X-Men: Days of Future Past

2014-05-28 08:04
 
What it's about:

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods.

The beloved original X-Men join forces with their younger selves from the past in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save the future.

What we thought:

Imagine trying to keep any story cohesive as you try to rewrite a franchise’s future with a time-traveller with claws and showing both the present and the past while creating a new future parallel to each other? The fact that director Bryan Singer’s brain hasn’t exploded yet should tell you that one man managed to do all this, and make it one of the best superhero movies for the year.

The Marvel universe of mutants enters a dark future where machines called Sentinels exterminate not only mutants, but also humans who carry the gene. Desperate to change this, what’s left of the X-Men devise a plan to send good old ageless Wolverine to the past in order to create a better future.

Firstly, a word of warning: if you haven’t watched the first trilogy, Wolverine’s two origin movies and the First Class, plus all their extra after-credits scenes, then you are going to be asking your better informed movie partner how is Xavier alive and who is Stryker and why does Wolverine have a small breakdown when he sees him. Read up, have a binge-watching marathon and prepare for some amazing references and Easter eggs.

If you are not that into it, then the movie will entertain you at least with its well-choreographed fight scenes as the different mutants use their various skills in some amazing sequences, my favourite being Blink (Fan Bingbing) with her portals and the return of Iceman (Shawn Ashmore). Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) fight moves are as graceful as ever. The future action scenes are just pure thrill for the eyes, but what is sad that this wasn’t fully utilised for the 3D-screen, which in my opinion you could skip for 2D and save your bucks.

One mutant stands out though and this is newcomer Quicksilver, played by American Horror Story’s Evan Peters. Although he might not have the most screen time, Peters plays the role of the speed devil with so much attitude and finesse that he almost outperforms the old crowd (as mutants, not as actors).

One of the best scenes is his breakout of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) from jail, and you just wished that he had a bigger role in Days of Future Past. At least you know he is returning for the next installment, alongside Channing Tatum as Gambit (reserving my judgement on this one) and the other ‘Past’ actors. There has been some controversy surrounding the fact that The Avengers will also have another version of Quicksilver, alongside his sister Scarlet Witch (you get the a glimpse of them in the end-credits scene from the last Captain America), but I don’t think it will be too distracting for the fans. It might spark a new Team Evan/Team Aaron craze though.

Although it had stunning visual, the special effects was in no way a substitute for the plot, which surprisingly was kept very coherent as it flits between the two times and still makes sense in the end, which completely rewrites the first X-men movies and  some of Wolverine’s storyline. James McAvoy stunningly portrays a broken Professor Xavier, which is a far cry from the psychic played by Sir Patrick Stewart, and is probably becoming one of my favourite actors ever (go see him in Filth – if you can stomach debauchery). Seeing him like this in his youth gives the character a much needed flawed human element, which making Prof X that much more badass. Although, when the two come face to face, my first question as young Xavier would be “What happened to my hair?” (That mystery might be solved in the next one.)

I believe part of the popularity of the X-Men franchise not only lies in the bad ass superpowers people have, but in the way politics are played out and is an important part of the mutant universe. This resonates very much with our own history and current present, from the many persecutions of various races, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientation and the legislation around it. The government’s methods of dealing with the ‘mutant’ problem (see The Others problem) range from limitations to registration to extermination, and how one person’s actions have repercussions for an entire group. That is the true appeal of the story.

Many questions were left unanswered, perhaps left to the realms of super fandom, but I doubt it would bother most. It is a thrilling, emotional and action-packed film that will make you glad to know that more will come. And don’t lie, afterwards you will be trying out your dormant mutant powers on an unsuspecting pot plant. We can all dream, right?


Taking the best elements from the original X-Men franchise, the Origin series and the First Class reboot, Days of Future Past caters to both hard-core fans and casual movie-goers as it traverses a complete rewrite of a plot’s history.

Super power 2014/05/26 9:47 AM
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My super power is having to defecate 3 times a day. They call me sh!tstorm. When i was a sidekick in my youth i used to be called hangpiel. I guess you could figure that one out.
Danica 2014/06/19 9:54 AM
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Execellent movie huge fan of the Marvel group and looks like there's another to look forward.
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