But in any event we have come to the X-Men: Days of Future Past. Is there anything left to be said at this point? It’s a sequel to X-Men: First Class, a movie I LOVED and consider it to be the best X-film. It’s being directed by Bryan Singer who directed X-Men and X2 which were both great but hasn’t directed a ton of great stuff since then (and Jack the Giant Slayer was actively terrible). It’s based on the very classic X-Men comic storyline of the same name. The plot was pretty much the same; the future has been conquered by the Sentinels, mutant hunting robots, and a small group of surviving X-Men use their resident super psychic Rachel Summers to send the consciousness of Kitty Pryde (or “Kate Pryde” as she prefers to be known in the future) through time to 1980 (or “the present” as it preferred to be known at the time) into the body of her teenage counterpart to stop Mystique and her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from killing a specific dude which will cause a ripple effect that creates the terrible future. Of course this movie still takes place in the X-Men Movie Universe so the details would have to be drastically altered but the main crux of the story seems to be intact.
Anyway with two good movies, one awesome movie, one not terrible Wolverine movie and two absolute garbage flicks the X-Men Film Franchise has had its ups and downs over the years. BUT there’s been a lot of positive buzz about this movie where many people saying it’s the best X-flick to date. So it’s pretty clear that with so many people I like, trust or admire enjoyed it so clearly I’ll love this movie too, right? Right? Why are you just staring at me like that?
Full review after the jump.
[WARNING: There are a few spoilers throughout this review, though I avoid the really big ones. Still, read at your own risk]
|Hey, theses guys might make a good superhero team|
Too bad that doesn't happen
Days of Future Past is another superhero movie where technology seems to have finally caught up with the premise as the effects look fantastic. The depiction of some of these powers, particularly the flashier ones, are so well done and look so good that I would argue the price of the ticket may be worth it for the special effects alone. Blink, played Fan Bingbing who’s a huge star in China, was used tremendously is this regard as her powers (basically teleportation, though here she seems to primarily makes teleportation portals) are used very creatively making her the most useful future X-Man in terms of offensive, defensive and supporting capabilities. Now Blink is already one of my favorite X-Men (though honestly these days I’d rank her #2) so it was damn cool to see her depicted so well. Weirdly Bingbing says she signed a five picture deal for the X-Men franchise which seems incredibly excessive for a relatively minor character, especially as the supposedly sequels will follow the First Class cast. But anyway everything looks good. In the same way that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 featured the best version of Spider-Man in film so does this film feature the best looking X-Men…well, mostly.
Pretty much all the actors you guessed would do well in this film live up to it. Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman are all as good as they’ve ever been (though Stewart and McKellen aren’t around all that much but they do well with what little they have). Fassbender and McAvoy are good as Magneto and Xavier in all the same ways they were in the previous film and reminded me why I’m dying for these two to take the franchise into the future (especially McAvoy). But perhaps the biggest surprise however came from the unlikely source of Evan Peters as Quicksilver as he absolutely stole the show from the minute he appeared on the screen. The character was so well done was so charismatic and his powers were pulled off so well that the whole dam movie changed tone for the better when he’s introduced. The director, or writers, made a HUGE miscalculation with the guy as even though he’s pretty much the most enjoyable part of the film he’s actually not around for very long. Shockingly he IS NOT recruited by Wolverine and Young Xavier to help them stop Mystique and so he’s just pretty much gone maybe halfway through the movie and the film is much, much worse off for it.
|Pictured: Underused potential|
Peter Dinklage is kind of wasted here. When you cast an actor as hot as Dinklage, who had become a critical darling thanks to his stint on Game of Thrones, the logic dictates that you use them to their fullest capabilities but sadly Bolivar Trask isn’t a very interesting character. He’s more of a plot point than anything else; the catalyst for the terrible future. However if there’s a character that gets completely screwed its Havok. He shows up once in the film early on and then we never see him again. That is complete bullshit. So many characters from First Class apparently died off screen between these two movies so I would think that they’d utilize the few that are still alive but it turns out that the filmmakers actually just didn’t give a shit. And in that one scene Havok demonstrates that he’s learned how to control his powers and I was super excited because I thought “oh man, when they X-Men fight the Sentinels that is going to look so goddamn cool”. Well…that didn’t happen. The worst thing about this was that Lucas Till is awesome when he’s actually given time. I mentioned in the Summer Movie Preview that I didn’t appreciate Till at first until I saw All Superheroes Must Die (aka "Vs"), which is a fantastic movie and he’s really good in it. But I guess no one making this film saw that flick, presumably because every single one of them are monsters. I will revisit the lack of Havok in a bit.
|R.I.P. Beta's crush on Ellen Page|
There are other plot holes and continuity issues with this film. You might recall that when I reviewed X-Men: First Class I specifically said that it absolutely had to be a reboot because it simply doesn’t makes sense in conjunction with the previous films. The hope was that this film, which clearly connects First Class to the other films, would clear up the continuity glitches that occurred but sadly the film does nothing to really do that. The time travel mechanic does ultimately erase some of the problems ("erase" rather than "explain", which is a lazy way to handle things) but for the most part a lot of major ones remain. The film also produces new hiccups. Wolverine’s presence in 1973 doesn’t really jive with where we saw him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine where he was shown to be in fighting in Vietnam (though it’s hard to know exactly when XMO:W takes place exactly). The casting of Josh Helman as a young William Stryker makes is really strange as he appears at least twenty years younger than he did in the Wolverine film which takes place no more than maybe three years later (played by Danny Huston). Also why does Wolverine still have metal claws when he lost them in The Wolverine? I would have accepted just about any explanation but we're given none so it's a problem.
|I never thought I'd see Blink onscreen. Not sure how they can top this|
Ah and my own personal nitpick: I hate the future costumes just like I hated the leather costumes from he first three films. It almost seems like Singer is allergic to bright colors but everything was dull or dark, a serious contrast to First Class which I greatly preferred. It doesn’t help that there are no costumes in 1973 aside from Magneto (which is way less bright than what he was wearing at the very end of First Class). In my opinion the bright color costumes are what add to the fun of superhero films and it bums me up that they were absent. Not really a huge problem but something I just personally was unhappy with.
|Seriously, these costumes are boring as shit|
I give X-Men: Days of Future Past 3 Uncanny Xs out of 5.
-Special effects look great
-Good to see old faces
-Has a dump truck full of plot holes
-Many superfluous characters
-Underutilized characters (coughcoughQuicksilvercough)
-Peter Dinklage plays an uninteresting character and it's a waste of Peter Dinklage
[Writer's Note: I apologize for the grammatical issues in this post. Apparently I proofread this while I was half asleep and am certainly half asleep as I'm looking at it now that it's been brought to my attention.]