X-Men Days Of Future Past Review

X-Men Days Of Future Past

X-Men Days Of Future Past finally brings the franchise back full circle to the original X-Men movie director, Bryan Singer, whose 2001 film was the jumping off point for all subsequent big budget brash superhero blockbusters.

And his new instalment raises the bar for X-Men films while keeping up with the Marvel canon.

Following on Matthew Vaughn’s First Class, Days Of Future Past makes for a worthy sequel that gives comic book fans the quality superhero movie they’ve craved since the dark days of The Dark Knight Rises and those early sub-par Wolverine movies.

The plot revolves around a time travel element, which can be troublesome for those on script duty, but aside from a few minor temporal quirks, they handle this pretty well.

Kitty Pryde, aka Ellen Page in the real world, is charged with sending Wolverine back to 1973 to news-team-assemble a disbanded X-Men who are most certainly not being led by a drunky, doozy Charles Xavier, which sees James McAvoy channelling about 10% of his Filth character.

Logan has to get Professor X and his brother out of arms Magneto singing from the same team sheet, so they can stop a catastrophic event involving Mystique and the murderous evolution of those pesky sentinels that’ll change the world into a place where lots of bad things happen including even more mutant eating robots on the streets.

Pretty straightforward then.

The opening introduces us to some very well used and not so well used mutants, namely Blink and Sunspot before moving on to Warpath and Bishop respectfully.

Despite these introductions, it’s the onslaught of mutantkind’s nemeses in the shape of some pretty badass sentinels that catches the eye, as they attack the group and a tag team defence of their makeshift HQ ensues.

Fans will get a giddy flashback of excitement, recalling Nightcrawler’s amazing entrance in X2 that showed off Singer’s direction and just how incompetent the Secret Service are at handling blue teleporting tourists.

This time around, we’ve got Blink and her ability to create portals that makes for compelling viewing, and thanks to an adept cinematographer, this holds true for all the action scenes.

X-Men burn, X-Men break, X-Men die! But hey, don’t spoiler me! As the time travel thingamabob kicks in, so it goes that all this death and destruction is averted.

Now it’s Logan’s turn to grind his teeth before his consciousness is phased back to the 70s, full of lava lamps, waterbeds and a continued air of political paranoia maintained from First Class.

This time the Cuban Missile Crisis is replaced with some far fetched JFK theories that still make more sense than the ones we’ve been given.

What Singer has done with this second sophomore effort is lace it with a raw emotion in the connection between Mystique and Charles the younger, as they battle to find themselves and understand their surrounding world.

The childhood friends have been set on different paths and we get to meet Peter Dinklage’s Boliver Trask, who’s the creator behind the sentinels.

Of course, his robotic creations upstage Dinklage’s tame Trask, which is slightly disappointing for as talented an actor as Dinklage.

What truly makes X-Men Days Of Future Past such an entertaining example of comic book celluloid is the action; despite some mutants not getting a proper look-in, as per usual, and some talky exploratory points, the set pieces are tough and brutal enough to make you take a break from your oversized popcorn munching and refocus your eyeballs.

A lot of praise will be poured on Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters and Magneto’s son in the comic, whose help during a daring jailbreak is a well shot, comedic high point of the film.

Michael Fassbender was born to play the scourged earth theorising homosuperior Magneto, who’s still brimming with an unquenchable rage from his traumatic childhood.

And Hugh Jackman does more here than in the underwhelming Wolverine movies, and brings the charm Marvel fans have come to expect from Weapon X.

So the next instalment has already been announced, X Men: Apocalypse. Hopefully this will utilise one of Marvel’s most badass characters, the Egyptian do-anything-mutant En Sabah Nur aka Apocalypse, which is teased in the post-credit scene.

Can Singer re-raise the bar once again? To keep up with these new X-Men films ascendancy and forge a story that matches this new title’s gravitas, he simply has to.

Chi Anyanwu

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Dates ‘n stuff

May 2014