Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Nicolas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Evan Peters, Omar Sy, Booboo Stewart, Daniel Cudmore, Halle Berry, and more.
Directed by: Bryan Singer Screenplay by: Simon Kinberg Story by: Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, and Matthew Vaughn Based on: The “X-Men” Series from Marvel Comics Cinematography by: Newton Thomas Sigel Music by: John Ottman
Premise: In a dark future for both mutants and humans, Professor X and the rest of the X-Men decide to gamble their lives on a slim chance to change everything – they will send Logan’s consciousness back into a younger version of himself. Once there, he’s to try and stop Mystique from the revenge motivated action which gave birth to the Sentinels. First, however, he’ll have to get a young Xavier and Magneto to reconcile and work together again or the future is doomed. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: There are a lot of cast members in this film, several playing younger/older versions of each other. Everyone does a great job. Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender and their characters’ totally different dynamics were a ton of fun to watch. Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Trask and his fervor in achieving his ends without the boundaries of rules, country, or even emotion was scarier than any mutant.
2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The special effects for the film were ‘top-notch’. Future Sentinels were downright scary as they adapted, absorbed, and replicated mutant attacks. All of Mystique’s change sequences were flawless. I very much enjoyed the implied flipping of scales or mirrors whenever she changed. Blink’s portals and the interaction of the fighters using them seemed like moving art.
All the Magneto scenes were he used his power just got more and more amazing, proving once more why he’s such a force to be reckoned with. But his son (in the comics, not the films) Quicksilver ‘stole the show’ early in the film when we see things from his perspective as he uses his power. The addition of the song “Time in a Bottle” to that particular section made the whole sequence priceless.
3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: The “X-men” comics debuted back in the 60’s, so it seemed apt that the film took us almost that far back for this pseudo time travel adventure. For us older viewers, it was a nostalgia filled trip. For us older “X-Men” comic book fans, it was doubly so, as bits and pieces of the plot reflected back to story lines from the comics themselves.
My biggest beef with the “X-Men” movie franchise has always been the willy-nilly way in which they assign characters multiple powers or change them. The victim this time around was Kitty Pride. She can now seemingly send a person’s consciousness back in time. Normally restricted to a few days (and something it seems Xavier didn’t even know she could do) this is the main point on which the whole movie hinges. So they get some definite minus points for that piece of contrivance. It would have been easier to believe if they’d just added a new, young mutant with this power rather than mutate Shadowcat. But, it is what it is. Thankfully, this issue is also easily ignored, and won’t mar the enjoyment of the rest of the film.
Because, aside from that one bit, the story was a lot of fun. Seeing an older Logan meeting Xavier, Eric, and Hank, knowing the things he knows about them was a blast. Also, seeing the characters being true to their youthful, idealistic, stubborn selves (especially Magneto) despite what Logan has told them, made for great plot complications and tied nicely back to the personal issues held by these same people for years.
The logic as outlined for the mental time travel seems to hit a wall at the end, but it doesn’t. The film people just make the assumption the audience will be able to piece it together. I’m not sure everyone will. It has to do with what we’re shown at one point, which is not the actual truth because of his power, but this is not realized till later. (You’ll know what I am talking about when you get there.)
Lots of fun moments are interspersed throughout the film, both visually and through dialogue.
4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: If mutants, giant Sentinels, and the military are involved, of course there will be stunts. And the stunts for this film do not disappoint, whether they were done through CGI, live action, or a combination of the two. Quicksilver’s awesome scene is my reigning favorite.
5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: The future the film begins with is very dark and with some quick sweeping camera shots the audience understands the stakes very quickly. But where the locations and cinematography truly make an impact is when we’re sent back to the early 70’s. We truly feel like we’ve traveled back in time.
6) Costuming/Makeup – Total Thumbs Up: From Mystique’s body makeup, to the time accurate 1970’s clothes and styles, the costuming and makeup departments did a phenomenal job making it that much easier for the audience to believe.
Conclusion: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a fun, action filled film. Fans of the movies will be very pleased with the ton of cameos towards the end. Fans of the comics will be even more pleased at the old story line elements – making the film a double nostalgic experience.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Paying Full Price To See Again)