As we’ve discussed on this blog many times before, I’m a massive fan of all things X-Men. So it worries me how few fucks I give about X-Men: Apocalypse. I mean I’m excited about Oscar Issacs as Apocalypse and I’m loving plaid Magneto from the trailer. However, there is very little about the trailers that are really making me want to rush to see it on its opening weekend. Something that I don’t think I’ve experienced before in regards to one of the film adaptations. There’s very little reason to this as everything I enjoyed about Days of Future Past is there and there is potential for greatness. It just doesn’t seem very inspiring. And I’m not sure I’m on board with the whole ‘pushing Mystique into the forefront because she’s J Law’ thing. Still, I’ll see it and I’ll still love the franchise. Cos if there’s one thing I can get on board with it’s mutants beating the shit out of each other.
A feeling I apparently share with X-Men: Apocalypse star Olivia Munn, who is going to be appearing in the new film as Psylocke. Now I don’t know much about Munn and don’t really know what she’s been in. However, she’s been bugging the shit out of me this week after announcing that she turned down the role of Vanessa in Deadpool. Obviously, this isn’t the reason I’m annoyed at her. She can do whatever the fuck she wants and I happen to think Morena Baccarin is both talented and astonishingly beautiful. After watching Deadpool I couldn’t have imagined anyone else in her role.
It was the reason behind the decision that annoyed me. Munn has stated that she didn’t want to resort to “playing the girlfriend again”. To be honest, even that makes sense to me. The role of Vanessa in the first film wasn’t that great for the most part and she was sort of left to languish in the role of damsel in distress for the most part. Yeah, she has some good emotional scenes regarding Wade’s illness and disappearance but I could see why Munn wasn’t excited by it. I also believe that Baccarin was kind of wasted in the role. Still, if Vanessa turns out the way she’s supposed to in comic book law then there are some great things to come.
Anyway, Munn has stated that rather than play the emotional sidelined role in Deadpool that she would rather focus on a more action based role. She was then, obviously, offered the role of Pyslocke in X-Men: Apocalypse and proceeded to ensure that she would play a strong female character. Although, Munn seems to have misunderstood the idea behind the campaign for more of these figures in Hollywood.
“I said, ‘Is there a fight scene?’ ” Munn says of her early meetings with the X-Men: Apocalypse people. Once again, the filmmakers were full of assurances. Yet Munn couldn’t shake the feeling that there might be too much talking and not enough action. “The fight scene,” she says with a wry smile, “could be her monologue.”
For Munn, the brute strength of her character was an important issue, a make-or-break thing, and the discussions dragged on. “I thought Psylocke was always one of the most lethal characters, and I said, ‘Yes, as long as you’re not using her to be the eye candy. She has really powerful abilities.’ And they said, ‘Yes, that’s an important part.’”
As you can see from the above quotation Munn is more focused on Psylocke’s physical attributions than on creating a well-fleshed out character. I mean saying “there might be too much talking” is the biggest piece of bullshit I’ve ever read. Rather than have the chance to play a woman who has to deal with a genuinely emotional storyline like Vanessa, Munn would rather play up to the image comic book nerd have been wanking over for years. Who cares who this woman is as long as she kicks arse and looks good doing it?
Yes, I enjoy seeing women fighting alongside and against men in stories like this but that’s all fucking pointless if they don’t have any kind of depth to them. If all Psylocke is a sword-wielding mute in an overly sexy outfit then she’s not for me. She’s not a strong female character at all. She’s just a leftover from the era when females in comics were just things for men to lust over. Munn hasn’t created a character to be proud of. She’s just set back the idea of strong female characters by about 30 years.