Superhero movies can be a hit or miss. While they strike big at the box office (in most occasions) and generate tons of buzz, they can deviate away from the source material, enraging fans in the process. The X-Men films are a perfect example as the series is a great success but fans are diehard about staying close to the original series - and we really don't need to see another X-Men: The Last Stand or Wolverine: Origins again. The movie I will be reviewing today is the latest superhero flick from the blockbuster X-Men franchise: X-Men: Days of Future Past.
[Note: This will be a spoiler-free review. I will try to keep all details of the plot to a bare minimum for those who have yet to watch the film.]
The Premise: Set between two different time periods, X-Men: Days of Future Past follows the story of the X-Men and their struggle against the Sentinel war. In the future, mankind and mutantkind are on the brink of extinction as the robotic machines known as the Sentinels are mercilessly hunting down mutants and capturing (or in most cases, killing) anyone with any trace of the Mutant gene. Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time to the 1970s to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a well-regarded scientist, Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), and causing the spark that develops into the Sentinel war.
X-Men: Days of Future Past features an ensemble cast in the 1970s and the future. Notable mutants featured in the movie include Professor Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine, Mystique, Beast, Iceman, Shadowcat, Blink, Storm, Quicksilver and much more.
The Good: X-Men boasts one of the biggest casts of characters. Each are unique, holds their own individual power and a backstory that defines who they are. X-Men: Days of Future Past thrives with its cast, as it features the return of several favourites from the original trilogy while introducing new ones as well. It was great seeing my favourites return (i.e. Shadowcat, Professor X, Magneto, etc) while getting to meet new mutants in the film series like Quicksilver - Evan Peters did a great job and brought a lot of humour to the role. Plus, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender have great chemistry together - as well as in their own scenes - that each were the best parts of the past.
CGI and special effects can sometimes be heavily relied upon in superhero movies - it takes away from the experience. There was a nice mix of action and effects in the movie that I quite enjoyed the experience. Unlike some past TV shows and movies, the flick didn't seem to be filmed entirely on a green screen, which is an absolute pleasure.
The Bad: X-Men: Days of Future Past is over two hours long and while I don't have many negatives of the film, the choices that were made at certain points could have been fixed. Continuity seems to plague this movie series as small decisions added (or in some cases, taken out) can drastically affect certain characters in the future. I will admit that I never read the comics as a kid - I was more a video game, film and cartoon fan. However, I still know bits and pieces about the comic book history that made me wonder why certain choices were made. The film series - similar to how Resident Evil was done - is its own story so I'll wait to see the next sequel to see if they try to tackle those history points in the future. Sorry for the vague assessment; remember, no spoilers!
The Results: 4.5/5!
X-Men: Days of Future Past tackled two storylines and tried to connect each film in the series together - and it made sense, except for some obvious points. The cast did a great job, the action scenes weren't cheesy and the plot didn't tarnish the series as a whole for the next sequels in the franchise. Do I wish certain choices hadn't been made? Yes, but on the opposite side of the argument, I loved what the filmmakers did for the ending and the final half of the movie. As someone who grew up with the original trilogy and knows the storylines, it was great to see that things weren't completely abandoned but instead touched upon. Any diehard X-Men fan will enjoy the movie but it's also a great summer blockbuster and a good popcorn flick so check it out.
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