Monday, May 26, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past – review

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the sequel to both X-Men the Last Stand as well as X-Men: The First Class. It bridges the gaps well between the young and old cast and makes a pretty exciting story.  The acting is really top notch. The story is gripping and the characters feel rich and developed.  The effects are exciting and have an almost gruesome element to them, which makes for a very entertaining film.

The future is bleak for both humans and mutants. Relentless giant robots called Sentinels have hunted mutants to near extinction.  A small group of mutants lead by Magneto, played by Ian McKellen, and Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart, devise a plan to send the consciousness of Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, back into his past self. There he will attempt to stop the events from occurring that will cause this horrible future.

The cast does a great job with the material. Jennifer Lawrence gives a solid performance as Mystique. Michael Fassbender as Magneto is also very entertaining. James McAvoy is the one who really knocks it out of the park though. His portrayal of young Charles Xavier battling a drug addiction and fear of his powers is incredibly powerful and moving.  Another performance of note was Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff.  It was a very nuanced and amusing way to portray the character of Quicksilver.

The effects are gratifying since they switch from the dystopian future to the 1970s past and the camera work seems to reflect this. In the future the camera captures darkness and shadow nearly constantly, while the 1970s scenes simulate the look of being filmed with the grainy style of a 1970s camera.  In this case, the contrast works well.  The movie has a much darker tone then any of the other films so the ante has to be raised to some degree.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a damn satisfying movie. It has some silly moments such as the distractingly bad hair they gave Peter Dinklage, or how supposedly JFK was a mutant. At the end of the day though, it is an X-Men movie; it’s going to be a little silly.  The movie is still worth seeing in the theater, especially if you were a fan of any of the past films. Just be sure to stay through the end of the credits.

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