Classic Movie Review X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Posted: May 24, 2014 in Comedy, Drama
Tags: ,

X-Men-Days-Of-Future-Past

The future is bleak for mutants and the humans who help them.  Robots, named sentinels are hunting down mutants to the point of extinction.  Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan) are holed up in a bunker with the last few surviving mutants.  They decide to send Logan (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973, with the help of Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) who has the ability to teleport people’s consciousness back in time.  Logan is chosen because his mind is the only mind strong enough to withstand the process.

Logan must go back to 1973 to convince Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) not to shoot the inventor of the sentinels, Dr. Bolivar Trask. (Peter Dinklage)   He must also find and reunite the younger Xavier (James McAvoy) and Eric (Michael Fassbender) and convince them to work together to bring Raven back from the precipice of being an assassin. With the help of Peter/Quicksilver, (Even Peters) Logan breaks Eric out of a prison in the Pentagon.  Xavier meanwhile has become somewhat of a recluse, living in his school for mutants, which is now in disrepair, with Hank/Beast (Nicholas Hoult) Hank has cured Xavier’s paralysis, but the serum he uses, robs Xavier of his mental acuity. Morever, Xavier doesn’t want anything to do with his powers anymore, he blames his powers, and Eric for losing Raven, and causing his paralysis.  Can Logan convince these former friends, now rivals to bury the hatchet, find Raven, and convince her not to kill Dr. Trask?  Or do Xavier and Eric’s doubts about themselves and human beings overwhelm them?

I love this movie.  There are simply not enough superlatives to tell you how good this movie is.  It integrates the best of the first series of X-Men movies with the best of the reboot.  The sentinels do remind me a bit of the robots from the Terminator movies, and there is the usual time travel caveat about changing the future, but this time they want to change the future. There’s also a good bit of historical fiction about the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination and the Nixon administration, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Nixon is a villain in this movie, and that will either enrage you or delight you depending on your political views.  This kind of historical fiction was tried in the movie The Watchmen, but I found that history muddled and incomprehensible, the flashbacks to the 70’s was a loving, nostalgic look at an era I look back on with fondness. Days of Future Past is also disarmingly funny, the script had me laughing out loud at times.  Other than Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, this is the best superhero film I’ve seen in a very long time.

What can I say about the acting?  It is first rate.  Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan bring the same heft and gravitas to these characters that made me love them in the first place.  James McAvoy  and Michael Fassbender are put in a tough position, being in the same movie paying the same characters as these iconic actors, but they not only hold their own, but make the characters their own.  Michel Fassbender is becoming a great actor in his own right, it’s getting to the point where I could watch him in any movie he makes.  Hugh Jackman has played Logan/Wolverine in at least seven movies now, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing him, he is Wolverine.  Nicholas Hoult is good as Beast, Xavier’s right hand man, Ellen Page brings some Inception style earnestness to her role. Evan Peters is very funny as Quicksilver, and Peter Dinklage gives a standout performance as the evil Dr. Trask. The only fly in the ointment was Jenner Lawrence, she actually made me realize how good Rebecca Romiijn was as Raven, she was much more edgy and mature.  Jennifer Lawrence seems like she’s trying really hard to be edgy, but doesn’t quite make it.  I think she is too young for this role, not to mention her role in American Hustle.

The direction is good, fast paced and action packed, the 2 hours and 10 minutes flew by.  The 3D effects, didn’t really add much I’m sorry to say.  There is violence and nudity, so don’t bring the young kids, they won’t like seeing Hugh Jackman’s bare posterior as much as their mothers might.

X-men Days of Future Past.  Happy Days, indeed.

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