Saturday, May 24, 2014

Movie Review -- X-Men: Days of Future Past

Today we have the latest Marvel movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

At the outset, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) explains that the world is now ruled by an evil regime which aims to eradicate all mutants using giant robots called Sentinels. These aren't the same Sentinels from the comics, however. They can adapt to any mutant power and crush all opposition with overwhelming force. The last bastion of the resistance is led by Professor X and Magneto (Ian McKellen). Unfortunately, it's a losing battle. Sooner or later, the Sentinels will destroy them. In a last-ditch effort to save the world, they decide to use Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) into the past to stop the war from happening in the first place. 

So Wolverine finds himself back in the 70s. He seeks out young Professor X (James McAvoy) but discovers the Prof is a broken shell of a man addicted to the drug from X-Men: First Class which heals his spine but disables his mutant abilities. He has lost everything he once held dear and doesn't want to go along with Wolverine's quest to save the world. Wolverine does, with some difficulty, manage to convince him to help find Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) who is about to unwittingly set the apocalypse in motion by killing the Sentinels' creator, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). But to save her, they'll need the help of young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) who is being held underneath the Pentagon. With some assistance from speedy mutant Pietro Maximoff (Evan Peters) they pull it off in comedic fashion. Afterwards, Magneto explains that he, too, has lost everything dear to him, and so he decides to help them find Mystique. But once they do, a sudden change of heart threatens to derail the whole plan. Is the world truly doomed?

This movie had me gripped from beginning to end. It far surpasses the previous X-Men movie, The Wolverine, which I felt did not do Wolverine justice. I'm a sucker for stories about people going back in time to prevent stuff, and this pulls it off well. I appreciate the amount of characters they crammed into this film (did you notice all the actors names I listed above?), as well as the way the filmmakers handled the apocalyptic segments. They completely succeeded in portraying a dark future for our heroes. I was surprised by the level of violence in these parts. You might be shocked to find out the fate of your favorite characters. They don't pull any punches here, and I respect that. Also, the juxtaposition between present and past Professor X and Magento is pretty cool.

However, I'm not sure, but I think this film's story created a plot hole or two. If the Sentinels were created in the 70s, where were they during the original X-Men trilogy? I mean, yeah, they fought one in the Danger Room in The Last Stand, but that was just a simulation. Shouldn't the mechanized mutant menaces have been present in the previous movies if Trask built them in 1973? Eh, maybe I'm over-thinking it...

All in all, this film has great action sequences (including an epic one where Magneto lifts an entire stadium through Washington, D.C.), genuinely funny moments, and a powerful story. I heartily recommend X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Why is Anna Paquin listed prominently in the end credits when she's in the movie for about three seconds?

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