The latest promotional effort for X-Men: Apocalypse is a faux-commercial for a television documentary emulating the style of the old In Search of… series that focused on mysterious events and Fortean phenomena. In the Footsteps of…En Sabah Nur isn’t a completely original idea, and it doesn’t give us any information or insight beyond what could already be gleaned from previous promotional materials, but I loved In Search of…, and I’m a sucker for an ominous mockumentary, so my only criticism of this 49-second clip is that it should be longer.
I haven’t commented on X-Men: Apocalypse before now because I’ve been largely underwhelmed by what I’ve seen. The trailers aren’t bad, but they’re a little self-serious and feel redundant. I think Oscar Isaac is a brilliant actor who turned in two of the best performances of 2015 in Ex Machina and Show Me a Hero, to say nothing of his charismatic turn as Poe Dameron, aka the new Han Solo, aka Damer-Han Poe-lo in The Force Awakens, but either he’s not the right fit for Apocalypse or this version of Apocalypse isn’t up to Isaac’s talents, because the character isn’t nearly as menacing as he should be. Even the recently released posters for the Horsemen of the Apocalypse make them look like brooding, sensitive teen idols instead of harbingers of Armageddon.
The movie doesn’t look like it will be bad, and hopefully my initial impression is mistaken and the movie gives us some inventive action and a compelling story, but thus far it looks like a lot of special effects and solemnity thrown at a mediocre product. Nonetheless, I expect X-Men: Apocalypse to do strong enough business at the box office to firm up 20th Century Fox’s hold on the X-Men, staving off any hopes Marvel has of reacquiring the cinematic rights to the property as they’ve partially done with Spider-Man.
X-Men: Apocalypse arrives in theaters on May 27th.