Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Trailer Review : X3

(picture curtesy of ComicbookResources.com)

I normally don’t get worked up on an upcoming movie trailer but it was a slow day at the office and I was on a roll creatively at the moment.

The subject of today’s entry is the recently released teaser trailer for the upcoming installment of the X-Men feature franchise simply titled X3. After viewing the trailer, a few things came to mind that I want to document now and see later how much of it is actually true.

I have to warn everyone reading that most of the items listed here are mere speculation on my part. Most were clearly presented in the trailer but most are speculations based on previous storylines in the original comics that I have been reading for the past 20 years. I won’t go as far as saying that I know everything there is to know about the X-Men but after all that time reading about them, I have to admit that I may have accumulated more than my share of X-Men trivia that helped to come to these speculations.

The teaser trailer for this movie that would should be in the cinemas around 26th May 2006 was released over the weekend. Those who have the bandwidth to view it online should go to the Apple QuickTime site to view the trailer online. For those without broadband, the ComicResources website have provided several screen shots from the trailer for them to view.

I have to stress again that the following speculations are my own and may not reflect what would actually be in the film. Since some of the information below might be a bit spoilerish for those who have not been following any of the X-Men comics, you may want to skip them altogether if you don’t want to spoil your movie going experience.

Speculations :

- Another title for the movie could be “X3 – The Last Stand”

- Storm looks to be the team leader this time around seeing that she looks to be leading the team and Wolverine through the Xavier’s Institute underground complex.

- The new X-Men team makeup looks to be Storm, Colossus, Rogue, Iceman, Wolverine and Kitty Pryde who I hope would be using the codename of Shadowcat instead of the other aliases that she used before in the comics (Sprite, Ariel).

- The new X-Men looks to be the 2nd tier team as per the movie’s continuity since they are the younger of the X-Men members.

- Colossus looks to be wearing a cut-off version of the X-Men leather uniform which while lets him show off his biceps, covers more skin that I would expect for the character. It could be influenced by the uniform designs in “Ultimate X-Men” rather than the “Astonishing X-Men” continuity.

- Nightcrawler from X2 is no where in sight confirming that the character would not be returning in this installment. I guess that they can only have 2 blue colored characters per movie.

- The next sequence shows a pitched battle involving the X-Men team and Wolverine appears to be nonchalantly smoking a cigar. My guess is that this is actually a training session in the Danger Room that Wolverine walked into not unlike he did when he went with the Professor into Cerebro in X2.

- Angel looks good on screen. Can’t tell if the wings were full CGI wings but they seem to work fine. Wasn’t able to tell how detailed the looked like from the trailer as there were no close-up of the wings.

- Angel was strapped down about to be injected with something before he broke free of his restraints. Later Magneto would refer to “they are trying to cure us”. Both support the speculation that a possible cure for the mutant condition that is being forced on the mutants might play a role in this movie.

- Magneto returns in X3 with a new group of disfranchised mutants. In addition of the new Brotherhood team that he brought together, I have a sinking feeling that there other mutants cheering him are the Morlocks who lived in the sewers underneath the city.

- In the comics, the Morlocks lived underneath New York City. If these are the Morlocks in the movie, it seems that they moved them to San Francisco instead.

- The new Brotherhood seems to be made of Juggernaut, Callisto (formerly the leaders of the Morlocks in the comics), Pyro and (surprise, surprise) Jean Grey who I think is channeling her Dark Phoenix personal. There are 3 other unidentified mutants behind Magneto whom could be Omega Red, Mystique & Destiny.

- Cyclops is seen grieving at the edge of Alkali Lake which could be from earlier in the movie. I suspect that after the events of the last movie, Cyclops took a leave of absence and let Storm take over leadership of the team. If I remember correctly he did the same thing after Jean’s first death in the original comic.

- Wolverine is there at Alkali Lake with Cyclops which I makes me think that the movie starts with both Cyclops and Wolverine confronting their lost/grief/guilt of losing Jean Grey (or they finally confessed their love to each other ... there is so much HoYay subtext in their relationship).

- Looks like Iceman and Shadowcat might have something happening between them based on the snippet of a scene where Bobby is reacting to something that Kitty might have said. In the “Ultimate X-Men” comics, Shadowcat has a crush on Iceman although he was still pining for Rogue who left the team to be with Gambit. Shadowcat is not in a relationship with Colossus in that comic series because it was recently revealed that he is gay unlike his character in the “Astonishing X-Men” series.

- Beast turned out looking better than I expected. Was afraid that we would be seeing too much of Kelsey Grammer coming through the makeup.

- As noted earlier, Jean Grey does seem to come back from the dead with longer red hair and more powerful telekinetic powers. This would strengthen the speculation that she came back as the Phoenix or more probably the dark aspect of her since she is seen siding with Magneto this time around.

- One of the students at the Institute is shown using his powers to make paper airplanes fly. Closest power equivalent in the comic series would be a female character in the “New X-Men” team who goes under the code name “Windancer”.

- The trailer shows a memorial service led by Storm on the ground of what I believe is the Xavier’s Institute. Cyclops and Wolverine doesn’t seem to be in attendance which leads me to believe that this might be a sequence in the beginning of the movie. I’m speculating that the memorial service is for Jean Grey and that the timeline of this movie happens a few weeks after the events at the end of the previous movie.

- Wolverine is not in the memorial service because he is at Alkali Lake looking of an AWOL Cyclops.

- The main X-Men sitting in the front row looks to be Rogue, Iceman, Shadowcat, Colossus, Beast and Dr. Moira MacTaggart. I suspect that there are other X-Men characters from the comic in the crowd but the shot was too far and wide to make out details of the congregation.

- Beast seemed to the both an active member and the team’s liaison with the government seeing that he seems to be in a meeting with government types in a bunker-like meeting room.

- The destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge by Magneto in what could be the climatic battle follows several storylines in the original comics. Notable the first appearance of Magneto in the “Ultimate X-Men” and the time that Magneto (or his clone) assumed the identity of Xorn to infiltrate Xavier’s Institute and later took over New York City in the “Uncanny X-Men” series.

- Fans of the comics finally get to see the Wolverine – Colossus “Fastball Special” combo move on screen. I hope that the experience would be not unlike the excitement of seeing the Human Torch shout “Flame On!” in the Fantastic Four movie.

- Based on the angle of attack, destruction spread and ordinance, I think that the X-Men will be fighting the Sentinels when they show the “Fastball Special” move. I don’t think that they will pull the “Fastball Special” out too early in the movie if they do show the X-Men training in the Danger Room in the first act of the film.

The trailer looks to be exciting and I am really anticipating to watch the movie when it comes out next year to see how much of the items in my list here would actually make it to the film. I also hope to see more details in the next batches of trailers that they would be releasing as the release date nears.

Till then, enjoy the trailer and don’t forget to register at the official website for the movie to get notified of new developments.

Update : Additional thoughts on Trailer #2 (released in March 2006) can be viewed here.

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