Movies / Reviews

MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men Days of Future Past goes Back to the Future and Delivers One of the Best Mutant Movies Yet

Days of Future - Podthingy Main

There is something apropos about the four mutant co-hosts of the Podthingy podcast going to see the latest X-Men film, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

 

A funny thing happened as I exited the theater with my Podthingy podcast crew after watching X-Men Days of Future Past: I realized I hadn’t thought about Bryan Singer once. That’s not to say he was on my mind beforehand for any significant amount of time (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but it had been pretty hard to avoid all the kerfuffle raised within the geek world with the accusations made of the Marvel mutant director only weeks before the release of DOFP (Fancy acronym for Days of Future Past).

Singer did come to mind once I had finished taking the film in, but it was only in conjunction with what an incredible X-Men product he helped put before the viewing public.

 

bryan_singer_x_men

Ironically, that whole time-travel thing might be looking pretty darn good to Mr. Singer right about now.

 

When it comes to the story, X-Men DOFP is pretty standard time-traveling fare. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must travel to the past in order change the not-so-pleasant mutant apocalypse of the present. I figured it was safe to share this info seeing as not only is it in every trailer conceived, but for the love of all things genetic, it’s spelled out in the damn title.

 

 

As I hinted above, there was little to dislike about this film and quite a bit to love. For the sake of saving time and internet bandwidth, I’m going to quickly go over a few of the non-spoiler highlights of what makes this one of the best mutant movies ever (and a few reasons why it just misses the top spot overall.)

 

Why you shouldn’t waste any “time” rushing to your local cinema to see Days of Future Past:

Starts Strong Like Bull:  Movies are a lot like sports in that a strong start more often than not sets up for a positive finish. DOFP is one of those strong starters that delivers one of the best opening sequences of any superhero movie… ever.

Shwing Shwing for Bingbing:  One of the elements that made the opening scene so jaw-dropping was thanks to the newly introduced X-Men character, Blink (played by Bingbing Fan). The creative way her power is used during the opening battle must be seen to be appreciated. I also found her quite the looker too, but that’s beside the point… or is it?

 

Blink BingBing

I’m not sure if it’s the green eyes, the fuchsia hair, or the fact she always looks like she wants to hold my hand, but I’m a big fan of Bingbing Fan.

 

JLaw gives me the Blues, Which Makes Me Happy:  It would be blasphemous to talk about attractive mutants without mentioning Mystique… or Raven… or, who the hell cares anyway—it’s Jennifer Lawrence in tight blue spandex that looks virtually painted on. Although not among her Oscar-nominated performances, the spunky District 12 volunteer always manages to charm while on-screen.

 

jennifer-lawrence-mysique-x-men-days-future-past

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be blue paint in this photo.

 

Faster Than a Speeding Silver Bullet:  Another new mutant is introduced whom many of you know as Quicksilver (Evan Peters). The human version of Speedy Gonzalez is responsible for a decent amount DOFP’s humor, but more importantly takes center stage during the movie’s most epic scene. The five minute of film alone are worth the price of admission (adjusted for 1984 ticket prices).

 

Quicksilver X-Men

The only thing faster than Quicksilver is how fast breakfast at Carl’s Jr will clog your arteries.

 

X Marks the Funny:  Marvel films are notorious for being adept at bringing the humor when needed and DOFP is no exception. Between Wolverine and Quicksilver, there is enough humor to satisfy even the sourest of negative-Nancys. I found myself laughing more during this flick than I have during some comedies I’ve seen during the past 10 years.

 

Why you may not want to give this Days of Future Past the “time” of day:

This Mutant Pool is Shallow:  Don’t get the wrong idea here, the acting and performances of this installment of X-men were more than adequate and I had no issues with any of them. That said, this is also no X2. Your mileage may vary, but for me the second X-Men film still holds the top spot because it managed to incorporate a level of emotion you rarely see in comic book adaptations. DOFP was such a non-stop ride, I felt like it rarely stopped to catch its own breath.

No One You Love to Hate:  Maybe it was just me—and it usually is—but this was one of those superhero tales where there wasn’t any one major villain worth screaming at the screen for. Yes, there were individuals with not so nice motives and military creations that I wouldn’t want to go to dinner with anytime soon, but no one really stole the show as that person you just want to hate. Nothing truly wrong with that, but it didn’t give me the proper opportunity to really root against anyone specifically.

 

Dinklage

Unfortunately, the only thing remotely scary thing about Trask (Peter Dinklage) is the wild mutant hairpiece growing under his nostrils.

 

A Whole New World:  A well-trodden theme within time traveling films is the idea that changing events in the past will almost always change an outcome in the future. Without spoiling this whole post, let’s just say that things do change in the world of Professor X’s (Patrick Stewart) mutants, but whether that’s good or bad will be entirely up to each viewer. Therein lies the innate issue of introducing time-travel into a universe that has spent years being set up a certain way. You’re either going to piss people off, or you’re going to piss people off a lot. It’s usually a lose-lose proposition. I won’t share whether DOFP does it right, but I will say they do it and what you see is what you get.

Whatever your thoughts are about the end (and I don’t mean the end credits scene), it’s hard not to walk out of X-Men: Days of Future Past with a large mutant-like smile across your face. Even though for some it may not be the piece-de-resistance within the X-Men movieverse, it is easily among the top two. I enjoyed it so much in fact, I’m counting down the minutes until this mutant-fest hits Blu-Ray. It’s a point in time that can’t get here soon enough.

 

5 Spurs

 

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