Crossovers. They have suddenly become common place in Hollywood. Every studio is rushing to create their own contained universe, with characters zipping back and forth between team adventures and solo movies. Marvel is the king of this. And they aren't even containing themselves within the studio, bringing in Sony's Spider-Man to help Iron Man fight Captain America. So what happened to X-Men: Apocalypse? Where is the fun crossover cameo? Some might point to Wolverine, but he's been here since the beginning. What this movie needed was a good old fashion kick of Deadpool. And you know it!
With X-Men: Apocalypse opening to a somewhat tepid $65 million it seems that this may have finally been a Marvel film people didn't want to really go see. I know, that sounds ludicrous. The weekend gross isn't exactly chump change, but the reviews on this property seem to say otherwise. We truly think that could have changed for the better. And Ryan Reynolds was the man to do it.
With the New York Times suggesting that the franchise is "tiring" and other outlets greeting this film with a ho-hum shrug, it appears that something is clearly missing here. Maybe, at 6 movies and three spinoffs, people are feeling Mutant fatigue. If they're not calling out the overdone action scenes, it seems that Oscar Isaac's take on Apocalypse has elicited a collective yawn. More to the point, a lot of people don't exactly think that this film even needed to be made. Add to that, it's only been roughly two years since the stellar X-Men: Days of Future Past. Audiences actually remember that was a good movie.
Having screened the film in the comfort of my local cinemaplex, I had a thought while watching this film. The idea came to me so thoroughly well formed that I found myself unable to shake it. X-Men: Apocalypse needed some spice. A certain flavoring. It needed a bolt of electricity to strike it and shake it off its foundation. Something that would make it truly sing amongst the box office masses.
What was that thing? Well, it had a solid director in Bryan Singer. The cast was top notch (with a cameo by Hugh Jackman even!). But we know fully well who could've pushed this film from the decent to the epic category. The one driving force that people would have actually paid to see. If this is going to be 20th Century Fox's big Marvel shared universe, why not utilize it? That's what left me crying, 'Where's Deadpool?' After credits rolled.
Deadpool. Yes! That black and red, comedic, sword swinger is just what this latest X-Men movie needed. Anybody familiar with his first outing would know that one of the subplots of that film is Colossus and Nagasonic Teenage Warhead trying to get him to join the team. Well, he certainly could've been used here. The question is: How? Look no further as we present 5 Ways Deadpool Could've Saved X-Men: Apocalypse!
X-Men: Apocalypse Needed Its Own Spider-Man
Alright, Captain America: Civil War, love it or hate it, one thing was abundantly clear, everybody loved and wanted to see more of Spider-Man (Tom Holland). In fact, so palpable was the chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) and Holland, that the Iron one is going to play a major role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Well, imagine the scene in X-Men: Apocalypse when Xavier's school is suddenly attacked. Rather than have another "80s grab" (the film is LITTERED with so many unnecessary references to that time period, it's hard to appreciate that the film is even set there), or even Quicksilver come in and save the day, what if Deadpool had done that? Sure, the ultimate carnage to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters would probably have been astronomical BUT Deadpool could've brought a lot of humor to it. On top of that, a scene involving his grand arrival might have even pushed this film into Kick-Ass or Kingsman territory. Ultimately, X-Men: Apocalypse might've really been better served if they had followed their own playbook...Or, to put it bluntly, just do what Civil War did.
Use Deadpool's Snark to the X-Men's Advantage. Another knock against this film was that there were a lot of down moments. What does this really mean? Too much drama. The best superhero movies really seem to have a solid balance of "character development" mixed with intense action. Quite simply, X-Men: Apocalypse was too serious. Deadpool could've changed all that. First off, based on his own movie we know that this character doesn't want anything to do with joining Professor X's School. So, just imagine a scene of him walking through the school clowning the other mutants. For fun there could have been a cameo of Nagasonic or Colossus dissing Deadpool back. The self-referencing opportunities would have been amazing. Even better, this could've set up a sequel and got everybody talking about which mutants might or might not be in the next Deadpool film. At his very least, Deadpool's presence would've allowed X-Men: Apocalypse to have some solid moments of comic relief. Instead it just had small laughs and easy asides. Hey, even during Civil War the characters found the time to crack wise.
Give Deadpool Free Range
Let Deadpool Loose on Apocalypse. X-Men: Apocalypse really shines when it first introduces Apocalypse. Anybody who doesn't recognize who or what he is suddenly finds out when he either turns them to dust or renders them unable to live any longer. However, Deadpool's major trump card (used to brilliant effect in the film) is that he can regenerate parts of his body very quickly. So, in a battle with Apocalypse, Deadpool would have an answer for one of Apocalypse's greatest powers. Now, we haven't seen this on screen yet but the Dead one was able to regenerate his head after a force no less than the Hulk smashed it off in a comic! Sure, Apocalypse has other abilities that could potentially finish Deadpool off. At the same time, isn't that part of the fun? Ultimately, Apocalypse's undoing happens when he is stripped of his armor. You don't think that Deadpool, with his Spider-Man-like moves (there's that reference again), couldn't do that with a few swipes of his sword?
The Action Scenes Were Missing Something
Interject Deadpool into Every Action Scene. Honestly, when I was about halfway through X-Men: Apocalypse this seemed like a no-brainer. A big slag on this film is that the action, when it happens, is fairly standard superhero stuff. The reality of this type of film as we reach the halfway point of 2016, is that superhero movies are really evolving. They are trying to break out of the paint by numbers box in much the same way that Christopher Nolan did with his Batman films. How is this done? Mix in solid dramatic scenes with action scenes that seem like they could very well end in tragedy. X-Men: Apocalypse seems like it is trying to be so many different films that it never gets to be a unique one its own merits. This is where Deadpool finds his opening. Since he doesn't want to join the X-Men, he could've had a great time fighting his own battle while the other Mutants waged theirs. Again, mixing comedy and action, this could've made X-Men: Apocalypse into a much stronger film. It would've been elevated by virtue of the fact that there was always this wildcard that could've made their problems worse. In fact, Deadpool could've been a potential adversary of the very people he was trying to help...
A Magneto / Deadpool Team-Up
Team-Up Deadpool and Magneto. Magneto, like Deadpool, has no desire to spend his days chopping wood and hanging out with all the other Mutants in the School for the Gifted. It seems to me that Magneto, after his family dies and he uses a locket to decapitate a group of soldiers, is ripe for having some Deadpool to enter his life. Just imagine a scene of Magneto, on the run, sitting in a bar (80s music no doubt blasting from somewhere) and Deadpool buys him a drink. Rather than teaming up with Apocalypse and waging a war against humanity, Deadpool instead convinces Magneto to do what he eventually does anyway: join the X-Men. However, they don't join the team but rather work as mercenaries. Like Batman, they stand off to the sidelines and get involved on as needed basis? In fact, how genre bending would it have been if they would've teamed up, taken out Apocalypse and then dealt with an even bigger problem? This could've really taken the X-Men franchise (and the superhero film as a whole) in a completely new direction. With stakes raised higher than ever before, audiences might've thought the characters actually had something to lose. Instead, it seems like this X-Men story just good moved forward slightly.