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X-Men Days of Future Past: Bloobs and Bonefingers Save the Day
Marvel has turned into Pixar; if their name is on it, be ready for a box office smash. With a $111,000,000 opening weekend, it is obvious that X-Men: Days of Future Past is a hit. I was happily surprised to find that the film has an exceptional balance of strong story and production quality. It not only caters to the audience who likes special effects and smashing things, but the audience who likes character and complex storytelling. The opening sequence immediately had me hooked, and even though the middle seems a bit stretched, the end is something to look forward to.
The start of the film takes us to a dark and desolate wasteland, a world unknown to us. Mutants are hunted and destroyed for being who they are. Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and a group of future mutants defend themselves against the Sentinels sent to annihilate them. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has the ability to send people’s consciousness back in time, and Professor X suggests she use that power to visit the 1970s, before the introduction of Sentinels. Wolverine is the only one whose body is strong enough to make the trip; thus we have Wolverine in bell bottoms.
I saw this film with my family in its opening weekend. Of course, because I am a cinephile, I have seen the previous installment of this X-Men franchise, but my family had not. Regardless, they enjoyed the film so much that when we went home, we watched the first one! That just goes to show how entertaining this film is. If you are an avid comic book fan or someone who has never seen a Marvel film before, it is likely you will find something you can appreciate.
I often discuss the production value of a film, and I must say that this is an exceptionally well made feature. Just one example that needs a shout out is a scene in which Quicksilver (Evan Peters) stops Wolverine, Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) from being shot in the kitchen of the Pentagon. Quicksilver’s mutation is super speed. To illustrate just how rapidly he moves, everything changes to slow motion, except Quicksilver, who causes chaos before moving the bullets off course. Along with the disjointed song, “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce, the scene is by far the most comedic sequence in the film (and easily my favorite). With this particular scene aside, I found myself constantly impressed with the VFX, shots and score. Overall, it’s just a genuinely aesthetic film.
Speaking of aesthetically pleasing, let’s talk about Michael Fassbender and his constant fierce acting. I’m just gonna say it; Michael Fassbender is a badass. Whether he’s playing the brave Lt. Archie Hicox, the terrifying Edwin Epps or the ruthless Magneto, Fassbender always produces a memorable performance. I’m still disappointed he didn’t win the Oscar for his portrayal of Edwin Epps. He truly struck fear into my soul. As Magneto, however, he finds a way of convincing the audience to root for him, not to win, but to see the error of his ways. That’s no easy feat. The other performance of note is Evan Peters as Quicksilver. He is the perfect example of quality over quantity. Unfortunately, he is only on screen for a short period of time, but in that time, he proved to be my favorite character. He is witty, comedic and a bit cocky, but also a truly impressive mutant. He dominates each scene he is in and had me wishing for more even after he left. Hopefully, he’ll have a larger role in X-Men: Apocalypse. As far as everyone else goes, the incomparable Jennifer Lawrence is still her magnificent self, James McAvoy continues to be a perfect fit as Charles Xavier and Hugh Jackman still conquers as Wolverine. The synergy is quite apparent.
I also appreciate that this film stays true to the Marvel brand. Although some real world violence sporadically appears throughout, for the most part, the violence is limited to the result of superpowers as opposed to guns. The film mostly keeps a lighter tone, with constant comic relief. I prefer this over the bleak, egregious tones of the DC brand. Superheroes are meant to be characters children look up to. Thus, Marvel knows its audience. They understand that the superheroes on screen are people kids are going to emulate. They have a responsibility to make sure the heroes they put in their films are likeable, ethical, good people. I point this out particularly because I had feared Marvel lost its way with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That film does not feel like a Marvel film to me. In fact, it seems like Marvel’s attempt to copy Man of Steel: America’s hero causing a lot of chaos and destruction. With the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, I can happily say that Marvel has kept true to itself.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is well on its way to making even more box office history. With its well-balanced blend of story and production value, it improves even upon its predecessor. The message to accept people they way they are is quite apparent, making it a perfect movie for the family to see. I wouldn’t recommend anyone under 10 see the film, for violence commonly occurs, but it is tame. If you have no other reason to go, go because it’s Jennifer Lawrence. After all, who wouldn’t want to see Jennifer Lawrence kick butt in blue paint?
Opened in the US: May 23, 2014
Run Time 2:11
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X-Men: Days of Future Past IMDB
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) - IMDb
Directed by Bryan Singer. With Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy. The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.