'X-Men' trailer analysis: Sentinels, deaths, Blink.
Yes, there’s another trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, the anxiously awaited franchise mash-up which is technically a fourquel, a sequel, an interquel, and a prequel — not to mention the much-discussed possibility among cultural scientists that the film may technically be a requel, since it rewrites the franchise’s own internal history and may cover previously explored ground. (See also: JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, the 1955 scenes of Back to the Future 2, the epilogue of Bourne Supremacy which is also the act-3 kickoff for Bourne Ultimatum.)
Even though Future Past has already been extensively teased throughout the year by director/pitchman Bryan Singer, with various pictures and teasers and trailers and teaser-trailers and probably some GIFs, the latest trailer has something those earlier previews did not: Lots and lots of finished digital effects! Some of the new-wave Future X-Men jump into action. (There is burning, freezing, and blinking.) There’s a more extensive look at Future Past‘s future — and there are also images of the Sentinels, the mutant-hating bots familiar to fans of the comic books (not to mention Marvel vs. Capcom.) And Havok is back. We love Havok!
The plot of Future Past was already pretty well-covered in the last trailer — so let’s mostly focus on the new places and new people we saw, not to mention some very familiar people who appear to be in very precarious positions. Dive in!
We begin with a view of the future — a ruined cityscape, with a settlement lit up with Virgin-Airlines purple, a color that implies “evil” and/or “commercial for that cool vodka you can’t afford.” This appears to be New York, and Central Park? Beyond that, it’s unclear what we’re looking at — though there have been rumors that Future Past involves some kind of mutant breakout. Could it be that, in this darkest timeline, Central Park has become a prison for the hunted mutant race? It’s just like the Central Park Zoo, except less depressing.
More moody shots from the future. It all feels very “Season 4 Battlestar Galactica“…
…right down to this exceptionally depressing shot of Storm getting attacked by one of the Future Sentinels. So much to take in in this shot. Halle Berry: Probably definitely not in the movie for too long. Future Sentinels: Sort of like T-1000s combined with Smoke Monsters. Short ’80s Punk-Rock Club Kid Hair: Very hip in the dark future.
We all like X2. But be honest: How many of us remembered that the subtitle for X2 was X-Men United?
We flip back to the past, where James McAvoy’s young Professor X is once again palling around with Michael Fassbender’s Young Magneto. None of which actually matters, because the important thing about this shot is that Quicksilver is standing right in the middle of them. Yes, he has goggles. Yes, his gray hair looks marginally less realistic than Halle Berry’s white hair. Yes, that jacket. But guys: He is wearing a Pink Floyd shirt. And not just any Pink Floyd shirt. That’s Dark Side of the Moon. THEORY: If you turn off the sound on Days of Future Past and play Dark Side of the Moon, you will receive total consciousness. (Dark Side of the Future Past.) Also noteworthy: Professor X is standing up here, which should theoretically not be possible what with the paralysis. But worth remembering that his paralysis has been cured a few times in the comic book canon, thanks to some alien exoskeleton or other.
SMASH CUT TO: A military base located in what appears to be Vietnam, continuing the X-Men franchise’s history of visiting famous war zones and sprinkling in some superpowers. Can’t wait for the scene where Magneto helps the Sandinistas in X-Men: The Savage Land!
In this case, it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique who’s heading into Platoon territory, for reasons unknown.
By the way, guys, this is still happening. Fassbender/Lawrence 2.0, aka The Counselor’s Silver Shamings Hustle. Magneto and Mystique don’t seem particularly happy to see each other. For some theories, consult our dive into the Bent Bullet.
Here’s another look at Bolivar Trask, played by Peter Dinklage. Behind him, you can just make out Liberty Leading the People, which is either meant to be ironic or meant to imply that Days of Future Past is secretly French propaganda.
Pym McCoy, looking notably less furry than he did last time we saw him. But did he transform back into his old human-looking self, or is it just a holographic image projected over his body? I’m betting on holograph. Also, just to clarify, Beast has now been in two more movies than Gambit. And listen, guys, I love Beast and all. But Gambit. (Update: I originally confused Beast’s real name with Ant-Man’s real name. The point is, neither of their names are as cool as “Remy LeBeau.”)
Further evidence for the French propaganda theory: Mystique jumps out of a building in Paris. My, she does get around! Vietnam, Paris…could it be that, in Days of Future Past‘s telling, Mystique has become the mutant version of an early-’70s leftist rebel, jumping from hot zone to hot zone doing various jobs for her (symbolically-communist) mutant organization? I’d totally watch a movie about that.
Also present: Havok! Alex Summers was introduced in First Class, and appears to have shipped over to Vietnam in the interim. It was never firmly established what his relationship was to Cyclops in the last movie. Since Future Past seems to be doing some canon-cleanup for the X franchise, I’m betting we find out in Future Past that he’s Cyclops’ father. Like, Havok says something like, “I left for ‘Nam the day after my son was born. I just want to see Scott again.” (Let’s say Cyclops’ mom is Polaris, because why not?)
Important to remember that, technically, Future Past is also a prequel to American Hustle.
But enough fooling around! Magneto tears apart what appears to be a baseball field using his incredible powers of Magnetic Terror. This appears to be a direct response to the football-stadium scene in The Dark Knight Rises. (Baseball was the Football of the ’70s.)
Also, Magneto appears to have taken over the Sentinels for his own terrible purposes. Given all the red-white-and-blue, it appears that he is disrupting an official government function of some kind. Nixon’s re-election campaign?
But it’s important to remember that there’s a Future in Future Past that’s just overflowing with mutants dressed in cool black clothes. We get a brief shot of Ellen Page’s Kitty Pryde, back for more fun phasing action. In this case, she’s running alongside Bishop, who has a very large gun.
There’s also Bobby Drake, a.k.a. Iceman….
…and Sunspot, who is like Iceman except with fire…
…but more importantly, we got Blink, guys! Blink! It’s all really happening! They took out Rogue, but they kept Blink!
We get a very quick peek at Blink’s abilities. Like all X-Men introduced after 1991, her abilities are simultaneously very complicated and kind of vague, but the simplest way to explain it is that she’s a teleporter. “Like Nightcrawler?” you might be asking if you’re an X-Men fan. “Or like Azazel?” you might be asking, if you were a real die hard for First Class. Answer: NO, TOTALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Nightcrawler and Azazel could only teleport themselves and anyone/thing they were touching. Blink can open up cool portals, see above. Also, Blink’s power gives off pink energy, whereas Nightcrawler’s power is blue and Azazel is red. Totes diff, peeps. Anyhow, Blink’s awesome.
In the dark future, Patrick Stewart’s Professor X holds up his hand while a bright light shines on him. Is he just covering his eyes from the glare of the dark future sun?
Nope! Turns out the Future Sentinels can shoot a gigantic beam straight out of their head, which could imply some kind of Asgardian influence if various corporate realities prevented the phrase “Mutant” and “Asgard” from ever being uttered in the same movie. Anyhow, it looks like Professor X is getting shot at. But he’ll be okay, right? Well…maybe go check out this cover for the original “Days of Future Past” story arc and prepare for trauma.
By the end of the trailer, Olympus has officially fallen, just like in that Gerard Butler movie where the White House was down. Initially, I thought this was an explosion, but now it looks more to me like some kind of gigantic robot thing crashing through it. Regardless: After laying siege to the Oval Office in X2, we can now confirm that Bryan Singer has returned to finally go Full Emmerich on the seat of our nation’s power.
So, to recap, this movie features: Vietnam, Paris, Dystopian Future New York, Jennifer Lawrence in the ’70s, a ballpark getting leveled, Liberty Leading the People, and Blink. Two more months, people.
In conclusion, talk to the hand: