With this movie, Bryan Singer gives us all a dose of targeted amnesia, so we can forget about that sh!tty one.
|James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as Dr. Charles Xavier/Professor X|
|Michael Fassbender and Sir Ian McKellan as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto|
|Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine|
|Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme/Mystique|
|Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm|
|Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat|
|Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver|
|with Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask|
|and Fan Bingbing as a very ASIAN (but very pretty) Clarice Ferguson/Blink, so that the Commies will let this through the censors|
I have a good friend who just loves comic books. He’s got an enormous collection of them and has read them all. Part of me wishes I had enough money to assemble a huge comic book collection, but then I look at my Lego collection, and well, frankly, everything becomes awesome again. Now, you may think that I’ve descended into madness, but there is a point here. My comic book friend has, ever since the trailers for X-Men: Days of Future Past first came out, been worried that it would be terrible, ruin a classic comic book storyline and sound the death knell of X-Men movies.
Me? I’m more nuanced than that. I don’t have the weight of a cabinet worth of comic book knowledge in my head to critique any perceived problems with a movie adaptation. I see any adaptation in another form of media as its own unique entry into the story canon, whether it takes inspiration from the original source or not, and I will judge it on whether it was any good, independent of its source.
Hot on the heels of First Class and The Wolverine, the past and future collide in Future Past. However, I’m not quite sure just how the little post-credits scene involving Professor X and Magneto in The Wolverine worked, since the Sentinels themselves should surely have been old news to mutants by that stage! Anyway, timeline inconsistencies aside, Days of Future Past frames its story through the eyes of everyone’s favourite angry clawed man, as he travels back in time to try to stop the mutant war against the Sentinels from ever happening. The tipping point in the war was the assassination of Bolivar Trask, a heavily moustached Peter Dinklage, in 1973 by Mystique, which also leads to her eventual capture and death. The side effect of Mystique’s capture, is that the Sentinels are armed with her biomechanical abilities of adaptation, making them completely impervious to any attacks.
Wolverine is sent back in time by Shadowcat, at the behest of Magneto and Professor X, to stop Trask’s assassination, because apparently his mind can “heal quickly” (or some mumbo jumbo) and teams up with the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto, who are still smarting from their acrimonious split during the Cuban missile crisis ten years ago. Stopping the assassination of Trask also prevents the Sentinels from gaining their lethal advantage in the future. If all went well, the war would never even take place, therefore the future of humanity and mutants would be far brighter. Maybe there would even be a chance for eventual peaceful coexistence.
Right from the start, you can tell this was a very ambitious movie and I think that it was relatively successful in realising its vision. The enormous and talented cast required added to the complexities of time travel plot devices, as well as the various other little storylines floating about. It was not as action packed as other instalments of X-Men movies, but it’s just as well, because the trade off between action and exposition in a two and a bit hour run time is make or break. The Marvel comic universe is not a Michael Bay fireworks festival, and nor is it a twelve year long contemplation on the vagaries of life. The movie maintained this fine balance and the action and pew pew included was employed for narrative effect rather than being the narrative itself.
The only disappointing thing about the movie, apart from not enough Quicksilver, who is plainly one awesome mutant, is that the marketing machine completely overhyped the movie. It is a good film by any measure, but not as good as it was made out to be. It feels more like an apology for the mess of Last Stand, rather than a nerdgasmic vindication for fans who have stuck with the series. It was enough to rebuild the foundation of the X-Men canon so that the next chapter, Apocalypse, can build upon it and hopefully become an awesome movie instead of just a good one.
So, here’s to Bryan Singer, who has managed to rescue the stinking carcass of Last Stand, dust it off and remolded it into something worthwhile. If the series can continue on building upon its strengths, and take appropriate inspiration from the comic books, then there’s no reason why it couldn’t be as successful as The Avengers. Now, if only Marvel could buy back the rights to the Spiderman and X-Men movies, we nerds would be dancing on the streets with the possibilities!
Check out the trailer
The original X-Men are back, and in a good movie this time. Still, the marketing machine the studio employed made it way overhyped.
Should I watch this?
If the steaming pile that was X-Men: The Last Stand made you as angry as Wolverine, then you should watch this and let the movie take you to a more pleasant place where you can think happy thoughts.