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X-Men: Apocalypse came out in Digital HD last Friday. Along with it came a selection of deleted scenes. Here, I review and criticize the team’s choices.
“Safety Dance.” The whole montage is set to a cover of “Safety Dance.” I’m actually a little embarrassed, but in a good way.
This sequence probably ranks as the scene fans were most disappointed to see cut. For me, the hype outdid the actual scene, unfortunately.
Kurt’s brain freeze, which was released earlier in the year, is still the highlight of the scene, but frankly the important part of the scene is that it shows us a world where, at least in the immediate Salem Center area, mutants are on occasion allowed to exist in public. However, it would have really mucked up the pacing of the movie. It also doesn’t advance the plot.
Unfortunately, cutting it keeps the kids from getting the kind of development I would have liked. But narratively, cutting it was the right decision.
Apocalypse waking up
This is an different version of the scene where Apocalypse menaces a man in Cairo. In it, we see Apocalypse wake up and the first thing he sees is an airplane flying overhead.
I really like the symbolic visual quality of that. I wish they’d kept it; it clocks in at less than a minute long.
Alex and Scott in Scott’s room
Full disclosure before I talk about this scene: I really love the Summers brothers. Alex, from halfway through XMFC to the point of his death, ranks as my favorite character. The only character ranking higher is Darwin, and Darwin died in 1962/2011.
So my opinions may have some bias.
I really like this scene on a characterization level. Lucas Till always cared very deeply for his role as Alex Summers, and it comes through in his portrayal in scenes like this.
Something bitter still lives in Alex, though he otherwise has moved on with his life.
But again, in terms of pacing, it would have slowed down the first act to include it.
Hank and Mystique in the hallway
This scenelet puts more force into Mystique’s character arc, setting up the fact that people look at her as a hero. Given it takes maybe 25 seconds start to finish, I wish they’d kept it.
She also has a great line: “This house is the same as it always was: a beautiful place to hide from the world.”
Another bitter alumnus of the First Class, of course.
Charles and Ororo in Cairo
This scene takes place while Apocalypse is reshaping Cairo. In it, Charles does what he does best: tries to manipulate. He asks Ororo if she really believes in Apocalypse’s mission.
She tells him about how she barely survived her own village and family. That those people thought her a monster.
He responds, desperate: “Are you going to prove them right?”
While again, pacing would make the inclusion of this scene kind of an issue, I really think the film suffers for not letting Ororo speak her own story. She gets more development than, say, Psylocke, but the performance Shipp gives deserved more focus.
Scott gets the visor
This scene seems to take place during the rebuilding of the mansion. Hank approaches Scott and presents him with the visor. The scene culminates with Scott saying, “I just hope the other kids don’t start calling me Cyclops.”
I think cutting this seen was a wise move. It would have added a jokey tone to a scene that didn’t really need it.
Moira arrests Stryker
This scene doesn’t really have a position in the movie where it would fit seamlessly. I like it, though — it gives Moira something to do. Plus, it resolves Stryker’s story in this timeline fairly cleanly.
Charles and Mystique
This deleted scene really should not have been cut. One of my big qualms with X-Men: Apocalypse revolved around Mystique’s decision to stay.
In this scene, Charles tells Mystique that he knows now that he needs to “teach these children to fight, for themselves and for others.” By establishing this motivation for the formation of the X-Men, this version of Charles moves away from his predecessors’ politics. What he says here falls more in line with the politics that Mystique has always espoused.
Now, it makes sense that Mystique stays to lead the X-Men, instead of going off on her own.
Magneto’s “It’s over.”
This scene focuses on the battle’s aftermath. Magneto slowly walks over to Mystique and Quicksilver, takes off his helmet, and says, “It’s over.”
The film doesn’t suffer by its absence. It’s presence would not improve it. Cutting it makes a lot of sense.
Jean and archery
This couple of shots shows Jean using her telekinesis to get a perfect bullseye despite aiming her bow in the opposite direction.
Very beautiful, but not ultimately necessary.
Charles and Alex leave for DC
This scene opens with Charles getting into the car. Hank asks if Charles wants him to come along. Charles responds that, “It’ll be good to spend some time together” with Alex and that he thinks Hank could do more by helping Scott with his powers.
Then they cut to Scott and Alex. Alex tells Scott not to get into too much trouble. When Charles calls Alex over to the car, Scott calls after Alex to have fun. Alex looks back at Scott but doesn’t verbally respond.
Back at the car, Alex climbs in. Charles asks him if he’s ready and Alex responds, “Remind you of someone?” regarding Scott. Charles, smiling, responds, “Just a little bit.” Then they pull away.
Again, I really have to applaud Lucas Till for this scene. Alex really looks tired and a little unhappy about having to leave Scott and go with Charles. Also, given that this scene marks the last time Alex and Scott interact before Alex dies, including it would have helped solidify the relationship broken by that death.
However, I understand that cutting it probably had to do with pacing.
Overall, most of the significant deleted scenes come from the first half of the film. A lot of stuff happens, so of course stuff has to get left on the cutting room floor.
The only deleted scene that I really don’t understand getting deleted has to be the one between Charles and Mystique. By clarifying her motives, it crystallizes both her and Charles’s character development.