Adventure

You’re Simply the Best! Better Than All the Rest… – X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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There is a lot to love about this movie, a lot, and some you might not about this film if you are a little nitpicky about your comic book continuity.  If you are a purist, there are some things you might not be able to get past, but if you can let it go, the movie turns out to be one of the strongest pictures in the franchise, if not the strongest.  Directed by Bryan Singer, he has outdone himself this go round with everyone’s favourite outcasts and sets the bar for all future mutant movies.  The previous ones were good, even the third one had some redeeming qualities, and First Class that was the reboot that the series desperately needed and was better than all the previous movies, but with this film, Singer takes the casts of both and merges them with some new mutants joining up as well.  What we end up with is a great amalgamation of everything that worked with very little of the bad, and that being very insignificant.

The cast is strong, stronger than it has ever been and it was a little surprising that many of the veterans came back due to the fact there was such little screen time, much less dialogue for each of them.  Barring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore and Ellen Page had the most with mere cameos for Kelsey Grammar, Anna Paquin, Daniel Cudmore and Lucas Till.  At least James Marsden and Famke Janssen had a couple of lines.  James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were incredible of course, completely owning the roles just as McKellan and Stewart had done more than a decade earlier.  McAvoy plays the tormented professor perfectly, haunted by memories of actions that he may or may not have been responsible for.  Fassbender and McKellan both play the cool and collected Master of Magnetism exactly the way he should be played.  Even when Erik got a little peeved at Charles on the plane, he did it with the utmost control and tact.

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Jennifer Lawrence

Other notables included the returning Jennifer Lawrence as the most beautiful blue-skinned woman in the Marvel Universe, Mystique and Nicholas Holt as Beast.  We find Raven dedicated to the cause of saving the mutant race no matter how and no matter the cost.  She is also, without admitting it, out of sorts, confused and hurt from her previous relationships with both Charles and Erik.  She is the crux upon which this movie revolves the reason for the Sentinels, the cause for Erik and Charles to come together once more and even patch up their damaged relationship and the excuse Charles needs to get back in the world.  Jennifer Lawrence does a stellar job per usual and it is hard to picture anyone else playing the character, even Rebecca Romijn, who was decent in the role, but nowhere near as suited as Lawrence has been.  What was hard the first time, but is a little easier this go round is seeing Holt who was in Skins a decade ago, playing the blue-furred Beast, and yet he does a great job as the boy who has relationship has reversed with Xavier to assume the adult role and become his caretaker.

If Game of Thrones never came along, it would be hard to imagine Peter Dinklage and his genius ever gaining the role of Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels.  He plays Trask in an understated manner which is much better than going the zealot route.  Thanks can also be given to writers Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman for not taking the easy and clichéd way out on that one.  By playing it as such though, Dinklage makes the man scarier than he might have seemd if they had gone in the other direction.  When you find out he has experimented and tortured mutants for his program and you see him so calm and matter of fact, it is a little disturbing.  Having William Stryker played by Josh Helman joining Trask was a great move and really added that extra little bit to tie all of the films together.  It added that much needed continuity and provides the thread that will eventually bring all of our characters together.

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Bingbing Fan as Blink

It is hard to think of anything bad about the film, except for that dreaded continuity bug, specifically that of the comic books, that some fans will hopefully be able to look past.  Even though the movie is called Days of Future Past, it is a very pale reflection of the source material, just bearing a passable resemblance.  Sure we have Bishop, which was cool to see, but he was never in the original story.  Why Blink was there is unknown, but having her onscreen is was exciting.  Mutant camps?  Yes, there was that at least and Sentinels of course.  Kitty having some sort of temporal powers?  Where did that come from?  Although it does make sense to send Wolverine back, it was Kitty originally and changes the story quite a bit.  There was a great nod by Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, mentioning that his dad had magnetic powers which could end up being a lead into the next film when it rolls along for the character.  There was not any Warpath either, though seeing him onscreen was fantastic, not to mention in his X-Force gear.

So yes, there were some differences, but do they really matter?  No, they do not.  While the film acknowledges the story, it is in its own continuity and frankly, a different medium so changes would have to be expected.  It does not take anything away from it either, and the film is incredibly fun and exciting from beginning to end and even to post-credits where it sets up the next film entitled Apocalypse.  Probably the best thing about the movie, aside from a great script, great direction and cinematography, costumes, actors, actresses and the like was that it did not pander to the audience.  There was little to no time spent explaining or giving backstory to characters such as Blink or Warpath or any of them.  All you had to know was there.  The girl with the pink hair can open portals and the guy with the knife is a good fighter with heightened senses and so on.  You either knew who they were or you did not, but for the long-time fans, it was like being a kid in a candy shop.  And Hugh Jackman was just as good as he has always been in every one of these films and one can only wish he changes his mind about retiring the character.  Coming along through the pipeline are Apocalypse and Old Man Logan and they cannot come soon enough.

4.5 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. Wow dude, you went all out with this. I think it is the longest review that I have ever seen of yours. Although I went way over my usual limit as well…so it looks like we are all mighty impressed by it. Same score as well! I loved that they actually referenced Quicksilver being the son of Magneto in a very subtle manner that will go over many heads. I heard that they added the powers to Kitty as a Easter Egg or reference of sorts that she was originally the important one in the comic. So they gave her a bigger role because of that…

    I mean Kitty going back instead of Wolverine just would not work on film due to no one really caring about her! Personally, I would not have even been excited to hear that she was the main star haha!

    Great review dude!

    Like

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