Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Title: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Director: Bryan Singer

My Rating: 4 Stars

Rotten Tomato Rating: 92%

MPAA Rating: PG- 13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language

Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage

IMDB Summary: The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

First, I’d like to announce that I actually generally like the X-Men movies. I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t. I am not one of those people. First Class is awesome. The Wolverine was great. Sure, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not so stellar and the trilogy is nothing to write home about, but they are still entertaining.

I think I liked Days of Future Past less than I was hoping, but it was still really good.

The beginning throws us into the future, where all hell has broken loose and the mutants are being hunted and killed by Sentinels, machines that are specifically designed to fight mutants. This movie, as far as I can tell, is Marvel’s attempt at a second run for X-Men. They pretty much changed the timeline to make it so they could re-do the movies with the same cast. Which I’m not going to say no to. This cast is great. Especially the ‘newer’ group: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage…you’ve got some pretty big names in there. Literally  everyone is there at some point, or at least mentioned, which is fun, and good foreshadowing for what is most likely just around the corner.

James McAvoy. I could watch him act all day. And not just because he’s super attractive. He’s an amazing actor. He holds so much emotion in his eyes, you can so easily read exactly what he’s feeling. And boy does he feel a bunch of things at once. It’s quite incredible how much he communicates without actually saying anything.

He and Michael Fassbender have an extremely compelling relationship as Xavier and Erik, much more so (in my opinion) than the elder versions of themselves. You’ve seen their conflict, seen their friendship grow and struggle, so it’s far more heartbreaking when one of them turns on the other.

Seeing Xavier struggle made him so much more human; he was far more relatable in this movie than even in First Class. And of course, you desperately want Erik to be good and not go do dumb things like try to kill the President. But alas, we can’t always get what we want.

There’s some UST between Erik and Raven, although quite a bit less than I was expecting. Jennifer Lawrence does a good job being angsty and all around angry at humans, and she isn’t going to be talked down by anyone, not even Charles. Erik isn’t fully on the peace bandwagon, so I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t try to hard to get her to join them.

Hugh Jackman, of course, leads this whole crazy team with his usual sarcasm and super-human healing abilities. This Wolverine is a wiser and more focused one, as seen in a moment where he is trying to guide young Xavier. It was an interesting and welcome reversal. Logan has been around long enough that you should expect a maturity that hasn’t necessarily been present before.

Perhaps the best part about Days of Future Past is not the gigantic and amazing cast, not the crazy special effects or epic storyline, but the levity allowed into the script that has previously been missing. Marvel took a wise lesson from Avengers and gave the audience breathing moments, even laughing ones, which were previously few and far between. Very serious moments are sprinkled with humorous lines, making the entire movie more enjoyable, while not ruining the serious tone of the conflict. Hopefully the franchise will continue on with this new adjustment.

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