Late last week, the trailer for the latest X-Men film dropped. X-Men: Apocalypse is due for release in the summer of 2016, and fans are excited for the latest installment in the franchise that was given a new lease of life with the soft reboot of X-Men: First Class.
If you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out below!
I must confess, I'm not a massive X-Men fan. I saw the first two films, but skipped The Last Stand. I only half watched First Class when it was shown on TV, but still have not got around to seeing Days Of Future Past (where, I presume, Charles Xavier has to travel back in time in a Delorean to ensure that his parents get together...right?). So I view the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer through a non-fan's eyes - and here's what I thought.
The trailer kicks off with the kind of rapid fire parade of images that trailers love to use. The images are all doom-laden and end with a nuclear explosion, just in case this film's title didn't make the stakes clear enough for you.
We soon realise this is just a vision/dream from the X-Men's resident psychic Jean Grey, whose name sounds like that of an elderly teacher but is played by Game Of Thrones' youthful Sophie Turner. She's clearly shaken by her possibly-psychic visions, but is comforted by Professor Charles Xavier who tells her it was just a dream.
More troubling than the visions is the question of why the hell Xavier is watching a young woman sleep. If I was the girl's father I'd be making a phone call and pulling her out of that school...
Next we hear a voiceover from Oscar Isaac, who's playing the film's "big bad" Apocalypse. "I have been called many things over many lifetimes: Ra, Krishna, Yarweh..." he intones. Not Jesus, God, or Allah though. Huh. We see a quick shot of a hooded Apocalypse in some darkened room with punk rock Storm and some bald guy that I'm going to assume is a generic Euro-terrorist who will partner with the bad guy, only to be eventually killed by him.
Next we see wheelchair-bound Professor X and the X-Men work experience kid at the CIA, for a meeting with a character I'm just going to call Mrs. Exposition. She very kindly explains to us that Apocalypse was the "first mutant". Well, actually, she doesn't, because Professor X decides finish her thought. He's a psychic and probably does that kind of thing all the time. It must really annoy the other X-Men, surely?
"Professor, I'm just going to buy some--"
"--Milk. I know."
Next we see a shot of CGI pyramid and city - presumably in a flashback - which ties in with the villain's previous description of himself a Ra, the Egyptian god. This does beg the question of why ancient religions and mythologies don't make any mention of a blue dude in an armoured suit. But anyway.
"You are all my children," continues Apocalypse as we get quick cuts of various X-Men, including Jennifer Lawrence, because the studio really wants you to know that Jennifer Lawrence is in this film.
Also, 80's Girl, with the power to wear lots of fluorescent clothing.
We also see Michael Fassbender's Magneto, looking disheveled and hungover - it look like he's been relegated to being Apocalypse's lackey for this one.
Mrs. Exposition informs us that "Wherever this being [Apocalypse] was he had four beings he would imbue with power". I only recognise two; Magneto and Storm. They already have pretty impressive powers, so is he just going to make their powers stronger or give them new ones?
"Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," says the work experience kid. Well, yeah. Pretty much exactly like that. To me, it makes Apocalypse a lot less threatening to know that he's presumably been doing this whole "four superpowered followers" thing to try to bring about the end of the world for tens of thousands of years, and has clearly failed every single time.
We see Xavier using his funky mind control headset thing, complete with totally unnecessary lights. He says that "he" (Apocalypse, presumably) can control "all of us". If that's true, why does the guy insist on sticking rigidly to having only four mutant followers? Does he have some form of numbers based OCD?
There's a showdown in the basement of the X-Men mansion, and we get a good shot of Apocalypse, who to be honest looks like a tacky Dr. Who villain.
Magneto uses his powers to fling Professor X and his wheelchair across the room, which begs the question: why use a wheelchair made entirely of metal when your arch-nemesis can control metal? Not too smart, Professor.
Next, Nicholas Hoult's Hank McCoy/Beast tell's Lawrence's Mystique that "the world needs the X-Men" and she replies that she's ready "to fight". I don't have much to say about that except that it made me think about the time when Beast was played by Dr. Frasier Crane, and how damn weird that was.
Amongst rubble and carnage somewhere we see Jean Gray, Nightcrawler (I think) and Cyclops. Cyclops says that "not all of us can control our powers". At this point Mystique gives the worst advice in the history of warfare: "Then don't. This is war!". It's like telling a soldier to never take their finger off the trigger, and ever aim. No control necessary! It's war! Let's go crazy. Someone should buy Mystique a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art Of War for Christmas.
We get a bit of dodgy looking CGI where a giant Apocalypse crushes Professor X, which makes me wonder why the hell he doesn't just stay giant all the time. It would make the whole "destroying humanity" thing and hell of a lot easier.
We see some of Apocalypse's horsemen in action, including a guy whose ability appears to be to dismantle his own wings to use as weapons. Not really sure if it's a good idea to do that while flying.
Apocalypse promises to build a new world from the "ashes" of the current one that he plans to destroy.
And we see New York (I think) under attack.
The trailer's final shot is of Professor Xavier sporting his iconic bald look, after spending the rest of the trailer with long hair. Yep, "man gets haircut" is going to be a major plot point in this one.
I still not sure how I feel about this one. I'm not convinced by Oscar Isaac's bad guy, Apocalypse's costume looks a bit...tacky. The trailer suggests Fassbender's Magneto will be relegated to a secondary role, which is a shame, but an expanded role for the nation's sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence makes sense due to her undoubted box office appeal. The big miss from the trailer is Hugh Jackman's iconic Wolverine, but they're probably holding him back. We all know there will be about 17 more trailers before this finally hits cinemas in May 2016, and I'm sure Wolverine will turn up at some point. So far, I'm underwhelmed.