Action/Adventure, Adaptation, Comic Book, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Marvel, Nicholas Hoult, Sequel, X-Men 6:30 AM
As usual, this is another review of a blockbuster movie that I was excited to see it, and as usual, never did. So… let the question be posed, is it worth the wait?
The future world for X-Men’s mutants is anything but safe. Bobby (Shawn Ashmore), Kitty (Ellen Page) and their friends are being hunted by man-made robots that a renowned 70’s scientist, Trask (Peter Dinklage) created - with help from mutant DNA, in order to alienate the mutant race from the planet and human’s fear of being overrun by mutants. Into this massacre walks the man who brought these students all together – and taught them never to let their powers control them, Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his formidable friend-turned-foe, Magneto (Ian McKellen). Charles realizes he needs to, along with his students, stop this from happening and with the help of Kitty they plan to send Charles back into the past to warn his younger self only Kitty tells him doing so would tear him apart – physically, this brings in Logan (Hugh Jackman), who has the ability to heal nearly as quickly as injuries pierce his body.
Waking up in the 70’s introduces Logan to a completely different era of the lives of his future mutant students. Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) is still figuring out his mutant powers and Charles (James McAvoy) is a broken man totally the opposite of the man Logan now knows as the professor. His school is closed and he no longer hears the voices in his head – losing his sister broke him. But their mission is to track and find Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) before she murders Trask and unknowingly forever alters the future of the mutants life – and for that, they will need the help of Erik (Michael Fassbender).
Considering some of the “ho-hum” reviews I’ve read about this one or the conversations I’ve had with friends about the new X-Men installment, I’m really not surprised at my reaction to the film. Most of the time, when I put in this genre, I know it’s going to test the limits of realism because, simply put, superheroes defy realistic expectations – their purpose (in my opinion) is to entertain and to do that, if we’re invited into a world that is full of eye-rolling for the skeptic in us when really it’s that concept that, if we are being honest is a big draw – it’s in the impossibilities that makes us love these worlds so much. Yes, basically, I fan-girled BIG time over this movie and dare I say it, this may be my favorite of the bunch yet.
Right before watching this just-released newbie, I finished up my first-time viewings of the old films with ‘The Last Stand’ and while it too was good, there is something about this title that is going to stick with me for a while. I’m not sure this one has as much poignant to say because of the focus of revisiting the past, future and eventual present however there is a lot good about the production and for me, that’s more than enough. Whoever dreamed up co-mingling (writer Simon Kinberg is also known for Sherlock Holmes, This Means War, and ‘The Last Stand’) what started the X-Men franchise and later its foray into the origins with ‘First Class’ is brilliant. Seriously. Aside from some of the cast and story indicators (which I’ll share more about later), what I loved best was just seeing everyone together and their reactions to each other before they become the characters we know in the future. After just watching Logan and Beast heckle each other in X-Men The Last Stand, it was a blast to see the two “meet” and since I love Raven and Charles', complicated relationship as portrayed by Lawrence and McAvoy, it was perfect to revisit their younger selves. Especially interesting was seeing the dynamic between Logan and Charles – Logan’s brash, tragic figure past had to be put aside for this storyline and instead the tables had turned, meaning Charles was the subject of Logan’s help and guidance. It’s really quite an interesting switch that asks new questions, giving us more insight into the characteristics of Logan and Charles both.
I think overall, what works best or what I loved so much about this installment is how it rewrites some history. Instead of merely resurrecting characters, it gives us a plausible (for the X-Men universe though again, don't expect the timelines to make any sense) reason as to why some characters are returning. There are cameos by Scott, Jean, an introduction to Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and a brief appearance by Rogue (Anna Paquin) which is a bummer since I really like her character. But on the upside, Storm (Halle Berry) is back as well and again, it was just a blast to see so many of the ‘First Class’ cast reuniting. Beyond that, I really loved (have I said that word a lot!?) the staging of many pivotal or action-packed scenes. Primarily, the fantastic “big sequence” for Quicksilver which was as crazy as it was epic and also, the climax sequence is quite impacting. Injected into most of this is also a lighthearted sense of humor that is hard to miss. The way things end even with the post credits forbearing of bad to come, leaves a happier picture and where before Logan was always the tragic figure, there was a sense of “hope” in this movie’s end and for that, I’m ridiculously pleased with ‘Days of Future Past.’ It was worth the wait and then some.
Your turn: have you seen this installment, if so, comment, rave or gush about your thoughts. It’s all welcome.
(Rated PG13; a shot shows a nude man from the backside as he wakes up in bed with someone - a few other innuendoes may be in the script. There are plenty of things that blow up or are destroyed during the film – Erik in particular destroys many things, especially near the end. There is some profanity - h*ll, da*n, sh*t, abuse of God's name and one use of the f-word.)