X-Men: Apocalypse, what have you done to Oscar Isaac?
The final trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse is here, and I ask this sincerely as someone who has mostly enjoyed the X-Men movies: Is ANYONE pumped for this movie? I keep forgetting it’s even coming out, and when I do remember, it’s only in the context of, “They’re opening three weeks after Captain America: Civil War? Oh boy, have fun with that.” And it seems someone in Fox’s marketing is aware of the lag in popular interest because they’ve cranked the final trailer to 11 and centered it on Jennifer Lawrence, the bona fide Movie Star in their ranks.
The trailer works reasonably well. I like the quippy bit between Quicksilver and Mystique a lot, I like the shots of Magneto and Storm and fighting, I like the idea of Mystique being the one who has to wrangle the X-Men into some kind of order. I love the look of Sophie Turner as Young Jean Grey, and I appreciate they aren’t shoving Wolverine down our throats with this one. But man, Oscar Isaac is not doing it for me as Apocalypse. Maybe it’ll work better in the full context of the film, but the bits and pieces we’ve seen in the trailers are silly in the extreme, and the pounds of makeup and prosthetics Isaac is buried under seem to be squelching his natural screen charisma. Anyone could be in the Apocalypse suit. If they didn’t show you Oscar Isaac first, would you even recognize him?
But the problem for Apocalypse is that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It opens three weeks after Civil War. The four-day Memorial Day weekend will be a boost, but the early projections even with that bumper aren’t that impressive, and I think the going assumption is that an over-the-top opening for Civil War will take some of the wind out of the superhero sails. We live in a world of regular $100 million-plus openings, so you’ve really got to bring the thunder to move the needle, and right now Apocalypse is tracking at “average” levels. Like, the main-line X-Men team up movie may not open as big as D-lister Deadpool. That’s the world we live in.