Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On The X-Men Trailer

  • We start with slow, ominous piano plinking, because that’s how trailers start nowadays: it’s the sound of a movie trailer clearing its throat.
  • Again, if you guys hate these things, then tell me and I’ll stop; they’re so generic and patently foolish they enrapture me, though.
  • Here’s every superhero movie trailer: the piano music, then pretty white people look worried, then a bad guy throws computer graphics at a bridge, a one-liner, and then it’s over.
  • BUT IT’S NOT OVER BECAUSE A ANOTHER SUPERHERO YOU DIDN’T KNOW WAS IN THE FILM!
  • And then it’s really over.
  • Well, then people make reaction videos, but those people are trash people and should be thrown in Guantanamo, and then Guantanamo closed, but those people left there; let’s ignore them.
  • Anyway, we start at Xavier’s Death Camp for Pretty Children, or whatever it’s called; I refuse to call it a school; it can’t possibly be accredited, and if it is, I’m sure it’s because Professor X did the Jedi Mind Trick to some bureaucrat.
  • Plus–and this is something that’s always bothered me–who is teaching at this school?
  • Professor X can handle philosophy class, and I’m sure he knows Latin and French, but is he also the math teacher and the history teacher and the band director and everything else?
  • Or did he place an ad on Craigslist?
  • And, you know: how much learning can possibly be done in this environment?
  • You’re halfway through the lesson on the Pythagorean theorem and the Juggernaut runs through the cafeteria.
  • Also, it blows up more than the Enterprise and a 150-year old Canadian psychopath lives there.
  • It’s not a pedagogical paradise, is what I’m saying.
  • We are shown, briefly, that James McAvoy is playing Charles Xavier again, and this movie takes place in the rebooted continuity that is a soft reimagining of the canon from the stuff that maybe came before or something.
  • I don’t give a shit.
  • The people making this crap don’t care about continuity, so I’ll be damned if do: the only hard-and-fast rule of the X-Men Cinematic Universe is that Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, and he takes his shirt off.
  • TRAILER SPOILER!!!
  • Hugh Jackman is in the trailer, playing Wolverine; he takes his shirt off.
  • But first, we learn that Jennifer Lawrence is the star of this movie, as she was the star of the last one (X-Men: The Final Countdown? X-Men: Mutant Lives Matter? Was there time travel and Peter Dinklage? I vaguely recall time travel and Peter Dinklage.)
  • She plays Mystique, who is a shapeshifter, and can look like anyone she wants, but chooses to look like Jennifer Lawrence.
  • In the comics, Mystique was a complex character (in the right hands): a mutant whose “natural” appearance marked her as a freak, but with the ability to look like a celebrity, or an athlete, or a couch potato.
  • She could be the most beautiful person in the world, or fade into the background, but she maintained her blue skin and weird eyes: fuck ’em if they don’t like me, was her opinion.
  • And they actually went with that characterization in the first films.
  • (Although–and this was true for the comic, too–while she was blue, she was also a blue supermodel.)
  • So, Mystique was interesting, and well-used in smaller stories that involved espionage and sneaking around, she wasn’t much good in big battles, and she certainly wasn’t a leader.
  • Jennifer Lawrence, however, is just about the biggest female star in America right now, and she’s playing Mystique, so now Mystique is a leader who gets to rally the troops with a speech.
  • And she’s not blue anymore, because Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t want to wear the makeup, and the producers didn’t want her to wear it, so the writer was told to figure it out; here we are.
  • And then the bad guy shows up: it is Oscar Isaac, and he has been told to not be as interesting or sexy as he usually chooses to be.
  • Oscar Isaac is so wonderful that my usual rule of not trusting people with two first names is suspended.
  • They have painted him grey, and covered him with latex.
  • As I mentioned, Jennifer Lawrence is wearing no prosthetic makeup on her face; I think this is ass-backwards.
  • I would much rather see Oscar Isaac’s face, honestly.
  • Hell, I would rather just see his eyebrows.
  • Anyway, he is playing En Sabah Nur, also known as Apocalypse.
  • Apocalypse was the first mutant, according to legend; he was born in Ancient Egypt back when in was just Regular Egypt, and then…killed all humans?
  • Killed all mutants?
  • Same thing we do every night, Pinky: try to take over the world?
  • His motivations were always murky and it is at this point I confess that although a comics nerd–and more specifically a Marvel Zombie–I always hated the X-Men.
  • Overwrought, over-complicated, over-peopled, over-written schlock, I thought: there were too damn many of them to keep track of, and they kept dying and resurrecting, and they wouldn’t stay in their own timelines.
  • So many clones.
  • Did you know that–in the comics–Cyclops’ dad is a space pirate?
  • That is a true fact, and there are many others just as dumb that kept me from the nine or ten X-comics that came out each month.
  • (The possibility does exist that my opinion is a rationalization after the fact: there were so many X-books that I could either buy them, or the other books I wanted. I could keep up with Spidey, the Avengers, and Iron Man or I could follow the X-Men and all their spin-offs; couldn’t do both.)
  • And Apocalypse was one of the dumb things, and a personally egregious one: he had Generic Bad-Guy Powers.
  • A lot of heroes have the Basic Superhero Package.
  • Which is that in addition to their main power, they can also do kung fu and jump two or three stories and survive massive traumas regularly.
  • Generic Bad-Guy Powers are different: this is when the villain stands there and minds explode or buildings disintegrate.
  • “But what does he actually do?”
  • “Eeeeeeeevill.”
  • “Ah.”
  • So, this Apocalypse guy is immortal and evil but has waited until now to conquer the world instead of, you know: doing it a few thousand years ago when it was presumably easier.
  • Sure, he can just wave at the tanks or missiles sent to kill him, but if he had just taken over in, like, 1282 then he would not have had to worry about tanks or missiles at all.
  • He has assembled his Four Horsemen, who are very powerful mutants, and in case we did not get the reference to the Bible, one of the characters just flat-out says it.
  • They are Magneto, Storm, Angel, and Olivia Munn.
  • One would have to assume that Apocalypse has powered up Angel, because otherwise he is not going to be much help: he has fancy little bird wings and a lovely torso.
  • Whereas Magneto controls one of the fundamental forces of the universe, and Storm tells the weather what to do.
  • How does Flappy Bird add to that?
  • “I’ll fly ahead and see what’s happening, guys!”
  • “Ooh, thanks.”
  • “Wow. You’re helping.”
  • “I’m Olivia Munn.”
  • And so on.
  • But Apocalypse has given Angel some sort of mutant-steroid or something; also, Apocalypse also has the ability to boost other mutants’ powers.
  • He can also–and this is just according to this specific trailer–change size at will, telepathically control others including Professor X, is super-strong, and can launch the world’s nukes by thinking about it and gesturing dramatically.
  • Stupid-ass bullshit.
  • Then a bunch of landmarks get CG-ed, including many bridges: the X-Men movies hate bridges.
  • And the Sydney Opera House, which doesn’t get destroyed in movies enough, I feel.
  • The Golden Gate gets knocked into the bay in every other movie, but people forget about Jørn Utzon’s iconic conch shells.
  • Wish he would have disintegrated a Gehry or two, though: I would be on Apocalypse’s side if he did that.
  • Professor X tries to punch Apocalypse, but he does the thing where you catch the other guy’s hand and it looks badass, but it doesn’t look badass if James McAvoy is throwing the punch.
  • He’s a skinny little dude.
  • Apocalypse cripples Professor X, apparently; in the comics it was retconned about ten times as to how he got paralyzed, plus he was always getting nanobots injected into his spine and walking again for a year or so, only to get crippled again and put back in his chair.
  • (Try not to think about the fact that Professor X knows Tony Stark and Reed Richards and maybe a dozen other people who could cure paraplegism in an afternoon, and the other fact that he is, you know: a telekine that can move things with his mind, so why didn’t he just move his damn legs?)
  • So the X-Men go to war, and put on their leather catsuits, and we are introduced to the new mutants.
  • Not the New Mutants, just new mutants.
  • There’s Cyclops, who is not new, but is boring; and a new Jean Grey played by someone from Game of Thrones, and a new Nightcrawler, who is not Alan Cumming and playing the character as high camp; and the X-Men Cinematic Universe’s version of Quicksilver is back, too.
  • The Avengers have one, too, but he’s not a mutant and the whole thing is dreary lawyer bullshit; suffice it to say, that it’s just not a superhero movie without a scene of a guy running through a fight scene really fast.
  • Anyway, the X-Men get in their new X-Plane, which is not the Blackbird and very dumb-looking, and go to a place to do a thing.
  • There is punching.
  • There is posing.
  • CG of various colors is shot, either from hands or special magic-eyes.
  • Then, Olivia Munn appears with swords.
  • She is one of the Four Horseman; I believe she is Ambition.
  • She slices a car and waves her pigstickers at Beast, who was previously normal-looking but is now blue for the big fight scene.
  • I hate to keep bringing this up, but if you have Magneto then you do not need a woman with a sword.
  • If I were Magneto, I would be insulted and use my magnet powers to take Olivia Munn’s sword; then she would just be some lady standing there.
  • “It’s a magic sword.”
  • Shut the fuck up: drop a building on her, teleport her a mile up and drop her, throw Wolverine at the problem.
  • The Master of Magnetism, a weather goddess, lady with a sword, and pigeon boy.
  • Two of those are first-round draft picks; the other two might catch on with the CFL.
  • Then Jubilee shows up, and I would totally make fun of Jubilee for while had she shown up a thousand words ago; I should wrap this up; at this point, I feel like I’m inflicting this upon you.
  • I apologize for making this so long, but I was enjoying myself.
  • Anyway, Jennifer Lawrence makes a rousing speech and how they’re a family or maybe that they should kill everyone that’s different; she was saying her lines with a steely resolve, and it was very dramatic.
  • Then many characters release computer graphics through yelling: they go AHHHHHHH and shit blows up around them.
  • Of course, these are incredibly attractive people, so when they yell it looks very meaningful.
  • Apocalypse chokes Jennifer Lawrence, which is rude.
  • Havok is in this, and if you don’t know who Havok is: congratulations on a life well-spent.
  • Then the title and–is mandated by law–the cameo-revealing bumper.
  • Hey, it’s Wolverine.
  • Yay.

2 Comments

  1. It may not be highway 77 but I, for one, find these entertaining. The self depreciating is better when you argue with the italics, though.

  2. Isn’t a trailer mean to tempt you to see the movie?

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