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“X-Men: Days of Future Past” – Review (POSITIVE)

May 24, 2014

 

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 2.56.30 PMThe ‘X-Men’ film franchise is one of the most sought after superhero film franchise around. They’ve caused great intellectual discussions regarding it’s brilliance in the forms of “X2″ or “First Class”, or rather great debate for the sheer disappointment emoting of both “The Last Stand” & “Origins: Wolverine”, and when it comes to the first film…it’s okishly good.

Now, with a franchise that holds in the balance of either earning high praise or fan disgusting, we’ve arrived this summer movie season with the seventh installment in the ‘X-Men’ saga. Based upon the two-part story arc of the same name, “Days of Future Past” combines the best of both worlds, the original cast of the first three films, including everyone’s favorite, Wolverine, and the bright stars of the revamped “First Class” film, including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender. The big question remains, with a film this big, and this ambitious, does it hold water?

Let’s begin with delving into the plot of this film; set in the 2023, mankind has taken a far step in the wrong direction regarding how to coexist with mutants. The creation of the Sentinels, robots with incredible means to adapt to every mutant it comes into contact with, is quickly eradicating mutants and the humans that will defend them. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his remaining students, including the feral Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and his long time conflicted ally, Magneto (Ian McKellen) hatch a plan that will perhaps save the future and end this long running war once and for all.

With the help of fellow X-Man, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Logan’s mind will be transferred into the body of his younger self, in the year of 1973, where he must find young Xavier (James McAvoy) & young Erik (Fassbender), and bring together the early X-Men crew, from stopping Mystique from committing an act of violence that will set off the dark future events that will eventually unfold.

For new comers, this movie may be a fascinating concept to watch, for hard-core fans of the comics and films, this one surly is a hard pill to swallow. Consistency in the ‘X-Men’ franchise has never been its strong suit. How? Shall I remind thee? Well, Wolverines metal claws return in the future, even though he lost them in “The Wolverine”. Our films main antagonist, Trask (Peter Dinklage), was a 6 foot tall black man in “The Last Stand”, Stryker, the man who’s responsible for Logan’s metal skeleton, was a middle aged man when he found Logan in the slums of the Vietnam war, however in “Days”, he’s 20 years younger, the war is over, and the two meet briefly with no recollection of have ever meeting before.

Look, I could go on and discuss all these kinds of issues, and quite frankly the past filmmakers and producers have dug their own hole with these problems, but should these issues negate the fact that “Days of Future Past” is perhaps one of the best ‘X-Men’ films made since “X2″? NO! The movie definitely holds its own, and finds ways to correct the skewed timeline, more or less. But, what makes this movie work was the fact that it FINALLY feels like an ‘X-Men’ film. “First Class” certainly gave the franchise the right push into the right direction, now, “Days of Future Past” has confirmed that the track is heading down the essential path for telling a compelling, thought provoking story.

imageThe movie is set during two different time periods, parallel no less, and it manages to pulls some incredibly heavy emotional punches. Some of the best I think come from Young/Old Xavier & Young/Old Magneto. One of the best moments of conflicted emotions I’ve ever felt came from the climax, where it’s literally cutting back and forth between two battles, in two different times. However, the kick to this scene all comes from Magneto, in one moment he’s an unstoppable force of fear, the next moment we see him performing acts of heroic feats. You want to hate this bastard, and then moments later you want nothing but salvation for this fallen (anti)hero.

Bryan Singer manages to find a comeback in his own self, directing the occasional flop for the past few years hasn’t faired too well for him, but the fact that he’s returned to his roots, so to speak, find a new way to visually tell a familiar story, using brilliant color pallets, noteworthy score, clever edits, and assembling such a dynamic cast, it’s times like these I feel an over sense of pride in a director who rightfully deserves a comeback hit. Be sure to stick around for the very last end credits, a secret ending reveals the coming events for the next ‘X-Men’ film; die hard fans will flip their shit, while noobs will be confused as fuck.

GRADE: A-

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