Monday, February 9, 2015

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer, 2014) Review

2014 was just the best year of comic book fans. Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier proved that Marvel Studios continue to do no wrong (although I'm keeping an eye on Ant-Man), Sony continued their reboot with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (for better or for worse), Batman hit the screens LEGO form and, lastly, we have X-Men's contribution, X-Men: Days of Future Past. X-Men has always been a puzzle to me. I've enjoyed their recent offerings of X-Men First Class and The Wolverine yet I haven't really liked them in the past. The original trilogy was very fforgettableand X-Men Origins: Wolverine destroyed one of my favourite fictional characters (he's getting his own film now so that's a plus. Don't screw this up, Ryan Reynolds) and since this new entry was combining both, I was sceptical. How does it fare? Let's find out.

50 years after the creation of robots designed to hunt mutants known as Sentinels were created, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his team of mutants try their best to face off against the army of Sentinels. However, they can adapt to whatever mutant power that is thrown at them and, now seemingly unbeatable, Xavier must go back in time to stop their inception. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has the ability to send people's consciousness back in time to their previous body but the only person who will make the trip is Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Logan wakes up in 1973 where we must team up with a younger Xavier (James McAvoy), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to prevent the creation of the Sentinels at the hand of Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).

You with me still? I know, that was one hell of a convoluted plot. Naturally, you'd think that this would be a huge issue as it would just be too much for the audience to take. Actually, I think the plot is well done. Like I said, I prefer all of the stuff set in the past and that is where the bulk of the film is set. The future scenes only act as framing devices for the real plot, the 70s, and the film is more engaging as a result. It's good to see James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender work off each other again and now we have Hugh Jackman thrown into the mix to deliver us a great trio. My only real gripe with the cast is Peter Dinklage. Now don't get me wrong, I adore Peter Dinklage but he was wasted here. In this franchise with so much potential he plays...a guy in a suit...who sits in meetings..really? That's the best they could give the great Peter Dinklage? On the flipside, however, is Evan Peters as Quicksilver. Good God, Quicksilver is the highlight of the film and is easily one of the best characters in the entire franchise. The best scene of the film is the breakout in the Pentagon as it shows off, in a wonderful way, the speed at which Quicksilver can run accompanied by a great song. The combination of music and visuals make this one of the most artistic scenes i've seen in a comic book film and I would love to see more in the future. I suppose the only bad thing about this is that it still damage Avengers: Age of Ultron which is set to have their own version of Quicksilver which I can guarantee will not be as good as this one.

It's rare that the best thing about a comic book film is the acting. Now, I know that there are some fantastic performances in comic book films like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight and Sebastian Stan in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but when has it ever been THE best thing. Ledger was amazing but so was the rest of the film. When I think of X-Men: Days of Future Past, I instinctively think of the actors. The combination of the old and new actors is also a highlight as it shows the strong progression and development of these characters side by side. It's very insightful and shows how much of an impact X-Men First Class made.  The special effects are also great mostly down to the use of the Sentinels. The Sentinels, while only making minor appearances at the beginning, are thrown at us full force in the last third and it is a great thing to watch. They could've gone further and made an all out war between mutants and Sentinels but the two battles are still a blast.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is definitely the best X-Men film and I think will be forever the best one. not in a way that "it's hard to top this" but in a way that I don't think future instalment will have such strong chemistry between actors nor will they have the artistic element unless they bring Quicksilver back (which they HAVE to) and even if they do, i doubt lightning will strike twice. The ending of the film should please the angered 'fans' who hated the trilogy and sets up a positive future but I feel this is the best it's going to get.

The best the series has to offer and paves the way to a brighter future for the X-Men franchise.

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