Fox needs to step up their trailer game.
The newest trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse just dropped today and it is as equally underwhelming as the last. I was really not a fan of the first trailer, and this one is no different. You think with as big of a franchise as X-Men that Fox would be able to cut together better trailers. I still have a feeling the film will be good, because the exact same thing happened with X-Men: Days of Future Past, which had a really bad marketing campaign, but the final product ended up being pretty decent. But as it stands, neither of these trailers have done anything for me.
I think trailer’s main problem is that it just feels dated. When held up to trailers from it’s competition, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Apocalypse feels amateurish in comparison. Personally I think it is because of director Bryan Singer’s vision for the X-Men, which seems stuck in the early 2000s. Comic book movies have grown up since then, but it feels like Singer is embarrassed by the very source material he is adapting.
Instead of the colorful costumes from the comics, everyone is clad in over-done unimaginative black leather (besides Psylocke, who’s costume could have honestly benefited from a re-imagining), which is in stark contrast to how the two previously mentioned superhero films have adapted their source material. Couple that with the overly dramatic sad pop song, and Oscar Isaac’s ridiculous looking Apocalypse, and you have a trailer that fails on most fronts.
However, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy look phenomenal as usual. They are really the best thing that has happened to the X-Men franchise in recent years (unless you count Deadpool as a proper X-Men film). They absolutely embody the roles of Professor X and Magneto in the same way Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan did. Fassbender especially, as he has replaced McKellan as the definitive version of the character in my mind.
The one actress that sticks out like a sore thumb in this trailer however is Jennifer Lawrence. She has been public with the fact that she wants out of the X-Men franchise, and honestly it can be felt in her performance. Her portrayal of Mystique is honestly one of the weakest links in this era of the X-Men, and her rise to stardom hasn’t helped. Her career blew up right after her role in X-Men: First Class, and because of that her character in the franchise has taken a nose dive. Fox has forced Mystique to under go a complete 180 in terms of character development, turning one of the X-Men’s best villains into an unconvincing hero. It cynical way of looking at things, but its true.
This unneeded focus on Mystique (due to Lawrence’s fame) has taken away from the franchise as a whole. What is interesting me most about Apocalypse is seeing the new generation of X-Men grow up into the heroes we know them as. Particularly, I would love to see Cyclops finally grow into the leader of the X-Men he is known as, but if the trailer is any indication, Mystique will be taking on that role. In the trailer, she gives a motivational speech to the X-Men that feels contrived. It would be much more impactful it had come from Professor X or even Beast for that matter. Lawrence’s Mystique is a serious detriment to the franchise, and I’m glad this will end her tenure as the character.
Honestly, I hope I’m wrong about all this. I loved the X-Men as a kid but the live action franchise has never really done much for me. I hope Apocalypse proves me wrong and is an amazing X-Men film and addresses everything I have written here, but I have my doubts. It will probably be an enjoyable film mind you, but I’m not sure if it will be a good X-Men film. The X-Men comics have always had a wide variety of interesting and beloved characters, but the films have elected to only focus on a select few (Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique). It becomes impossible to care about the supporting cast of X-Men because we never get to spend a significant amount of time with them, and this hurts the brand as a whole. The franchise would work best as an ensemble film, similar to The Avengers, giving each of the X-Men an equal amount of attention.
But Fox seems intent on focusing on Mystique, for better or worse.
This trailer honestly just exemplified everything I find wrong with the X-Men franchise, and I felt I needed to touch upon it.Check out the trailer for yourselves below:
X-Men: Apocalypse releases May 27th.