Saturday, December 12, 2015

'X-Men Apocalypse' trailer review — by quotes

Long-time — or even recent readers — of my Cary's Comics Craze blog will know I love quotes.

Even if you've only been here in the last month or so, you'll see I've devoted complete posts to quotes from the original "Star Wars" film and its successor, "The Empire Strikes Back" (what I argue is "the greatest sequel ever" in my detailed review).

When used properly, dialogue moves the story along, says a lot about the characters and their situations, adds some levity to tense situations and especially in the context of trailers, quotes get fans wondering what's happening in a film.

When reviewing movies that haven't been released yet, quotes can give us a clue as to what will happen. (I use a healthy dose of quotes to review the "Captain America: Civil War" trailer and the second spoiler-ish one for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." You'll notice the final lines of each preview inspired my title for my reviews; there's a link for the actual trailers in each post.) A sneaky editor can fool us into thinking a quote means and/or infer one thing, when actually it doesn't!

So when I watched the first trailer for "X-Men Apocalypse" for the second time today, I immediately realized the best way to break down the 2:33 of footage was to attempt to put the quotes into context of the footage.

So here's how it's going to go: First will be some dialogue from the trailer. Next — and only if it seems necessary — will be my thoughts on what the quote means or might mean. After all, the most memorable film quotes speak for themselves. Each "X-Men Apocalypse" piece of dialogue will be presented in chronological order.

So here we go!

Jean Grey: "I saw the end of the world. I could feel all this death …" 
Charles Xavier: "Jean, it was just a dream." 
Not only are all these apocalyptic images in the beginning of the trailer, I have to imagine this happens early in the film. Jean Grey likely is having a vision or nightmare of things to come — and getting a dose of what kind of possible powers she has. It sounds like actress Sophie Turner isn't doing much to hide or alter her British accent. Hmmm. Not sure I agree with that choice, director Bryan Singer! 

Apocalypse: "I've been called many things over many lifetimes: Ra, Krishna, Yahweh. I was there to spark and fan the flame of man's awakening, to spin the wheel of civilization."
Oh boy, here's another villain with a god-like complex. There's no doubt Apocalypse believes he's some sort of mutant messiah who has the necessary tools and motive to make things "right" —  just the wrong kind of guy to be attractive to Magneto. This will get ugly. Very quickly!

Moira MacTaggert: "Ever since the world found out about mutants there have been secret societies who see them as some kind of second coming or sign of God. They believe that tens of thousands of years ago an ancient being was born, the world's first …" 
Charles Xavier/Professor X: " … mutant."
So great to see Rose Byrne returning as Moira! I hope the writers will do more to develop the romantic tension she has with Xavier. What is with Alex Summers' floppy-haired look? Yuck. And is MacTaggert working with the CIA now?

"You are all my children. And you're lost. Because you follow blind leaders. But I am here now; I'm here for you." — Apocalypse
The reference to "blind leaders" obviously is an allusion to Professor X. Or at least that's what the edit of this trailer footage leads us to believe. …

Side note: At the 0:57-0:58 marks, we get our first glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence as Raven (but not in her natural blue Mystique-mutant form) and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler. It's such a shame that inflated egos and a contract dispute kept Alan Cummings from returning as Nightcrawler after his stand-out performance in "X2," still the best installment in the now nine-film franchise.

MacTaggert: "Whoever this being was, he always had four followers he would imbue with power." 
Alex Summers: "Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He got that one from the Bible."
MacTaggert: "Or the Bible got it from him."

Xavier: " Oh God. … He can control all of us!" 
Raven/Mystique (upon seeing Magneto lifting and pulling Xavier's wheelchair toward him): "Charles!"

Hank McCoy: "The world needs the X-Men." 
Raven: "That's why I'm here — to fight!"
So does this mean Lawrence's character has returned to the X-Men? Is she really fighting on the side of angels (or in this case, the good mutants) now? (It certainly seems that way, given the brief clip at 1:39 when Raven is on the jet with the rest of the X-Men.)

What happened between the end of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" to have Raven return to Xavier and the X-Men? There didn't seem to be much chance for reconciliation after the showdown with Magneto. At best, it seemed Raven/Mystique would go out on her own (aside from taking over William Stryker's body and being responsible for Logan getting his adamantium exoskeleton, as seen in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"). I wonder what name Raven will want to be called — Raven or Mystique. …

Scott Summers/Cyclops: "Not all of us can control our powers."
Raven: "Then don't. This is war."
Cyclops unleashes his eye beams — I've always dug when that happens in the X-MEN comic books. That means Summers, who usually tries to be Mr. In Control, has been pushed to his limits.

"Everything they've built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we will build a better one." — Apocalypse
Big Supervillain Monologuing: Blah, blah, blah! There will be a big smackdown between the big baddie and Xavier — and it appears to take place in the X-Mansion. Will it be a physical fight?

The highlights of the rest of the trailer are between 1:50 and 1:55 — Quicksilver speeding down what appears to be a hallway, an Archangel-looking Angel and our first look at actress Alexander Shipp as Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm. And as odd as it is to see anybody but Halle Berry playing Storm, I gotta say I'm impressed with how James McAvoy looks as a bald Professor X (2:19-2:21).

Ultimately, this footage is a bit too apocalyptic for me and when you combine that with my lack of interest — much less knowledge of the Apocalypse character — or even his impact on the comic-book world of the X-Men, the whole thing leaves me kinda cold. Regardless, I'll be there opening weekend to see this flick!

What I'm most interested in is how Xavier and Raven will relate to each other and what the new actors will bring to Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Storm. I'm equally fascinated to see what, if any, connections, Singer makes between "Apocalypse" and the stellar "Days of Future Past." Grade: B




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