The trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse is here, and it’s awful. It’s even worse than the Superhero Face Punch trailer, but where that one shot itself in the foot by revealing the entire plot of the movie, X-Men is done in by a curious emptiness. I LIKE the X-Men movies—they’re silly as hell, but they’re populated by charismatic actors playing likeable characters and they’re generally well-directed and feature great action. They’re the definition of a fun, summer popcorn movie. But that’s kind of become their problem—as Marvel’s long-term plan has started to coalesce around deepening characters and conflicts, as WB/DC is trying to make serious, adult superhero movies, Fox and the X-Men have stayed in the Saturday morning cartoon camp. What once was charming now feels…small.
The shot of London being sucked into a dirt tornado doesn’t do anything because we’ve already seen London destroyed in a Kool-Aid hurricane in Thor: The Dark World. The conflict is mutants vs. mutants, but that’s every X-Men movie and why should this one be any different? The hints connecting Oscar Isaac’s villain, Apocalypse, to ancient civilizations like Egypt is interesting, but there’s not enough of that. Instead the big dramatic moment in this trailer is that Professor X goes bald. Civil War showed us Captain America beating the sh*t out of Iron Man, Superhero Face Punch gave us Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman together on screen for the first time. X-Men: Apocalypse has a bald guy. Yay?
This doesn’t mean the movie will automatically be bad. This is just a badly cut trailer, but it is the first impression the movie is making with the general public. And this will run in front of New New Star Wars, alongside Civil War and Superhero Face Punch. How do you think it will stand up against them? I don’t think this will be the trailer people are talking about after the movie. It’s not memorable enough—it’s not cool or even enjoyably goofy. It’s just there. It’s the “Her?” of superhero movie trailers.
Which may be a problem for the movie next summer. Over the course of nine weeks we’re going to get three superhero movies. They’re all versus movies, and X-Men: Apocalypse is the last of them, coming just three weeks after Civil War. The X-Men name has enough value that I think the movie will do fine, but is “fine” enough? Civil War and Superhero Face Punch are looking at potentially record-breaking box office. Do you think the X-Men can keep up?