X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Director: Bryan Singer
Screenplay: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, Shawn Ashmore, Fan Bing Bing, Nicholas Hoult, Omar Sy.
Plot holes aside, the X-Men franchise is definitely back on track for great things.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is loosely based on a famous Chris Claremont comicbook storyline. I say loosely based because now it’s Wolverine (Jackman) whose mind goes back in time, instead of Kitty Pryde’s (Page), although somehow she’s the one who sends him. Also, Mystique (Lawrence) is after Bolivar Trask (Dinklage), creator of Sentinels, instead of Senator Kelly, who was already used in previous X-Men films.
We have two main timelines: the horrible future where everything looks bleak and everybody wears black leather. There are familiar faces like McKellen and Stewart as Magneto and Professor X, and there’s Berry as Storm. And, of course, Wolverine is there. They join Kitty Pryde, Iceman (Ahsmore) and Colossus, and new faces Blink (Fan), Bishop (Sy), Sunspot and Warpath. Kitty has a technique that sends people’s minds back in time to their younger bodies and that’s how they have survived while most mutants (and their human helpers) have died via nightmare-fueled Sentinels. It’s decided that they should go back in time to the 70’s to prevent all of this, and the only one who can make the trip is, of course, Wolverine. Then there’s the 70’s, where Wolverine goes to find younger Magneto (Fassbender) and Professor X (McAvoy) and convince them to help him stop Mystique killing Trask and thus kickstarting the Sentinel Program of Doom.
OK, while I took more time describing the future, it is the past where the main story happens, and as awesome as the action scenes and displays of mutant powers are, it’s the drama that takes a central role. Specially the drama of Professor X.
Yes, while Wolverine is what connects future and past, this is Professor X’s show. Yes, the main plot is to save the world from a terrible future, but it’s also about the return of Charles Xavier’s vision and empathy that somehow got lost between X-Men: First Class and this movie. He numbs himself and despairs, and Beast (Hoult) is right in those first moments, “There’s no Professor here.” With Wolverine’s help, this is also a path of rediscovery for Charles, and McAvoy sells it well! Sadly for Magneto (Fassbender), he hasn’t changed much, but then the plot didn’t need him to. His relationship with Professor X is as complicated as ever, and that’s still a joy to watch, specially when you compare the weary looks of future Magneto and Professor X talking about the time they lost fighting. Fassbender and McAvoy are still great together and can emote stupendously.
Jennifer Lawrence is closer to the Mystique we know, even though she’s more of a symbol instead of a truly fleshed out character, but it is ultimately her decision what shapes the future (the movieverse’ as well as the franchise’s). I still don’t like the shade of blue they are using for her makeup (or Beast’s) though. This may sound as a nitpick but why is she so damn bright blue? Besides that, the visuals of the movie are great and distinctive, and I liked the characterizations of both the 70’s and the dystopian future. I also appreciated the use John Ottman’s score; didn’t appreciate his editing that much though, felt rushed in parts.
Finally, gotta talk about Quicksilver. Not-so-great looks aside, his few scenes were awesome and are the very best of Singer’s together with X2‘s Nightcrawler’s scene in the White House. Sad that his character is just a means to an end, but then again, he got more screen-time than any other non-main character. In the end, despite Fox and Singer saying this movie was a way to unite all the X-Men movies, it’s very clear X-Men: Days of Future Past wants us to forget X-Men: The Last Stand or X-Men Origins: Wolverine ever happened. This is definitely a new beginning for the franchise.
Note: There’s an after-credits scene, and it’s tightly woven to the next film in the franchise~