Scott Kurtz from PVP Webcomic covered a lot of the misgivings I had with X-Men Days of Future Past. I’ll try and find other things to complain about.
If you haven’t seen X-Men: First Class, I recommend watching it because it’s a breath of fresh air after X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Read my review of it: here.
X-Men: Days of Future Past assembles both casts and directed by Bryan Singer who directed X-Men 1+2. The plot is bumpy because the movie doesn’t know what it wants to be.
The plot is based on a big Marvel event that happened in the 80’s. Mutants are being wiped out in the future by robots called Sentinels and an X-Men is sent back to save the past from the future. Marvel Comics are big on events like The Dark Phoenix Saga, X-cutioneer Song, stuff like that.
There’s a slight problem seeing the old cast of Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Kitty Pryde, Storm and the like: it’s boring in the future. It’s dark. I’m not saying the 3-D was dark, I saw it in 2-D in the middle of a theater and the future scenes were poorly lit and boring.
Essentialy, the X-Men have found a way via Kitty Pryde played by Ellen Page, one of the bright points from X3 to send someone back in time to warn themselves one of their own is about to do something bad. In the comics it was done by Rachel Summers, Scott and Jean’s daughter and would have made great sense in the movie but Ellen Paige or unknown actress, who do you go with?
The explanation of this time travel takes so long to set up it actually slows down the movie even if you get Wolverine smoking his stogie and throwing out one-lines the audience should be chuckling at but the audience I saw it with was a tough crowd.
Once Wolverine, again played by Hugh Jackman, is sent back to the 70’s it’s a great movie. It’s a great movie because the original idea was to have mutants in the 60s/70s pre/post Dallas and shenanigans ensue.
Unfortunately the best parts of that idea is a throw away line about the assassination in Dallas and why Magneto was there. Sure it’s part of the viral press kit for the movie but remember the cardinal rule of show not tell?
The X-Men from First Class are no more, unfortunately. With Vietnam going on many of them were either drafted or hunted down. Even Magneto has been captured and Charles has become a walking recluse due to a serum that Hank McCoy once again played by Nicholas Hoult.
The threat is Bolivar Trask’s Sentinel project for hunting down mutants. Bolivar played by Peter Dinklage is a perfect villain. He’s made an enemy of Mystique and if she’s captured her cells will allow the robot sentinels in the future to become unstoppable because they’ll be infused with her blood and have mutant powers of their own.
The great news is Jennifer Lawrence playing Mystique has gone rogue and steals the movie along with Quicksilver played by Evan Peters. Some reviewer said he couldn’t think of why Mystique needed her own movie and after this movie he was giddy for it and I agree so long as it’s handle with the white gloves Marvel gives it’s top tier and not say, I dunno, Ghost Rider or the Punisher.
In order to stop all this bad stuff from happening Wolverine tracks down Charles and Hank to find Quicksilver. And they decide to break Magneto out of Pentagon’s cement prison.
The Internet complained about his silver outfit but the complaining stopped when Charles in is weakened condition and unable to do that voodoo he does so well can’t stop the guards from firing and Quicksilver steps in to the tune of Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce.
And it’s perfect.
No, this isn’t Spider-Man 3 Stayin’ Alive musical number this was a high point of the movie.
And once Quicksilver leaves and/or we jump back to the future to see all these actors just sitting around the movie stumbles.
I didn’t mind Singer’s direction on X-Men 1+2 and I thoroughly enjoyed Matthew Vaughn but the future plot is essentially an excuse to erase X-Men 3 since, wait for it, how can Professor X be alive when he died in X3? No, I’m not over explaining this with alt timelines.
In the end, things are fixed and the end scene brings us back the School for Gifted Youngsters and we learn even in the future Cyclops still can’t get good eyewear. Still.
The end credit scene sets up Age of Apocalypse and can’t touch the Avenger’s scene. I realize I shouldn’t be comparing but I am since the audience I saw it with had not one clue who the guy was (I did) but they knew Galactus.
Should you see it in the theater? Nope.
Is is better than Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Nope.
Did it get the X-Men Franchise back on track: Yep.
And that’s all that matters. I normally not this negative but Edgar Wright stepped down from being Ant-Man’s director much to the geek community’s shock. I just think this movie needed better focus is all.
Here’s hoping Age of Apocalypse is better.