Last night my husband and I went to see “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. I did not watch the X-Men animated series in the 90’s nor did I read the comic books. However, I have been a big fan of the X-Men movies, having seen all of them in the theaters. I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing this one in the theatre since for lack of a better term it was X-Men: All Stars.
Storylines involving time travel are always tricky and you inevitably run into issues with paradoxes. Considering the trappings of time travel this movie did a great job. The movie opens in the future with the original X-Men cast. It was great to see Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Shawn Ashmore and Halle Berry back in the roles they first played fourteen years ago in “X-Men”.
Obviously, you know you’re doing to see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The original cast and all of the mutants of earth are on the verge of extinction because of Sentinels, which are basically machines that are designed to kill mutants. The reason the Sentinels are such great weapons against the mutants is that they were made using the DNA of Raven/Mystique. The only way mutants can stand a chance is if Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) uses her powers to transport Wolverine’s mind back to his younger body so he can change the past to save the mutants in the future.
Most of the film takes place in 1973 and that means that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender get more screen time as the younger version of Charles and Magneto but that’s okay. They both do a great job. My husband has always talked about how Magneto isn’t really a villain. That he is Malcolm X to Charles Xavier’s Martin Luther King Jr. I thought that both of those characters go the chance to be explored and developed in a way that they hadn’t in the four previous movies in which they were featured. Michael Fassbender was born to play this role and there was one scene in particular when it really felt like you were watching a younger Ian McKellen rather than a different actor.
James McAvoy is able to do more layering of his character than he did in “X-Men: First Class”.
Hugh Jackman knows the character of Wolverine inside and out. Whether you like Wolverine or not you have to be willing to admit that. You also have to be willing to admit that Hugh Jackman can’t play the role much longer. As good as Hugh Jackman looks he is still forty-five years old and he’s playing a character that doesn’t age.
Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as Raven/Mystique.
It is really amazing how in the course of less than four years Jennifer Lawrence has gone from unknown to probably the only woman in the world who can successfully navigate two blockbuster franchises and score a third Oscar nomination in about six months. I really love what she’s been able to do with her career. I just pray she doesn’t blow it.
In the first three X-Men movies I was disappointed with the amount of screen time that Halle Berry got as Storm. I was happy that she was back for this movie but with the exception of one moment she doesn’t have much to do.
Ellen Page is fine but she also isn’t given much to do.
It’s fun to see Peter Dinklage get work outside of “Game of Thrones” and he is quite good here. My favorite secondary performance was from Evan Peters, as Peter/Quicksilver he is a hoot and a half. I really hope they bring him back in a future movie.
I don’t want to give anything away with spoilers about specific events but I will say the last twenty five minutes are great. I normally am bored to death with the final battle of an action/adventure movie but this one was amazing. In terms so of screenwriting and film editing the way the movie is able to cute back and forth between two powerful climaxes that are happening fifty years apart is action filmmaking at it’s very best.
Even my husband who hates Wolverine and hated “X-Men: The Last Stand” really enjoyed this movie. If you liked X-Men and you still haven’t seen “X-Men: Days of Future Past” I can’t recommend it enough. I just hope Bryan Singer will be back to direct.
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