X-Men: Apocalypse Trailer: A Star-Studded Disaster Movie

It’s kind of a shame X-Men: Apocalypse is set in the 1980s, because it reminds me much more of the star-studded disaster movies of the previous decade. With possible emphasis on the disaster. The next installment of the series would look as dreadful as Gods of Egypt if it weren’t for all the esteemed actors on view. Did anyone else completely forget that Rose Byrne is in this franchise?

That’s her providing the exposition in the new trailer, and it’s actually a pretty decent introduction to who Apocalypse is. Maybe it would be better to see more of the actual villain, especially since this will be playing ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and both movies feature Oscar Isaac (Byrne was also once part of the Star Wars franchise, too). The trailer doesn’t make clear who his Horsemen are in the movie, though, despite the reference to them. It looks like it’ll be Magneto, Storm, Psylocke and Archangel. Who looks awful, by the way.

The movie’s aesthetic makes it seem like it was shot so every frame could be used for one of Entertainment Weekly’s badly Photoshopped magazine covers. And of course it’s yet another superhero plot where the urban destruction is massive (with the Twin Towers in view!!). But hey, Jennifer Lawrence is still around. And Michael Fassbender. And we still think James McAvoy is high-caliber, right? And our favorite War Boy from Mad Max: Fury Road has returned. Also, the best part of X-Men: Days of Future Past: Evan Peters as Quicksilver.

No Wolverine, though.

Of the brand newbies, most prominent is Sophie Turner, whose addition makes Apocalypse the third X-Men movie in a row to feature someone from Game of Thrones (I’m cheating a bit for First Class, but you can look it up). She kicks off the trailer as the young Jean Grey and her performance is regressively as weak as in her early days on the HBO series. There are brief glimpses of Tye Sheridan as the new Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as the new Nightcrawler, Lana Condor as the new Jubilee and Alexandra Shipp as the new Storm plus Olivia Munn’s Psylocke and Ben Hardy’s Archangel.

We can’t expect full profiles on all these people. There are just too many cast members for a two-minute trailer. Maybe even for a two-hour movie. There’s a shot right before the 9/11 evocation where Apocalypse is walking through a lot of floating people in shadow. That’s plausibly all the main characters on screen at once.

The fact that the money shot for this movie’s trailer is a look at McAvoy’s Professor X with a newly bald head probably says a lot about its priorities, for better or worse. If you’re a fan, it probably worked, so hopefully it follows through when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27, 2016.

Christopher began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called 'Read,' back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials.