x-men apocalypse trailer breakdown

A new trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse arrived yesterday and you know what that means. Yep, it’s time to do another frame-by-frame breakdown where we sift through every shot like proper nerds. You know, people who don’t have anything better to do with their time.

Okay. Let’s dive into this thing.

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We begin with a helicopter shot of Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, where nothing goes wrong. Ever. It’s a totally safe place where mutants can live in harmony and not get threatened by enemies on a daily basis. Total stronghold, that place is.

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And here’s James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier himself…still looking exactly like he did in X-Men: Days of Future Past…which means he still looks like he did in X-Men: First Class. Huh. Let’s revisit that in a second. The fact that we’ve seen images of him in a suit with a bald head suggests that he finally reaches his iconic comic book look in this film, which seems a little silly. Do we need an origin story for Professor X’s chrome dome when “Hey, ten years have passed!” would have solved that problem quite nicely?

Also: Does something about that opening dialogue between Professor X and his best frenemy Magneto strike you as a little bit familiar, somehow?

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Anyway, moving on: Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique also hasn’t aged a day. It’s almost okay for her (a previous film presented some mumbo jumbo about her mutant genes allowing her to age more slowly), but it’s been twenty years! Why does no one in this movie look like they’ve aged at all? It’s a genuinely bizarre choice, especially since you know Michael Fassbender and other series veterans would look fantastic with a little gray in their hair.

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This trailer isn’t big on character moments, but it is big on shots of familiar characters looking very, very concerned. Here is Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, looking just about perfect. Behind him, out of focus, is Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler. We’ll get a better look at him later.

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It sure is nice to have Jean Grey back and it sure is nice to see the wonderful Sophie Turner outside of Westeros. The Game of Thrones star is inspired casting for this character and I just hope that she actually gets something to do in the film. Heck, with a cast this gigantic, that’s a concern I have for every other character in the movie. With no Wolverine in sight, I can only hope that Bryan Singer lets everyone have a moment in the spotlight.

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Hey, Rose Byrne‘s Moira MacTaggert is back! The last time we saw her, she was having her memory erased in X-Men: First Class. But this is where Singer is really trolling everyone with the aging thing. Make up all kinds of comic book excuses for why the superheroes haven’t aged a day, but why does this human character still look identical to her twenty-years-younger self? Does anyone involved in the making of this film even care?

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We know that Oscar Isaac spends the bulk of this movie buried under a mountain of prosthetics, but now we know that there will be at least one scene featuring his natural, handsome mug. This is obviously a flashback to Apocalypse’s early days, when he lived in ancient Egypt…

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…and it certainly looks like he gains his suit and his hideous look as part of some kind of ritual. Insert your own Extreme Makeover: Ancient Mutant Edition joke here.

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Let’s be honest with ourselves here: in individual screen shots, Isaac still looks awfully silly as Apocalypse. Because his truly bizarre comic book design has been toned down dramatically, he looks more like a silly television villain than the greatest threat the X-Men have ever faced. Based purely on the footage that has been released so far, I can’t help but wish they had just gone totally gonzo with his look instead of settling on this. I hope to be pleasantly surprised with the final film.

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Apparently, Magneto’s been wearing flannel and hanging out with a bunch of steelworkers. I only grabbed this screenshot because the gentleman on the right looks like a parody of a steelworker from an episode of The Simpsons or something and it made me giggle.

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In case we needed an origin story for Magneto’s helmet, it looks like it’s a gift from his new boss, Apocalypse. Could it be composed of the same mystical mumbo-jumbo that created Apocalypse’s own outfit? You can definitely see a similarity.

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In fact, you can easily see Apocalypse’s hand in the uniform designs for four of his “Horsemen.” It’s actually a shame how much better the bad guys look than the heroes. Archangel and Psylocke look close enough to their comic book counterparts to make me genuinely bummed out that Jean Grey isn’t wearing green and gold.

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