Sunday, May 25, 2014

Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

My son and I went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past this afternoon, and wow, it was good!  It bridges the original X-Men trilogy with X-Men: First Class and the two Wolverine films, and manages to use the time-travel device to reboot the series without rebooting the series.
Parents wondering if there is cursing in the film (I do get Google hits for this since "curse" is in the blog title): YES THERE IS.  Not a lot.  It isn't a Tarrantino film after all.  But it's there.  My son (6), despite his desire to learn as many bad words as he can, was completely oblivious to the foul language, but your kids may notice it.

Now, on to the review.

They really did a good job on the story for this one.  It isn't true to the original comics, but watching it, I thought it was a good homage to the original story, while still working within the boundaries of previous movie continuity.  There is the action plot, with the past X-Men working to stop Mystique from assassinating Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage a.k.a. Tyrion Lannister, with groovy 70's mustache), whose death brings to fruition the Sentinel project.  Yeah, it was Senator Kelly in the original comic, but they already used him in the first movie.  Like I said, they made some changes but the overall story still works.

The heart of the story, and one thing I did wonder about going into the film, was that Wolverine is sent back into his younger self rather than Kitty Pride, making this yet another Wolverine-centric film.  But despite Jackman being pivotal, it really ends up as Xavier's story and Mystique's story that drive the plot.

It's the best X-Men film made to date*.

I'll avoid any more potential spoilers - long time Marvel movie fans should know this anyway - but stay through the credits for a hint of what's to come with the next X-Men film.

*My thoughts on the various X-Men movies to date:

X-Men: I really enjoyed this when I first saw it 15 years ago, as it did a good job portraying one of my favorite comics' characters in film.  But watching it now, the story seems a little too...small?  Limited?  It didn't quite go far enough to make the mutant-powered world of the X-Men feel alive, maybe?  Still, not a bad film overall.

X2: This movie was well done.  Exciting, multiple story lines, with some real conflict between Xavier's and Magneto's visions for mutantkind.  Plus we get the feeling that Xavier is actually running a school for young mutants, with several young 'uns playing key parts.

X-Men: The Last Stand: Um, everyone pretty much agrees that this film was crap, right?  It had some good potential with the "mutant cure" and the whole Dark Phoenix thing, but managed to use it in all the wrong ways.

X-Men Origins Woverine:  Also pretty much crap.  Plot holes you could pilot a Sentinel through, plus some of the worst CGI I've seen in a long time from a big budget Hollywood film.  And they sorta ruined Gambit and Deadpool within their cinematic X-Universe.

X-Men First Class: This was a good flick, but something about it just didn't jibe well with the other films.  Well, it does now! 

The Wolverine: Much better than Origins, but still not a great movie.  It was action packed, but I think the writers were sloppy and made a lot of choices that didn't need to be made to tell a good Wolverine story.

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