X-Men: Days of Future Past

poster_xmendaysoffuturepast

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m suffering from superhero fatigue at this point, and it’s taken longer than I thought it would, especially considering that before I started this blog I basically refused to watch them. It’s not that I think they’re bad movies, this one included, it’s just that they all seem pretty disposable. You sit in the theater for two and a half hours, have a pretty fun time, and then forget about everything you just saw. Post-movie discussions have a lot of big adjectives but can’t hold down specifics. X-Men: Days of Future Past basically fits right into this mold. I liked it at the time and got a few chuckles out of it, but on the car ride home we basically had nothing to talk about.

The film starts off in a post-acopalyptic future in which mutants and their humans allies are being hunted to extinction by seemingly invincible robots, called sentinels. The ponderous voice of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) explains this to us in voice over, and then we get a fight scene that confused me a lot, but that may just be because I’m not up on what all the different mutants can do. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) then explains the tactic that allows them to stay ahead of the sentinels; after they attack she sends the consciousness of a fellow mutant back into his younger body, who then warns the mutants of the attack so it never happens in the first place. That gets Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X thinking about applying it on a large scale. They decide to send Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back to the seventies in order the stop the sentinels from ever being built in the first place. This involves convincing Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) not to kill the sentinels’ creator, Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage). To accomplish this, Wolverine will need the help of the young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X (James McAvoy), who are not doing so well.

jamesmcavoytriestousecerebro_xmendaysoffuturepast

One reason I’m not a huge fan of this movie from the get-go is it’s time travel premise. Yes, I know they did this in the new Star Treks without me complaining, but here it just feels like an excuse to get the old actors and the new actors in the same movie, while at the same time wiping the slate clean for future installments. It’s not that it doesn’t work in the film, but all the same while I was watching I knew they were using it more for marketing reasons and not because anybody wanted to explore time travel. Days of Future Past is not the first film to use time travel in this way, nor will it be the last, so I can’t fault the film for creating the disappointing trend, but only for contributing to it. An interesting thing about this film though, is that it isn’t hard for Wolverine to convince anybody he’s come back in time. It takes Professor X two minutes tops to buy his story, something I found strange but a bit refreshing.

There isn’t much else about the story that’s refreshing though. We have the same characters (times two!) fighting the same types of battles they’ve been fighting in all the past films. Humans don’t accept them and Professor X thinks they have to unite and show humanity that they don’t have to be a threat, and Magneto thinks they have to unite and threaten humanity before they threaten the mutants. We’ve all seen and heard all of this a million times before, and as it’s still a problem in real life (substitute different races, gender, sexual orientations, or religions for mutantism) I don’t think they should necessarily drop the ideas, but instead of stagnating in their thinking maybe extend it a little.

quicksilver_xmendaysoffuturepast

That basically wraps up my complaints with the film, they were more big picture type things that annoyed me because they’re so typical rather than faults of this film on its own terms. As I mentioned, I had quite a bit of fun while actually watching the film. Other than the confusing stuff at the beginning, I thought that action was pretty good throughout and didn’t put me to sleep (ahem Man of Steel I’m looking at you). Magneto lifting the stadium and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) rearranging the fight scene in the Pentagon’s kitchen were particularly memorable. For the record, I’m a big fan of using Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” for that scene and just a fan of that character in general; I wish he could’ve stuck around for the rest of the film.

So I have my quips with the film, and it’s just typical of the state of superhero overload these days that I follow all of it up with: it’s still pretty good, for a superhero film. I don’t even know what I want the franchise to do differently, other than to just do something different. However, the film is still enjoyable and the actors do a fine job. I had hoped it would be more, but what we got is pretty decent.

playingchess_xmendaysoffuturepast

“From the beginning, the Sentinels were targeting the X-Men. Then they began targeting everyone.”

Long story short: 3/4

For Further Reading:

The Matinee review
Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews review

5 responses to “X-Men: Days of Future Past

    • Thanks! I thought it was very odd that everyone bought it so quickly. Still, it was nice because we’ve all had to sit through those “I’m really from the future, let me prove it to you!” scenes a thousand times before!

  1. Good review. Pretty damn exciting and fun, the way an X-Men movie should be. But also, still have enough heart to spare as well.

      • No problem! It’s very enjoyable at the time, but doesn’t bear up under scrutiny in my opinion. A little disappointed, but as I didn’t expect much more than I got, I wasn’t that disappointed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s