X-Men: Days of Future Past
Starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by Bryan Singer
IMDB Rating: 8.2
I’m no X-Men superfan, but I’ve always had respect for these comic movies. For example, I was one of what seems like few that enjoyed X-Men: The Last Stand. Days of Future Past was a film that had the potential to be remarkable, what with the A-List talent on show, and it wasn’t far off it.
Powerful machines known as Sentinels are hunting down not only mutants, but now humans. It’s got to a point where the X-Men are struggling to survive, so in a last ditch attempt to save humanity they decide to send Wolverine back to the 1970’s, just before the Sentinels came to be. He is informed that Mystique is the key to the Sentinels powers and Wolverine is tasked with finding their past selves and preventing Mystique from trying to kill Dr. Bolivar Trask, which caused the sequence of events that led to the situation they’re in.
The first hour of the movie was the most enjoyable thing I’ve seen in a long time. The thing that makes this for me is the comedy side to it. These days it seems that people are taking comic superheroes very seriously (Think of Cristopher Nolan’s Batman), which makes this a pleasant change. Everything from the bad-guy Dr. Bolivar Trask being a midget to that now infamous scene involving quicksilver running the walls, security guards frozen in place and beautifully calm music. It all screams fun and keeps you constantly smiling. Mix that with the epic-ness of an array of superpowers and you’re left thinking to yourself “How cool is this!”. Like many films the fun factor is diminished as you get into the second hour, but that is necessary to bring the film to it’s end. I thought the end was a bit disappointing, looking solely on what was going on in the past, not the future/present. I thought what was happening could have been made more dramatic than it was. In the end it just kind of happened and that was that.
Given his small amount of screen time, Evan Peters’s performance of Quicksilver was the stand-out performance for me. That could be down to the character that he plays, but he was the one that grabbed my attention the most. Hugh Jackman played Wolverine, a character he probably accidentally plays at home, he does it so much. James McAvoy seemed to grow into his role (Past Professor Xavier) as the film went on, the dramatic, big speech moments suiting him more than the tongue-in-cheek jokes at the start. Michael Fassbender was solid, if not spectacular – along with the rest of the cast. Jennifer Lawrence left a few question marks, probably due to the high standards she has set herself with other roles. Her as mystique was okay, it was when she was herself that I was not so keen. She did not seem to portray the deadly determination that mystique has. Maybe that was the idea, but I just struggled to engage with her when she wasn’t being the blue super-woman knocking enemies to the ground with 360-kicks.
Established director Bryan Singer directs a solid movie here. There is many a memorable moment in this film and many interesting shots. There isn’t really anything new or untried in this movie, but he uses techniques that he knows work with the audience from his many years in the business. The occasional use of the old fashioned movie reel to bring the audience into the time the movie is set was particularly clever, if a little bit overused. Having directed two previous X-Men movies (and also directing 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse), he has directed a movie here that can sit proudly with the rest of the franchise.
X-Men: Days of Future Past definitely has to go down as one of my favourite ever superhero movies. I cannot decide whether it’s my favourite X-Men movie, but it’s definitely up there with the best of them!
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Seen Days of Future Past? Think there’s something I’ve missed? Let me know below!