X-Men: Days of Future Past Review
By Neale McGeever
X-men movies can be a bit of a lottery sometimes. The ‘90s cartoon series was surprisingly popular with kids, which led to Fox taking a leap of faith and producing the first X-Men movie in 2000, leading to Sony picking up Spider-man, Batman being re-booted and the rest is history. The first film was passable, second being a cult classic, the third a bit of a doozey, the Origins movie was a huge let down and then the prequel ‘First Class’ bringing the franchise back on track (they had to do something to stop Disney re-acquiring Wolverine for Avengers) and the following Wolverine spin-off being an unexpected hit. Things are looking up for the mutant franchise.
The film starts in the future; the surviving X-men from the original trilogy, including Magneto (Ian McKellin), meet to discuss how to prevent the current dystopian landscape. Kitty (Ellen Page) can take them back in spirit, but the only mutant who can survive it would be Logan (Hugh Jackman). Wolverine wakes up in 1973, hell bent on stopping Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Trask (Peter Dinklage). The reason Mystique wants to end Trask’s life is so his invention, the Sentinels, never get built. The Sentinels are giant shape shifting robots that are designed to destroy mutants. Still following? Ok, the reason the present X-Men don’t want this to happen is so Mystique doesn’t get taken away by the FBI to get experimented on and the technology is not developed to imitate Mystique’s DNA.
A lot to take it! Past versions of Beast/ Hank (Nicolas Hoult), Professor X/ Charles (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) join the time travelling Logan to set things straight, while the war is still taking place in present day…..or is it the future? One thing to note here is the PERFECT cast. Look at the credits; it makes The Expendables look like a school play. This is definitely the best film in the X-Men series, what the Avengers is to the recent Marvel movies or what The Dark Knight is to the Batman movies. Although Halle Berry as Storm is only in the film for a brief few minutes (due to her pregnancy) you are glad to see these characters again in the same environment. New characters like Quick Silver (Evan Peters) and Bishop (Omar Sy) make a great impression and contribute to the film’s best moments.
I saw this in 3D but I didn’t feel it brought much to the film apart from extra depth and making Charles’ nose look bigger. The only niggling thing about this movie is it feels slightly unfinished in places. Some actors who have high billing hardly have a cameo when they could have been in more. There isn’t as much McKellin and Patrick Stewart as you expect but the thing they got right was: they follow Logan, the most interesting character in the mythology, which is probably why Wolverine III has been announced for 2017. Some of the performances feel slightly phoned in, but we see enough of the main cast to make up for it. Jennifer Lawrence is still really sexy, despite her arse being painted blue, and there is enough muscle action for the ladies too.
The stand out performance is definitely Michael Fassbender as Magneto. He had to fill some HUGE shoes acting alongside Ian McKellin as the same role in this film but certainly pulls it off, rivalling Tom Hiddleston’s Loki from the Thor movies as the most likable villain. Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage does a great job as the slightly sinister scientist but something tells me they wanted Bryan Cranston for the role. It’s ironic X-Men started the craze in superhero movies in 2000 and stands above the rest 14 years on. The Winter Soldier was great but Days of Future Past is the superhero flick of the year, sorry Cap.
For fans of: The Avengers, X-Men series.