God save me I kind of like this campaign. My tolerance for Sandler, as I’ve noted before, is pretty low on a regular basis but this one looks kind of not terrible. Yes, some of Sandler’s regular ticks are on display but that’s part of what he’s selling. To a sizable chunk of the audience that’s what the appeal is going to be: Whatever the story is, they like seeing Sandler’s shtick in the midst of it. And it’s hard not to view the campaign and think that the star basically got Netflix to pay for him and his buddy Spade to go on vacation
The movie as a whole doesn’t look like a lot of fun, which is a big shift from both the first X-Men in 2000 and even 2011’s First Class, which at least had a bouncy kind of rhythm to it. Instead, with the exception of that one light moment with Quicksilver talking about his dad being Magneto, this looks super-serious, with the stakes being incredibly high and lots of speeches about responsibility and duty to save the world. The X franchise has never been a ton of laughs (Deadpool being the notable exception) but this kicks that up a notch by selling a story that might be a tough slog with few lighter moments.
There’s some cool stuff here but it’s not clear at all what movie it is that’s being sold here. At times it presents a story that has Alice being just as wide-eyed as she was in the first movie, at other times she’s a seasoned leader who’s ready for any and all threats. At times it’s a dark, almost dystopian story at other times it’s bright and funny and full of the same amusing characters we met before. That kind of unclear attitude about what it is that’s being presented the audience is, unfortunately, seen throughout the campaign.