In my superhero clogged mind, Spider-Man 3 has remained the gold standard of a dubious honor: by the time it had arrived you could justifiably feel like you'd seen the whole movie what with the multiple trailers, numerous clips and stills and two previous features with the exact same cast. X-Men: Days of Future Past has been teasing its teases and characters and counting down to its trailer for what feels like forever but it retains at least some mystery. I hope this is our last taste before the movie opens on May 23rd. It's not likely but I can dream.
Because I am a glutton for punishment and The X-Men were a huge part of my developmental process as a human being (you don't even want to know how obsessed I was from the ages of, like, 8-18) will do like what we did with Maleficent. A Yes, No, Maybe So™ reaction to (almost) every last piece of the trailer.
Deep breath before the plunge. Okay let's go...
So many battles waged over the years. And, yet, none of them like this. Are we truly destined to destroy each other?"
MAYBE SO. I'm exhausted by post-apocalyptic cities (are there any other kind in the movies?) but I love the simple color palette here and Patrick Stewart gives good narration.
YES. Love the juxtaposition of old and new cast. This is the first superhero property that did a reboot in the right way, i.e. by not doing a reboot at all: it never pretended the earlier films didn't exist.
YES. Kill off Storm. Do it! Worst depiction of the best character.
MAYBE SO. Roll Call visual montage! The X-Men's always been a mixed bag casting wise. Jackman is superb in these movies. Jennifer Lawrence not so much despite being grand everywhere else. Oh look it's Colossus (I still don't get why he's not Russian in these movies) and Sunspot (another sort of 'whitewashed' character, sigh. He's Afro-Brazilian in the comics but played by a Mexican actor here). Though the original comic book story used a ton of characters, overcrowded superhero movies can be disastrous (see the sacrilegious waste of celluloid callled X-Men Last Stand which ruined DOZENS of characters by just haphazardly visualizing, casting, filling the screen with them)
We now find ourselves on the edge of extinction.
NOOOOooOOooooooooo. Say no to the teal & orange color scheme, production designers and cinematographers. I beg of you. It hasn't been cool in years now from overuse. In its cinematic lifespan we're now where action movies were 10 years after the masterpiece Terminator 2 popularized all steel blue/gray light when every film was lazily using it. STOP.
You'll need to go into the past to end this war before it ever begins.
YES. The time-travel plot arrives. And it involves Wolverine in pain because even though he heals quickly he's always under physical duress. I feel it's important to note that this story's protagonist role in the comic books belonged to Kitty Pryde. Kitty Pryde is in the movie, played by Ellen Page again (who gets a milisecond in the trailer). These films rely on Jackman way too much but FWIW this short arc in the original comics was their second best ever after "Dark Phoenix". The franchise absolutely pissed all over that classic saga so hopefully they do a better job here.
MAYBE SO. Bryan Singer. He started off strong (Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil) but seems to have entirely lost his mojo (Jack and the Giant Slayer?) I wish this was a yes even if it's not quite a no.
YES. Love the visual call back to Wolverine's bare-chested confused entry into the X-Men corridors from the very first film.
YES. God that shot is so fun. That's why they keep using it in promotion.
NO. "Bring the X-Men Together." What the hell is this slo-mo shot? So self important and the chintzy foam totem pole pillars? WTH
It's going to take the two of us, side by side at a time we couldn't be further apart."
YES but also NO. Would that that were only those two glorious frenemies in the shot. Quicksilver (Evan Peters) looks T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E though in the background but we knew that from his character poster.
YES. Right from a comic book panel. Love the sequence of shots of Magneto grabbing his helmet again. And the tension between Magneto and Xavier and the chemistry between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender was 150% the best part of the otherwise thin X-Men: First Class and the trailer spends much time here reestablishing it.
NO. Ugh I hate CGI shapeshifting. It's like her true form is porcupine
YES. Gorgeous, this simple gesture to cast all the guards aside, like flies. Also: why is Fassy's hair wet?
There is a new enemy out there.
YES. Peter Dinklage. Always a yes.
I know what I have to do. It's us or them.
NO. Jennifer Lawrence.
YES. Blink! And they actually cast an Asian actress for an Asian role! But does every single person activate their powers by stretching their arms around in crucifix pose. Because that might get old.
I've watched a lot of people die. Friends.
YES. So much drama. And the very blurry action in YouTube form (oh, I long for ye olden times when high resolution quicktime iTunes trailer were the norm rather than the exception) will probably look great on the big screen even if there's no point in screencap'ing it.
MAYBE SO. Do you think Nicholas Hoult and JLaw ever did it while still in blue makeup in their trailers?
YES. Ooooh that shot of Magneto controlling the sentinels is fascinating since the Sentinels kill mutants but are made of metal. So how do they escape him?
YES. Again the action looks good here. There's even a shot of Iceman on this ice slide but it's so fast screencaps are ugly.
We've been given a second chance.
NO. Ugh. Halle Berry's been given way too many chances at this role and she sucks at it. Recast!
I don't want your future. We were supposed to protect them!"
YES. In the contest of which mutant can magically open his mouth widest, James McAvoy reigns supreme. This is not the only shot of that. So intense. Love him in 70s clothing.
NO. I don't like how small the sentinels are. They're not just large but Giant Fucking Robots in the comics.
MAYBE SO. It's implied that one of the sentinels kill's Xavier there with a fire blast from his face. The freedom of time travel is that you actually get to kill off the characters. But since it's time travel it still doesn't count.
You're afraid. I remember."
YES. Terrific final beat, a teardrop and Professor Xavier and Professor Xavier face to face. If this is even as close to as good as Bryan Singer's X2: X-Men United -- I realize that's asking a lot as one of the three best superhero movies ever made (if you're curious the other two are The Incredibles and Spider-Man 2) -- this is going to be such a good summer.
That's quite a few "yes" marks. I'm in. How about you?