X-men, Days Of Future Past: Review

September 28, 2014 11:50 am

I won’t lie; I’m not the biggest X-men fan. It’s not that I dislike the movies, I just never really had a comic book interest to sustain my curiosity. I saw the first film and didn’t think much of it, then the third, and again, wasn’t overly impressed, finally X-men Origins: Wolverine killed any potential interest I thought I might have had in this series. However, I took a chance on First Class and was amazed at how impressed I was, as a result I have also taken a chance on Days Of Future Past, a movie which proves however dire a film series is getting; it can always pick itself up again.

X-men, Days Of Future Past was directed by the father of X-men movies, Bryan Singer and sports an all-star cast of Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Jenifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender amongst many others. In a post-apocalyptic world in the future, mutants are being hunted down by the powerful robots Sentinels, the only way to avert this bleak life is to send Wolverine (Jackman) back in time to prevent Mystique (Jenifer Lawrence) from killing the creator of these robots, which sparked the revolution against mutants.

The reason this film (and First Class) stand out is because they don’t feel like they’re part of a series, they could easily be their own movies as they have a distinct and isolated feel from the other films, in a good way. The direction is skilful, pitting action sequences between very well written and acted dialogue, which gives personality to the mutants in a much more developed way than your average superhero characters. The ratio of action to dialogue is also very well paced, any time I thought that things were getting too slow something interesting would happen. There are quite a few characters to keep track of, and unless you know the X-men universe backwards (which I didn’t) you could find yourself getting a little lost now and again (which I did), but regardless, I was still able to enjoy the movie despite the occasional confusion. There were some very memorable sequences spread around the film, such as the prison break of Magneto (Fassbender) by the silver tonged mutant Quicksilver (Even Peters). I really wanted to see more of this character as Even Peters did a fantastic job, displaying brilliant comic ability. In fact the whole film contained much more humour than I would have thought, Jackman is undoubtedly the best Wolverine we could have ever of been treated to, I just wish we would have seen more of the claws. Seriously, they come out about twice. It’s X-men – we need claws.

The thing that makes this film exceed, not just every other X-men film but the superhero genre in general, is the genuine emotion it contains. Seeing the relationship between McAvoy and Fassbender’s Magneto and Xavier makes the interactions of their older selves so much more contextual and sincere. We get to see the things that have happened to these two people to make them fall from being great friends to rivals, and the journey they take has you so involved you forget the film is even about heroes, because you just care about the people. When Ian McKellen’s Magneto says the line to Patrick Stewart’s Xavier “All those years wasted fighting each other, Charles,” after a climactic battle between them and the Sentinels I genuinely teared up.  Seeing this interaction after witnessing the destruction the two were causing in the past makes the voyage these characters go on feel more real and tangible than for any other Marvel characters.

Overall, all the performances were exquisite, particularly James McAvoy as the dispirited younger Xavier, who is the centre of most of the film’s emotion. Hugh Jackman provides comic relief as well as some touching moments, Logan and Michael Fassbender capture the vengeful and conflicted young Magneto and Ian McKellen portrays his regret and spite in the future. The conversation between McAvoy and Patrick Stewart’s versions of Xavier was the highlight of the film, “We need you to believe again,” it’s as if the words came from Bryan Singer itself, and after this movie, it’s safe to say we do believe again.

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