Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 131 minutes

Continuing on this spawn of superhero movies is the sequel to X-Men: First Class and prequel to the X-Men cinema franchise. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie and curious how they bring together the young and old mutant counterparts. I hoped it wouldn't suffer the dreaded "Avengers Syndrome" and have a more satisfying ending.

Fifty years into the future, the world is nearly devoid of life as the Sentinels has exterminated not only mutants, as they were originally designed to do, but normal humans with mutant genes. The last remaining free mutants join together to change the past and save humanity, mutant or otherwise.

A minor comment about the audience, but I had some concerns with the increasingly growing crowd with my mom. They seemed kinda rowdy, but all calmed when the movie began. I think there was a great bond between us all among the silent tension and exciting moments. Now for the movie...

In short, this was by far the best installment in the franchise. With X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine joining the top ranks. It has been a while since I've seen the older movies, so I am not discrediting them...excluding X-Men: The Last Stand.

For a movie that is over two hours long, it felt like your standard hour and a half which is a very good thing. Right from the start, the movie cinches you in and gives a straightforward answer to the conflict at hand as well as immediately tug at our emotions as humanity seizes to exist, mutant and non-mutant, and show us the horror of our antagonists, the Sentinals. They are brutal, heartless, and unbeatable. It almost seems like everything is over, but it is just a look into an already grim present.

The strengths of this movie lies within the great pacing, engaging story, and an effective main cast. There is a constant blur between good and bad which keeps things interesting among the wide range of characters. Everyone believes they are doing what is right for mankind, but not everyone can be right. The contrast of past and future selves are also a great catalyst and intriguing element to the story. Taking what we know of the future and before in previous movies are interesting to compare. It's like one of those what ifs of the past. The acting, of course, was superb. Reprising old favorites, refreshing our memories of their younger counterparts, and introducing us to interesting new characters. Whether major or minor, they all play an important part to reaching their ultimate goals of extermination, security, and unity. Trask is a brilliant intimidator, Xavier is a scarred struggling genius, Magneto still wants mutants to be recognized as a superior race, Logan wants some sort of neutrality between friends to create a better, brighter future, and Raven/Mystique is hell bent on revenge no matter the consequences.

Other quick things I enjoyed about this movie are the brief moments of what happened to the the previous mutants of First Class with effective spoken and visual exposition. Including a new batch of mutants and uniting them with old favorites. Quicksilver and Blink have become easy favorites of mine. The movie intertwines historical information with historical fiction such as Kennedy's assassination and Nixon as president. The visuals were mindblowing and the Sentinals were terrifying!

It's hard to say if this movie has flaws. They appear pretty minor in my eyes. Wolverine's flashback felt a little unnecessary to an already tense scene between Magneto, Xavier, and Mystique, but it didn't bother me too much. The stadium move felt the same, but I could also understand trying to contain the problem in one element. Some might've wanted more background information about the newer mutants excluding Quicksilver, but I think that would've cluttered the film. There are small continuity timeline errors, but I can also overlook them.

Overall, this was a fantastic and exciting film. The ending was satisfying and I'm pumped for the next installment. Tiny spoiler, I am still amused that this movie completely negates X-Men: Last Stand. "What third X-Men movie? *hides it under bed* That doesn't exist." If you haven't seen it, do it. Do it soon! It's really good and I wouldn't mind watching it at least two more times.

Rating: 4.5/5

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