Sunday, June 1, 2014

Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

An X-Men movie that is sequel, prequel and even reboot. Obviously this revival was in part inspired by the success of Marvel, because anyone who has seen X3 knows that movie essentially ended the X-Men series...but then the franchise came back.

Brief synopsis: The future is doomed for the mutants. Giant robots known as "Sentinels" have overrun the world and hunted the mutants to near-extinction. Now it's up to Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat), using some odd new power of projection, to project Wolverine's mind back into the past where he might alter the outcome.

In short, I enjoyed it. Haven't seen X-Men: First Class, because for a while I was done with X-Men films. I was supremely dissatisfied with X3, and after watching the leaked version of Wolverine: Origins--a complete waste of film--the franchise had truly ran its course. But that doesn't say much because I've never really been impressed with the X-Men movies. Compared to the animated series of the 90's, with adventures of both cosmic and catastrophic in nature and size, the movies are weak sauce. Especially what they did with Rogue (booooo!) Maybe one day they'll be a real reboot. But till then...

I wasn't bored with the action like I was with Star WarsTrek: Into Darkness; in fact, some really awesome action scenes involving a new mutant, Blink, and her ability to throw portals wherever. Quite fun to see allies hop into one portal and fall out of another and onto the enemy's back, or for a portal to cut a sentinel in half. Unfortunately, the best action is reserved for the future scenes, and there's only two good ones, which makes the great cast of mutant characters feel wasted.

The bulk of the movie is set in 1973, where Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must stop Mystique/Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinate a prominent figure which would set the future as they know it in motion--but first, he must seek out young Professor X (James McAvoy) and young Magneto (Michael Fassbender). All the performances are great and I enjoy how these characters all play off one another, which makes the lack of action forgivable. Also, plenty of gags with a non-adamantizied Wolverine.

Really enjoyed Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and like his name's sake, his time on the screen is short. Again, it's sort of wasted, and you wonder why the character couldn't tag along (aside from the fact that he'd make things waaaay too easy). At the very least, they did give a nod (if you're familiar with the X-Men genealogy) to who his father might be. Interesting factoid: Evan Peters co-starred with Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the first Kick-Ass movie, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson is to play Quicksilver in the Marvel movies.

Here, there be spoilers.

The plot is odd. I'm not talking about the time travel elements, because that's all comic book logic, but the fact that the movie would've been over half-way in if young Magneto hadn't been such an ass. And it makes you wonder: why the hell did they bust him out? He just made things worse!

They also try to shoehorn some historical stuff, like Magneto was originally imprisoned because he "supposedly" assassinated JFK, and then there's young Professor X's addiction to a serum that allows him to walk while inhabiting his powers, which resembles awfully close to heroine use.

Then there's this pathetic attempt to explain the mutant gene and genetics, which is an area that Hollywood has no business going into, especially when there was a preview for a movie that still sticks to the "humans only use 10% of their brain" myth.     

On the plus-side (and this is a big plus), because of all the timey-wimey stuff, this movie effectively erases all the mistakes in X3. That alone elevates this movie to higher standards. 

So despite the flaws, Days of Future Past has rekindled my interest in the X-Men franchise--there's going to be another movie coming out in 2016, so might as well get used to it. Just hoping they don't burn it to the ground again.


  1. Had a whole lot of fun with this and was happy to be reminded of how great this franchise can be. Good review.

  2. Family went to see it and we can honestly say - we didn't want it to end. The flipping forward and backward in time was WELL done! Bravo! Marvel.