X-Men:Days of Future Past is the latest film in the X-Men film franchise by 20th Century Fox, as well as being the squeal to X-Men: First Class. In a dystopian future Mutants and human sypmathisers are being wiped out by Sentinals, mutant-hunting robots. In a last attempt to save the world, Wolverine’s consciousness is sent back in time to his body in 1973 in a plan to stop the war before it begins. [Be warned, although I plan to review this with no spoilers in mind, there might be some that (picky) people may consider spoilers]
I’m going to admit, I don’t have very much experience in doing film reviews. A lot of my friends were movie buffs, but I grew up never watching the Godfather, The Usual Suspects, Forest Gump (I still haven’t seen any of these films) and I never really developed a “movie buff” mentality. At least, not like other movie review bloggers. So I’m writing this as a review from someone who just likes to watch films because the trailers looked good, rotten tomato recommended it, or because it’s based on one of my favourite comic book franchises. Also since the film only just came out, I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, or any if I can help it, because I think you should all go and see it, and enjoy it without waiting for bits people have told you are great. The entire film is great, I give it a 9.24/10. Although I’m pretty sure I’m meant to give the rating at the end of this review… oops.
X-Men: Days of Future Past has been a highly anticipated movie release. It’s been majorly hyped, I remember when the first posters were posted on Reddit and everyone went a bit crazy. I didn’t watch too many of the trailers that came out, but I was already super excited for it’s release, despite my disappointment at it’s predecessor, X-Men: First Class. The biggest reason for this I think is because it brings back Sir Patrick Stewart (fun fact, it’s been a dream of mine to get him to sign my left underboob, and get that signature tattooed. Not that I have a hope of that happening.) As with all things that are over-hyped by the internet, the chances of it not meeting high expectations are large. Yet when I watched this film, it lived up to, and maybe even surpassed all expectations I had.
As I had mentioned, I didn’t particularly like X-Men: First Class, and I wasn’t too fond of the Wolverine movies either. I think this is because I watched the X-Men cartoons growing up, both the yellow spandex ones and the Evolution series, and followed the comics (to a lesser extent) and it didn’t really follow any of those things. Not to mention the Days of Future Past is also based on a comic arc that is much loved by X-Men fans. In these cases, chances for disappointment are truly high. I had also heard that the film could be considered another Wolverine film, since he can be argued as the lead.
Wolverine however was amazing in this film. He reminded me of the Wolverine I loved and was in awe of in the first X-Men film, the one set up Hugh Jackman’s career. The Wolverine cult is strong, the Wolverine movies, in my mind, just a money cow Fox likes to milk. But despite his very important and prominent role in Days of Future Past, Wolverine didn’t dominate the film, and instead built up the importance of all the other characters. In this sense, he filled in his job of “Being Professor X’s substitute” perfectly. Without being Professor X. I’m not sure how he did it, but he was kick-ass. His lines were great, well delivered and his facial expressions made for amazing comedic moments.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender both deliver their characters with excellence. I think that Michael Fassbender is an exceptional actor, as well as being super hot, but not all films I’ve seen him in do I think this. However, his portrayal of a young Magneto is perfect, you can really feel the emotions Magneto feels, and understand his thought process and character. It’s a tough order to portray a younger character of characters played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, especially with their bromantic chemistry, but the duo manage it. This is very important for the quality of the film, since their relationship is such a huge theme that is shown both in the future and past sequences.
The story itself is done well, I wasn’t sure if they would fit it into a 2 hour movie run-time, and certainly there are references that you’d only understand if you’ve watched some of the previous films. However overall it’s easy to follow, having been condensed so the main components of the story are still there. I think the only thing that may have taken damage is the explanation for Bolivar Trask’s drive to exterminate the humans. The more complex reasoning used in the comics has instead been replaced with a simple “For the great good/world peace” spiel. Which is fine in the grand scheme of things.
The movie has amazing special effects. Actually, amazing scenery is established in the future sequences, it really pulled me into the dystopian future, made me ask questions and overall it was just cool. New mutants are introduced, forming a new future group who are fighting the sentinals (sort of). For the action sequences, the choreography in their fight scenes are exceptionally well planned, portraying the close teamwork and chemistry between all team members. Fans of Portal will love Blink’s teleportation powers. The future fight scenes are also darker with brutal elements that surprised me. Instead of being mindless violence though, I felt it added more emotional weight to the plot, and definitely worked towards more joy at the ending.
I think it would have been nice to have extended scenes with some of the supporting characters, but again, this is a feature length film and certain things had to be sacrificed. I remember being told Rogue had been largely cut out, which although I was upset about when I head, made a lot of sense to me when I watched the film. Storm’s scenes were also cut short to her being unable to film because of her baby bump. Still, the film didn’t lose too much with these losses. Quicksilver was discussed a lot before the film was released, many commenting on his costume and how they felt he would be a flop. Of course he’s to appear in the next Avenger’s film, so the already there was competition between the two portrayals. However I have to admit, I loved his character and how the showed him. It was impressive, and the Avengers now have a lot to compete with. Oh and of course, everyone loves Jenifer Lawrence, despite her Vietnamese being terrible (I had to rely a lot on the subtitles) but then again, I understood a couple of the words she used so really, her Vietnamese is amazing.
The film is great. It has all the elements, a good plot, great cast with good onscreen chemistry, and lots of nods to geeky fandom. It’s also go enough explanation and action scenes to please the non-geeks among the wider audience, who of coursed are much more accepting of superhero films now. I’m not sure I would say it’s family friendly. Mostly I guess? There’s no sex scenes, or much romance of that kind at all. However, I did find some parts slightly brutal, but I am rather prudish when it comes to the mass violence that is now acceptable to 12A ratings (Looking at you Terminator 4)
I recommend you go watch it. Twice. And stay for the after credit scene, which there is.