May 24, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past - Movie Review

Director, Bryan Singer does it again, creating a masterclass superhero film with superb acting and a wonderful script. Surely, one of the best superhero films created.

X-Men: Days of Future Past takes place, well, in the past and the future. To stop a terrible mutant apocalypse from happening, Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan) transport Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back to the 70's where he must change the outcome of the future by preventing mishaps in the past. This film is much darker than any other superhero film, with its first opening shots featuring bodies being dumped onto more bodies and decrepit remains scattered across a desolate city. Mutants are killed as fast as they appear on screen and the robotic Sentinels designed to do the killing, dispatch each unlucky mutant with sheer ruthlessness. There's not one scene where a Sentinel kills a mutant that you won't cringe during. Luckily the film provides the perfect amount of  humor to balance the dark tones out.

This is the all-star cast of superhero films. Each actors brings their very best to a genre that struggles with perfect chemistry with each actor. While the marketing for this film felt like we would be overwhelmed by too many characters, it was quite the opposite. There are many people in this film, and some don't get their due time on screen, but the story focuses on a set group of characters. Days of Future Past must bring you to terms with a whole new set of characters, but with great imagery, a wonderfully crafted script and a beautifully orchestrated score, you never feel that these new mutants are under developed. Most these new mutants are in future scenes, which don't last long, but are enough to stay satisfied. In addition to the newly introduced Blink, Bishop, Sunspot, and Warpath, the past presents itself with very interesting characters that hold their own. Two standouts are Peter Dinklage's, Bolivar Trask and Evan Peters's, Quicksilver. Quicksilver is an amazing addition with Peters stealing the film every time he is onscreen. Same goes for Dinklage as the knowledge hungry scientist wanting to destroy mutants before they destroy humans. Dinklage doesn't get much screen time, as does Peters, but they both bring great depth to these very important characters. 

What you quickly learn from watching the great X-Men films, is that there's never a huge finale. X-Men: First Class didn't have a grandiose climax. Instead they focused on the characters' final transformations. Days of Future Past mimics this. The climax focuses on the characters' realizations and growths than the throw downs and punches. Each battle sequence is quick and to the point, which moves the film along faster and doesn't bloat the action. The story is brought to a personal level, however set pieces do suffer the consequences. There are not many memorable sets. While watching Magneto pick up a stadium is cool, you're more focused on what's going through Magneto's head. Each set moves by so quickly that there's not much time to stare at the magnificence that Singer has created. Luckily, the story never feels rushed, just condensed, as if Singer went through long hours of editing to get it down to a decent run time of a little over 2 hours. Singer creates one of the best superhero films of all-time and one of the best X-Men films so far.

Good Qualities: The script balances humor and seriousness well while bringing unpredictability to the story. Each actor is phenomenal. The film is perfectly paced and the direction is brilliant.
Bad Qualities: No memorable set pieces, but who needs memorable set pieces when you have a perfect character story.

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