X-Men: Apocalypse - Trailer Breakdown

Adding to the gracious list of trailers we're getting this winter, which now also include previews of the flamboyant sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the cryptic Independence Day follow-up, 20th Century Fox hopes to return to form following their dismal outing with August's Fantastic 4 with yet another blockbusting X-Men flick. Treating fans to their first tease at the next X-Men adventure, Fox hopes that another success like Days of Future Past might be able to pull them out of the gutter. With this massive film, the X-Men return to face a threat bigger than any they've every faced. Just who is this menacing new threat, you ask? Well, sit tight as I breakdown the third biggest superhero flick to hit theaters next summer!

Beginning with obscure images of death and destruction that usually accompany a film with "Apocalypse" in the name, the trailer begins with us meeting a new face; and by new face, I mean a face all X-Men fans should know. Jean Grey, who X-Men fans know as the powerful telepath who resides under Professor Xavier's protective tutelage, makes her second cinematic debut here, following a mostly derailed conclusion to her character in X-Men: The Last Stand. However, correcting the mistakes made by that film, director Bryan Singer brings Jean back to the screen with, as I said, a new face. Played by newcomer Sophie Turner, a young Jean, seen in the trailer as predicting the cataclysmic events to unfold in the film, is shook awake by none other than Charles Xavier (James McAvoy). Telling her "it's just a dream", we can see clearly that Xavier is fearful about the premonitions of his young student. 

Moving on, we hear the first words of our cryptic new villain, noting that he's been called many names, from many different cultures throughout history. Shrouded in mystery, he looks to be forming his own army to go against the X-Men. Standing beside a young Storm (Alexandra Shipp), this shadowy villain -- known to be the ancient mutant, Apocalypse -- narrates the trailer with a frightening intensity. Next, we get a glimpse what's going on behind the doors of the CIA, as Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) returns to lecture us on the history of mutants. Talking with Xavier and Havok (Lucas Till) about how ancient societies saw mutants as "divine beings" or "signs of God", we can assume this Apocalypse character has been around for a while.

Next, we see a bit more of Apocalypse, the villain calling upon the mutant students of Xavier to join him, telling them they follow "blind leaders". Hoping to turn the new mutants, as well as familiar faces like Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), against the X-Men, he calls upon his Four Horsemen, four powerful mutants with unlimited power. Based on the trailer, we can assume these four include new faces Storm, Psylocke (Olivia Munn), and Archangel (Ben Hardy), as well as a familiar face, Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Judging by the focus on these four, as they're given intense new powers to take on the X-Men, it's likely we'll get to see a lot more development for some quite underdeveloped characters in the franchise like Storm and Angel (remember him from X3: The Last Stand?...Yeah, me neither). I also hope we get some more insight into Magneto's past (and future), as Fassbender's take on the character has been one of the most interesting aspects of the last few X-Men films.  

Later on, we get our first look at the two sides interacting, Xavier's team being ambushed by Apocalypse and his Horsemen. Xavier exclaiming that this powerful mutant can control "all of us", we see a most-likely brain-washed Magneto drag Xavier from his team, to an unknown fate. The trailer then takes a shift, as it begins to focus on Jennifer Lawrence's character, Mystique. Supposedly taking the leader role after Xavier is injured or captured, Mystique sheds her blue scaly skin in the trailer, remaining oddly in her human form. Whether she's lost her ability to change into other people, or she's hell-bent on hiding her natural form like she was in X-Men: First Class is unclear, but what we do know is that she's in the lead of the renegade X-Men team.

Following a few glimpses at a captured Quicksilver (Evan Peters), which most likely results in another spectacular scene with the character like in the last film, we get our first look at a familiar trio of mutants. Reviving the trio of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who were somewhat screwed over in the original X-Men trilogy, Bryan Singer hopes to bring a new light to these characters. Exposing their initial fear to use their abilities, especially Cyclops, who emits deadly beams from his eyes without his control, this film could be a nice reintroduction to these characters and their early abilities. I'm especially excited to see the return of Nightcrawler, a fan-favorite teleporter who made the second X-Men film so memorable.

With Mystique telling these freshman mutants that war is coming, the action of the trailer kicks off. After getting a brief glimpse of a corrupted Magneto looking up to the sky in agony, Apocalypse most likely tearing him away from his desired normal life away from the X-Men, we get many flashes of action sequences. Along with an intense fight of strength between Xavier and Apocalypse (supposedly growing in size as he overwhelms the telepath), we get peeks at that awesome Quicksilver scene we were promised, as well as the dynamic entrances of the Four Horseman. Preaching overhead of a better world made from the ashes of the old, Apocalypse stands among the chaos, his arms outstretched to the heavens.

As global destruction ensues, a cloudy demeanor overwhelming the scene, our second-to-last shot in the trailer shows Xavier, sporting his signature Cerebro helmet, exclaiming in a mix of pain, pleasure, and fear that "he's never felt power like this before". As blackness floods into his eyes, it is quite unknown as to what is happening to him. Whether he's corrupted by Apocalypse's power or consumed by his own, we can assume there is a massive change in character for the famous professor. Among that change, is James McAvoy finally earning the character's signature bald head.

Releasing next Memorial Day, amongst a plethora of other big-budget summer flicks from Independence Day: Resurgence, Captain America: Civil War, and Star Trek Beyond, the next sequel in the X-Men franchise poses many, many questions. From who the hell the ancient new mutant is to what lies in this franchise's future (and the future of its flawed studio), answers will come when the Apocalypse does, and as the film's poster teases: Only the strong will survive.

What did you think of the trailer? Was it everything you expected, or a bit underwhelming? What are your thoughts on the X-Men franchise, do you think it can last for much longer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and remember to follow and share for more movie fun.        

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