It’s that time again, folks. Time to grab the popcorn, a large drink, and definitely time to lock up your ladies, because it’s SHIRTLESS HUGH JACKMAN TIME! Okay, in all seriousness-
-Uhm, what was I saying? Oh, right. The latest X-Men film is out. Sorry, was I the only one that got super distracted there? Oh well. Regardless of whether you’ve read the Days of Future Past comic special or not, you’re gonna need a rundown of the story, because EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT. I’ll try to do this as simply as I can, but when you deal with time travel, things always get a little wibbly-wobbly, so here goes!
It’s 2023, and we’re shown a ravaged world, with just a few handfuls of mutants left. Massive robotic “Sentinels” roam the earth, destroying mutants, humans helping mutants, and even normal humans that will one day be parent (or grand-parent) to mutants. Post-apocalyptic world, essentially. A rag-tag group of “X-Men” have been keeping one step ahead of the Sentinels via Kitty Pryde’s (new? matured?) power of sending someone’s consciousness back in time to warn everyone. With time running out, they decide to send Logan back 50 years to change history, and hopefully save everyone. He’s got to stop Mystique from murdering Bolivar Trask (Dinklage), creator of the Sentinels, because not only did that assassination cement the public opinion of “Mutant=Bad,” but Mystique also got captured, which let them use her DNA to make the Sentinels able to mutate to withstand nearly any type of mutant power. When Logan gets sent back, we start bouncing between 1973 and 2023. Kitty explains that, while he’s back there, the past and the present exist concurrently. When he wakes up, in 2023, then the past will be cemented into place, and whatever changes he’d made will become history. Logan will be the only person to remember anything otherwise. The entirety of the pre-changed 2023 action is essentially just the mutants waiting around, and later holding off Sentinels, to give Logan enough time to change the past.
So, in 1973, Logan sets off to find the young Charles and Eric, believing that he’ll need both of them to stop Mystique from murdering Trask. He encounters a few problems on the way, as you’d expect: Charles can walk, but has no powers, thanks to the drug created for him by Hank McCoy; The school has fallen into ruin; Eric is imprisoned for allegedly murdering JFK, (Magic Bullet Theory?); Mystique ain’t listening to anyone. What’s a poor Wolverine to do?
I grew up watching the original X-Men cartoon series. You know the one, with the loud bell in the theme song? So I’ve been a fan of this franchise for essentially my entire life. To be fair, I’m not a die-hard fan, I haven’t read all the comics, but I really enjoy the characters and stories. I’ve been looking forward to this movie since they announced it, just like I’ve looked forward to every X-Men movie to date, and for the most part, I was pretty happy with it. The acting was on-par with the other films, I don’t think anyone really phoned it in, except those actors whose parts were so small that no judgement can really be made about their performance. The scripting was pretty decent, though a little lackluster in some spots. The visuals and CGI were all pretty great, though I don’t really see any reason for 3D. There were a few moments that tried to use the 3D, but they weren’t great, or necessary. So far, so good, though.
We get to meet a few new mutants, both in the present and the past, but two really stand out in my mind, for vastly different reasons. In the present we meet Portal Girl [Blink – Ed.]. (I don’t much care what her name really is, that’s what I’m calling her.) She makes shimmery, pretty portals, that function exactly the same as the blue/orange portals we’re all so fond of. There was even an awesome action shot of Colossus falling/running through a series of her portals, utilizing the special portal-physics that make the game so much fun.
In the past, we meet Quicksilver, and wow, he steals the entire movie. Impressive, since he was only in about a quarter of it. Without giving too much away, there’s a scene in a kitchen, set to “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce, that won a round of applause from the screening audience at it’s conclusion. This is in the middle of a movie, mind you, and the audience literally burst into applause and cheers because of how amazingly awesome that scene was. Quicksilver provides some much-needed comic relief for the short time we’re with him. I was very disappointed that he didn’t stick around for the whole movie.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the comics, or just the movies, you’ll likely be left wondering “What does this mean for the original trilogy?” by the vague, slightly frustrating ending. However, you’ll also be left saying “Wow, that was a heck of a movie,” because, plot-holes and continuity-issues aside, this is a massively fun, entertaining movie.
Also, make sure to stay through the credits: There’s a stinger for the next film that you don’t want to miss.
X-Men: Days of Future Past : [usr 4]
About X-Men: Days of Future Past
Synopsis: The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman, & Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen
Runtime: 131 min.