X-Men Days of Future Past Review
Im just going to start this out by being upfront with the fact that this review really should just be titled “Why Days of Future Past is the best X-Men movie.”
I’ll say some quick words on the actual film making then move right into why it’s the best of the saga.
The action was absolutely incredible. I saw it in 3D and that is an experience I highly recommend, for a number of reasons, most predominately, seeing Blink’s portals in 3D. Truly one of the coolest cinematic experiences I have ever seen, and definitely tying with Tron: Legacy for best use of 3D. One thing that is not going to be leaving my mind anytime soon is those portals.
The writing, acting, cinematography, and score were all perfect. At this point in the series, and especially with director Bryan Singer returning, it should be no shock to anyone that they know what they are doing.
I will mention though, that this film had hands down the best effects of any of the X-Men films. There have been a lot of complaints about the effects in past films, myself included, (Wow Azazel’s teleport smoke looked like shit in First Class.) and they completely fixed that in this film, it looked awesome.
Getting to see James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sir Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart all together in a film was essentially a fanboy orgy of perfection. The one scene in which both versions of Charles Xavier finally get to meet face to face was one of TWO times when I cried during the film.
Breathtakingly brilliant in every way, Days of Future Past managed to fix every problem with the X-Men cinematic universe and set up for a bright new beginning I could not possibly be more excited about.
Why Days of Future Past is the best X-Men movie.
I was originally introduced to the X-Men through the first movie, when I was maybe 10, several years after it had first been released. Immediately I was in love with the X-Men, and eventually started reading X-Men comics, once my parents allowed it. Still today the X-Men are my favorite super hero ensemble.
As the film series continued, my love of the X-Men never wavered, but my love of the original films dive bombed. Acknowledgements made for the groundbreaking quality of them, being the first great hit for a Marvel project, the first three films are pretty blah, now.
Nightcrawler (My favorite X-Man) is portrayed terribly, never gets any good screen time except for when he is being mind controlled (Cough. Hawkeye. Cough.) Jean Grey makes me want to punch her in the face, the Brotherhood is a joke, ect. ect. And that’s not even touching The Last Stand with a ten foot pole.
I’ve said before in a number of reviews that films should be judged by their quality as a film, NOT by their consistency to the source material. (My World War Z review would have been shockingly different were that the case.) So as such, I will continue with as few references to the comics as possible.
Days of Future Past did exactly what it needed to as a film.
It allowed for a beautiful and well thought out ending to the series with the original cast, while still leaving the room for continuing to produce sequels for the younger incarnations.
The film introduced and redefined all of the characters in a way much more consistent with a modernized understanding of them. The films have never been big on black and white, good vs. evil, but DOFP goes even farther with that, truly showing the motivations and genuine passion every character has for their work, regardless of what “side” they are on.
Bolivar Trask is absolutely certain his Sentinels are going to save the world from genuine doom. Mystique is absolutely certain killing Trask is going to save the world from genuine doom.
Choosing to set the film over ten years in the future from both the most recent modern era incarnation (The Wolverine) and from the end of First Class was an excellent choice, as it allowed Singer the opportunity to work in a lot of defining moments, new characters, and character growth without actually having to explain or show it. When did Shadowcat get the ability to send someone’s consciousness back in time? It doesn’t matter, she clearly learned it sometime during the war against the sentinels. Who is Warpath, Nova, Blink and Bishop? It doesn’t matter. They’re here now, just enjoy it.
Now this tactic can easily blow up in a film maker’s face, if they introduce all these characters and changes, and they come from seemingly nowhere. However DOFP does this flawlessly. Flawlessly.
The introduction of Quicksilver was an aspect of the film I was extremely worried about. The fact that he is Magneto’s son, but was being introduced as part of the timeline in which Magneto is merely in his thirties was worrisome. Were they planning to ignore the fact that he is Magneto’s son? Was the plan to make them peers? Where is Scarlett Witch?
Unfortunately I can’t give you those answers without spoilers, but I am happy to report that the entire thing is handled perfectly.
Along with the introduction of Quicksilver, I was also worried about the Azazel/Mystique dynamic. Any comic reader knows they are actually Nightcrawler’s parents, so his introduction in First Class was both exciting, and disappointing (Again, those smoke clouds.) However this, along with every other single aspect of the movie, ended up being exceptional.
Wolverine being sent back in time was a perfect chance for his character to continue, while being part of the younger, newer timeline. *SPOILERS* I was hoping through the entire film, that Wolverine’s older conciousness would end up stuck in his younger body, erasing the older, modern timeline entirely, and allowing for his personality to be the same, while still being a younger, ‘70’s version. In this end, this didn’t happen, and it is my one disappointment of the film. However, bringing back every character that died in The Last Stand, and reforming the universe to allow all the X-Men we love from the comics to live in the dynamics we all want (Cyclops/Jean/Logan Love triangle, the nod made at the Shadowcat/Collosus romance, Beast and Storm, ect.) was an acceptable substitution, and I am EXTREMELY excited to see what will come in the next film, now that a younger, feral Wolverine will be working with Mystique during Age of Apocalypse (Confirmed for 2016) *END SPOILERS*
I really can’t say a lot more without spoilers, but trust me when I say this is absolutely the best movie in the X-Men saga, and cannot go unseen. Catch it in theaters, or I promise you will regret it for the rest of your X-Men loving years.