Directed by Bryan Singer
Written by Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman
Starring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman
131 min - Action / Adventure - Release date: 23 May 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past is the comic-bookiest comic book movie ever, and I loved it for it.
Including this one, there are have been seven X-Men movies, averaging about one every two years. And in the space of those 14 years, they’ve managed to create all the continuity errors and a cast-of-background-characters-that-only-sort-of-matter that 14 years of actual comic book history would produce. I applaud FOX and everyone involved with the X-Men franchise for that. You truly created a series that only appealed to die-hard fans and the most curious of moviegoers, and forced everyone else to root against you.
And that’s what makes X-Men: Days of Future Past so sweet. Oh, it’s a hell of a good movie, the best superhero film (or blockbuster for that matter) of 2014. But it’s like a victory for everyone watching who has kept up with the series so far. Time travel plots are usually a great way to tell your audience, “Hey, I know you like stories, but what if we made it… incomprehensible? Eh? Eh?” And there is some of the usual time travel “What?” stuff here, but the time travel serves to defog the X-Men series narrative, rather than add more to it.
Basically, the time travel stuff helps to clear up the “from here” to the “there.” When First Class came out, and was supposed to be included into the story rather than a restart of it, people were baffled, mainly because of the events of every other fucking X-Men movie.
If you’re saying that a female comic book character can’t support her own movie effectively, you’re an idiot!
The events of DOFP wipes that slate clean. Did some of the events that happened in the post-1973 X-Men movies occur? Maybe. But what DOFP does is give us the ability to watch whatever comes next in the X-Men franchise without saying, “That doesn’t make sense, because of what happened in The Last Stand!” or whatever. We can finally relax a little bit, and stop being such awful nerds when it comes to these things. DOFP doesn’t really fix the previous movies, and some of the havok (spelled like the mutant Havok, because 1. I aint no comic scrub, and 2. I don’t have any friends) they played on one another’s narratives, but it provides a fairly clean state to go on, just short of wiping all of it off the table and rebooting the whole series. It tries to put a Band-Aid on it, and that’s the best we can ask for at this point.
The movie winks at you throughout, which I normally hate, but it doesn’t do it to the extent that I was shouting, “I get it! Stuff happens later!” at the screen. And with both past and present mutants on parade, you’d think that the movie would include one guy walking out on a stage during key moments and saying, “You know who William Stryker is riiigggghhhhtttt, audience?” But the winks are mainly used to connect the First Class timeline to the other movies for the audience members and X-Men movie fans’ significant others who walk into the thing only having seen pieces of X2 on the FX channel one lazy Sunday afternoon.
And now some stuff about Quicksilver.
A lot of people gave Quicksilver’s costume shit when it first appeared on that EMPIRE Magazine cover, and I was one of those people. With his goggles and silver-dyed hair, he will definitely be the number one most cosplayed X-Man of the year, but he also looked like someone who had constructed their costume in a basement, while shouting “In a second!” at their mom when they hear that dinner is ready. And, to my pleasant surprise, that was his movie character – a guy who lived in his mom’s basement and created his costume there.
It was at that moment that I realized that a lot of the silliness in superhero movies had been Dark Knight’d out of me. I saw that magazine cover, saw his costume and immediately, with no possible consideration given to anything else, wrote off the entire movie. “Days of Future Past? Looks like Days of Future ASS!” I didn’t really say that last part, but you get the idea. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or don’t judge how a comic book character looks before you see the movie, which is based on a comic book, where every character dresses like they’re a rabid fan trying to extravagantly dress up like that character.
There are no otherworldly fantastic performances from anyone, although Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels, and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique impress throughout. Mystique gets a ton of cool things to do, and actually gets a nice chunk of the action sequences. Can we get an X-Men: Origins: Mystique or something, and have it not suck? We’re trying to get a Black Widow and a Wonder Woman movie, but I think a Mystique movie would be awesome too. Her powers are built for a superhero espionage . It’ll probably take a while to get everything together, but, man, if you’re saying that a female comic book character can’t support her own movie effectively, you’re an idiot! Look at how cool Mystique and Black Widow have been in their outings as side characters, and how they often outshine the leads.
I know that this isn’t really a standard review, as much as bullet points on the film that I wanted to discuss, but you really should see DOFP, no matter how jaded you are about the whole X-Men ordeal that you’ve previously been put through. And I have to give a certain amount of thanks to Hugh Jackman. Hugh has been in every single one of these things, and has been a solid part in the best of the movies, and weathered through the worst of them. Despite any problems you may have with his portrayal of the character, he’s dedicated to it, and like he is in the film, being chosen to go back in time because only he has the mind that can withstand the strain, Hugh Jackman is the only character that has been able to withstand the strain that the X-Men movies have put on him when they blew.