Sunday, May 25

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Dir: Bryan Singer
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart

The “X-Men” films have always been an interesting addition in the comic book film world. While most superhero films have one extraordinary figure, the X-Men are a wealth of exceptional people who are otherwise shunned by the bulk of society. They compose two very identified factions, one being protectors of mankind to promote their coexistence and other being survivalist looking for the advancement of their own kind with zero regard for humanity. It becomes a reflective mix of political and social commentary. Bryan Singer returned to the director’s chair and successfully combined the journey to the past established in “X-Men: First Class” with the characters that started the whole franchise fashioning a worthwhile summer popcorn film.

It’s the future and mutant-hunting machines called Sentinels are defeating the X-Men. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan) devise a plan to send the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) into the past to motivate their past selves into an alliance to change the future, one that involves the participation of the now self-sufficient Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and her motivations for Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the inventor of the Sentinel program being offered to the U.S. government.

Focusing the transition of the storyline on the sturdy shoulders of Hugh Jackman, and his time weary Wolverine character, was a great choice. The character, already solidified in the franchise history through his stand-alone films, had an established relationship with every character, which made the chemistry work between the past and future teams. Peter Dinklage was a great antagonist, his motivations were none too complicated but instead were reasoned as a strategic move for humanity. In one exchange he complimented the powers of the mutants, in a way envious of them, while at the same moment discussing his intrigue for experimenting on them for his Sentinel program. In this film the mutants were unified against a common foe, making the character Magneto (played by both Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender) embrace a whole new level of complication. Fassbender, in a calm and monotone presence, particularly blurred the line of Magneto’s true motivations and was consistently enjoyable to watch on screen. Some characters were unfortunately shorthanded screen time and relinquished to glaring stares at far off foes, this overpopulation gave a few great actors only minor occasions to shine.

While the narrative may seem complex the film did a great job of never feeling confusing but instead remained interesting in ways that other comic book films struggled. Most try to incorporate a steady amount of action; this film had some stunning sequences, in particular an exchange with speedy character Quicksilver (Evan Peters) amidst a perfect choice of music, but it was far more restrained than other films and instead forwarded the story with character altercations that were more for development than extravagance. While the time travel aspects began to fall apart in the finale, amidst back and forth transitions between the future and past, it was not enough to hurt anything established before it.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” organized a great ensemble of characters familiar to fans of the X-Men chronicle. With the addition of a good script and solid performances from leading characters, this film is the comic book experience to beat this summer.

Monte’s Rating

4.00 out of 5.00

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