Friday, May 23, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

My personal history with the X-Men movies is an interesting one. If you have read my reviews, you will know that I am no stranger to controversy and the X-Men movies have sparked a lot of that over the years. I think the first one is boring. X2 was significantly better. X3 was the best of the trilogy. Then the Origins Wolverine happened and I actually loved that movie. First Class followed shortly after and I thought that one was a bit dull. Last year The Wolverine happened and that was super entertaining but completely useless in the grand scheme of things. So yes, it's a bit of a unique opinion on X-Men. So what does this mean for Days of Future Past? Well, you could try going based off this trend and predict that I would not like this one because everyone else is loving it. However, if you were to do this, in this instance you would be dead wrong. In my opinion, X-Men: Days of Future Past easily trumps all X-Men movies to become the best of the series.

In order to most accurately describe my feelings towards this movie, I first need to dive into the controversial X3. In most cases, this is the most strongly hated X-Men movie. It threw a lot of twists and turns at the audience, most of these included killing main characters or taking away powers of others. This angered most fans. I, however, was unphased. There is an end credit scene where it it sounds like we hear Xavier's voice. Also there is the scene with Magneto and the chess set where it appears that he moves a piece. To me this said that Xavier is not actually dead and Magneto has not lost his powers. And if this is the case, then it is also possible that others could be brought back from the dead or given their powers back. I was confident that a movie that did this would be made. Turns out, this is exactly what Days of Future Past does. Thus we can say this was the movie that I have been expecting for a long time and it delivers.

How does Days of Future Past pull this off? Time travel and alternate dimensions of course. However, it doesn't make a huge effort to connect to X3 or any of the original three for that matter. At the end of last year's The Wolverine, Xavier and Magneto show up to Wolverine, which confirmed my theory that they would be back. I did think this movie would spend time telling us how they came back. This didn't happen. In fact, it's almost as if we start the movie off in an alternate dimension without explaining at all how we got there. All we know is that Mystique in the past made a real bad decision that caused the sentinels to be created that end up wiping out a lot of mutants and humans. We start this movie in the midst of this disaster as if we are picking up where a previous movie left off. But there is no previous movie. I could've complained at this, but instead I just went with it and decided to see where it would take me. The ride I went on was rather exhilarating.

Like always, Wolverine is our central character. He gets sent back in time with the mission of stopping the initial event that created the huge mess that is present at the beginning of the movie. This time period is shortly after the events of First Class and thus the movie feels like a sequel to First Class. The fact that the original trilogy is mainly avoided also makes this feel like a rebooted version of X-Men. Wolverine has to confront young versions of Xavier, Magneto, Mystique and Beast, played by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult. Yes, there are a lot of the original cast, but they play fairly minor roles and thus I feel this crew is our new X-Men. And they are fantastic. We have the duel between Xavier and Magneto still, played by McAvoy and Fassbender, both of whom are fantastic. Magneto is a piece of work, like always, and Fassbender pulls it off fantstically. Xavier in this is going through a phase where he is trying to figure himself out and I love the rollercoaster of emotions that McAvoy pulls off perfectly. Nicolas Hoult does a great Beast. Jennifer Lawrence once again shows the world why everyone loves her. Her portrayal of Mystique is totally awesome. And Hugh Jackman is great as always. He's been doing this Wolverine character for a long time and it feels like he hasn't aged a bit, which is great because his character also doesn't age, so it's perfect. Stealing the show, however, is the new character of Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters. He wasn't in the movie a ton, but when he was he got a huge round of applause from me. The Avengers: Age of Ultron has a lot to live up to when they show off their version of Quicksilver next year.

Overall, in watching this movie I was successfully able to ignore the original trilogy right along with this movie. Because yes, this is the X-Men movie that kicks the original trilogy right in the groin and establishes the X-Men story that everyone should care about with the characters and actors that everyone should care about. The acting by everyone was spot on. Newcomers were perfectly cast. The story was well thought out. The action in the movie was a ton of fun. Yes, this is the movie I was waiting for ever since I finished X3. And I couldn't have imagined a more perfect way of pulling it off. And based on reaction from everyone else, it's safe to say that this is also the X-Men movie that everyone has been waiting for. I feel very confident in saying that this is the best X-Men movie that has ever been made and thus adds to a summer of 2014 that has been on fire recently. Lets keep this going! I give X-Men: Days of Future Past a 9/10.

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