get one of the most powerful villains in all of the Marvel universe…’Apocalypse’.

250px-En_Sabah_Nur_(Earth-616)_0005It seems as if after The Avengers franchise introduced us to ‘Thanos’, who is going to be their villain in the third Avengers film. Then 20th Century Fox want to use their own ultimate super villain story line. As Thanos was taken, the next best choices would be ‘Galactus’ and Apocalypse, but because the latter is one of the most powerful beings in all the universe he seems like the appropriate choice.

To make things even better, the person attached to directing the eighth instalment to the X-Men franchise is none other than Bryan Singer himself, the man behind X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003) and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now although it maybe a bit too early to give speculations on how good X-Men: Apocalypse will be, I think it is fairly safe to say that with it in Singer’s hands it will be quite an amazing super hero flick.

For those of you not familiar with the grey-skinned villain known as Apocalypse, let’s just say he’s the alpha of the super villains. His original name was ‘En Sabah Nur’, and he was born in Egypt during the times of the Pharaohs. Often thought of as the first ever mutant, he discovered alien technology which he used to his advantage to rule over many civilisations throughout history. Believing in the idea of survival of the fittest, he has slaughtered and defeated many foes throughout his years. What really gives Apocalypse his terrifying reputation are his numerous powers which have led him to defeat the X-Men (amongst other super teams) on various occasions.

These include being able to project and absorb energy, being telekinetic and telepathic, being technopathic – which means he can directly interface with technology and he can change his own molecular structure. Which means he can make himself as flexible, strong and tall as he wants, along with being able to transform his limbs into whatever he likes, such as weapons. He can also regenerate, can adapt to make himself immune to any climate or disease and can give himself any superhuman powers. On top of all that he is also immortal and a scientific genius in areas like physics, biology, engineering and genetics. So yes, he is kind of a big deal in the Marvel universe. How the X-Men can possibly hope to defeat him is beyond me, but I can’t wait to see how they try.

There is a bit of news on what is in the future for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, although Jackman’s contract with Fox runs out after X-Men: Days of Future Past he has said that he is eager to make another wolverine film with James Mangold – the director of The Wolverine (2013). However he says only if it is an amazing film which is worth releasing, as he wants to give the fans everything they want.

So the future of the X-Men is looking pretty busy.

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The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman is back to his old ass-kicking ways in his sixth film appearance as the Wolverine. This time set in Japan, where the land of morals and honour prove a hard task for him to sink in to.the-wolverine-poster

Set after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, and taken from the 1982 comic book series ‘Wolverine’ by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. The Wolverine portrays a desperate Logan who only wishes for death, and has vowed never to hurt anyone again. The film attempts to capture the strain of immortality which is being put on him, and how he is dealing with it – something which the 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine did not.

The X-Men have disbanded and a lonely, bearded Logan searches for some reason to keep on living, fortunately that reason comes after Yukio tracks him down and explains that her employer would like to give him an honourable death. Jumping to Japan, it appears that the employer is Master Yashida, an individual who was saved by Logan during the Nagasaki bombing in 1945. Yashida explains that he has the capabilities to make him mortal, in exchange for his immortality. Refusing, one of the films main antagonists, ‘Viper’ whose great performance is given by Svetlana Khodchenkova, implants something inside Logan which slows down his regenerative abilities. Thus making him more vulnerable to attacks, and puts him to the ultimate test as he tries to protect Yashida’s grand-daughter Mariko from numerous assailants. When the Wolverine is at his weakest, he needs to be his strongest.

As soon as the film began you were gripped into the story and the special effects, with it opening on a scene showing Logan and Yashida attempting to survive a nuclear blast in Nagasaki. Although in reality Yashida would have been vaporised, or if he had survived underground would have had to wait a hell of a long time to resurface. It still made for a spectacular opening to the film, which shows just how far special effects has come.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine did try to explain the past of Logan, and saw him evolve into a hero – although so did ‘X-Men’ (2000) – but this Wolverine is searching for a meaning to his existence. He doesn’t want to be the hero any more if it means having to hurt people, we learn this through his still-hung-up-on-Jean Grey dreams, in which all he wants is to join her in death. However one thing that I did notice is that, in his dreams, Jean says that she is “all alone here”, surely Cyclops – her long-term boyfriend – would also be there, due to his death in X-Men: The Last Stand. Another small criticism is that – assuming we are including all of the previous X-Men films in the time line – Logan should have no recollection whatsoever of saving Master Yashida, as he was shot in the head with an Admantium bullet in the 1980s which erased all of his memories, so therefore would have forgotten everything before that.

Those small aspects don’t take away the fact that this was an enjoyable film though, for Marvel fans and audiences new to the story of this clawed-crusader. It has really, like with X-Men: First Class, set the bar high for the next X-Men film to be released, although I hardly think that the 2014, X-Men: Days of Future Past will disappoint, with director Bryan Singer, scripter Matthew Vaughn, the story line and the actors behind it.

The Wolverine delivers the Logan that Marvel fans have been waiting for, ruthless in a fight, but passionate and willing to do anything for the ones he loves. The fight sequences have gone up a full notch for Wolverine since the X-Men films, adding detailed choreography whilst he is fighting gangs and ninja warriors, and the battle on the roof of the bullet train was a great new fight sequence which saw Logan have to use his wits to out match the gang members.

The film was directed by James Mangold, who has brought Knighgsome great films to the big screen in the past, including: Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma, Identity and Knight And Day.

The Wolverine provided us with our X-Men fix, until the next in the franchise is released in 2014. A film which has its main antagonist hinted at during the end credits sequence of The Wolverine.