Sunday, May 25, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past [A Fat Jesus Movie Review]

X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of those Marvel superhero films you can boast about loving, because it truly is good. You can make cases for movies like ThorCaptain America: The First Avenger or even Iron Man 3 being in the group but I beg to differ. I'd rather put this movie in the group of my personal favorites form Marvel over the years. This list includes X2, Spider-Man 2, Iron ManX-Men: First Class and even The Avengers. There's a plethora of things that can go wrong when you're mixing casts from different movies in a given franchise, not to mention this is a movie about time travel. Luckily for all of us, the source material was great, the screenplay worked to a tee and they brought back a veteran director of the series to add that extra little oomph to set it apart from the rest of the superhero movies flooding the market.

X-Men: Days of Future Past follows the story of the X-Men in the distant future. Bolivar Trask's (Peter Dinklage) is assassinated in the 1970s, but his creations, The Sentinels, have taken over a now dystopian earth. Once designed to only eliminate mutants, they grew to a point where they took out anyone standing with mutants as well, sending them all into hiding. A select group of mutants are still surviving, who with the powers of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), are able to evade The Sentinels. The group meets up with another group on the run, which consists of Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), Storm (Halle Berry) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). They devise a plan to stop the world from ever getting to this point of devastation. Using Kitty Pryde's powers they send Wolverine back in time to stop the assassination of Trask. With the help of young Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Wolverine embarks on last chance, cross era adventure, to save their kind and the world as we know it.

There's a ton of things that can go wrong with a movie involving time travel or anything of the sort in movies, see Looper. This film manages to keep everything fairly straightforward and neat. There are couple of wonky spots, midway through, that you can certainly argue towards being bad. But other than that, they handled to time travel part of this film well. The writing is also good in the character department and really felt like they focused on the heroes (and villains) of  X-Men: First Class, of which we've seen less of, than the people from the first trilogy or even Wolverine. They developed Xavier, Magneto and Mystique even further, while giving us some more of Beast and even introducing Quicksilver. They also did great with the melding of the two sets of characters shown, if they both were on-screen. Like Xavier and Magneto for instance. You see both ends of  the spectrum for each. Seasoned and older, on-screen along with young and less experienced. It's cool to see both characters above, at such different places in time, working towards a what they think is best to change the world and it all plays out so well. The source material is hailed as great, but you have to give major props to the writers who did such a good job adapting it all to a movie screen. This leads me to the story itself which was really cool. Compared to the rest of the series this ranks up there as probably the best overall story told in a setting. With X2 and even The Wolverine to an extent, having good stories. The actors fit characters so well and really embody them at this point in the series. The overall story is set up quickly, giving more time for everything to unfold. There's shock, tension, emotion and humor all paced at the right time, making it all work. Stuff wasn't just through in to be in there or get a cheap reaction.

Speaking of the characters throughout that whole paragraph, the actors that played them did a really great job. I'm still blown away by how well James McAvoy plays Xavier, while Michael Fassbender is such a perfect fit for Magneto. Jennifer Lawrence was better as Mystique this time around, cause she was just kind there in the first film. Evan Peters as young Quicksilver was a great mix of charisma and comedic timing. The CGI scene he got was utterly brilliant to me too and probably one of my favorite parts of the film. The rest of the original trilogy cast was pretty fine as well. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen stepped back into their roles as Xavier and Magneto well. The bit of on-screen time Ellen Page had was fun. With Hugh Jackman's part in the movie being major, but not major at the same time. He was fine and got the story going, but once McAvoy, Fassbender, Dinklage and Lawrence took over, it was theirs to handle. Dinklage also added a sort of acting presence as well. As one of the bad guys he did well, probably one of the best acted characters, but I never thought that he was the true bad guy kinda thing. The CGI was also done pretty well in this, especially compared to The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The biggest scene I noticed full of CGI was the scene involving Quicksilver and that scene was awesome to me. The rest of the film was done well and you can tell they didn't want to jam this film full of CGI, so when they had to use it, they made it look good. Felt very much like the CGI was used with the original trilogy members parts and they kept it more "real" for the newer ones from First Class. The action and set pieces were fun as well and I've really never had a problem with the action in a given X-Men film. Big props to Bryan Singer in part to this, as he brought a charm that the first two films had to one this late in the franchise. I really hope they bring him back for X-Men: Apocalypse. The music was pretty good throughout, the run time, of just over two hours, never felt long and scenes never felt draggy either. I love that in a film.

X-Men: Days of Future Past was a blast to say the least. It's one of those movies that just clicked on all cylinders for me. Not to mention the way it altered, or saved if you will, the franchise as a whole. The story, the acting, the action, the humor, the characters, the visuals, just everything worked so well. I loved seeing both McAvoy and Stewart on screen a Xavier, as well as Fassbender and McKellen as Magneto. The rest of the cast did well and Hugh Jackman is still a good anchor as Wolverine at this point in the series. I'm highly excited for X-Men: Apocalypse and this is now the second time in the past few years a main X-Men movie has knocked it out of the park.

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