X-Men: Days of Future Past, Reviewed

27 May

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.27.10 AM

Got to see X-Men: Days of Future Past over the weekend and figured I’d share some thoughts. After all, who doesn’t love pretending that they’re Roger Ebert?

  • The movie is really good. Not quite excellent but really good, if that distinction makes sense. Let’s start with that. It combines the fun of X-Men: First Class with the darkness and battle scenes of the original X-Men films, specifically X2: X-Men United, which was just an awesome movie. In this one you’ve got interesting themes (idea of fighting for a race) and humor and suspense. Well, sometimes there’s suspense. That might be one of the only problems I had with the movie. There are times when you find yourself at the edge of your seat—metaphorically speaking; I usually watch my movies from a super leaned-back position—only to quickly realize that, in just a few minutes, everything is going to be OK and our heroes will have saved the world. After all, there are sequel$ to make.
  • Actually, part of that is not totally true. There were some other problems I had with the movie, mostly from a continuity (please don’t make me pronounce that word) standpoint. The last time we saw Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, he had just been blown to smithereens by Jean Gray. Well, that is unless you waited for X-Men: The Last Stand‘s credits to end—which I’m not really sure why you would have because that movie blew—and saw Professor X seemingly coming back to life. Either way, him being back in charge in the latest installment is the sort of thing that deserves some sort of explanation. As does the fact that Magneto appears to have gotten his powers back, even though he was stabbed with one of those un-mutify-people shots in X3. In fact, if you want the whole list of continuity problems with the latest X-Men movie, click here (spoilers in there). I get that anytime you have un-planned sequels and reboots and different directors there are going to be problems, and that most people aren’t dorky enough to actually care about this stuff, but, in this viewer’s humble opinion, a better effort could have been put forth in this department. Just a few extra lines of explainers or something.
  • That’s it for the complaints. And honestly, I’m not sure why I led with the negatives (classic Today’s Society, always focusing on bad and not good, amiright?). Again, I really enjoyed the movie. Most of all, I enjoyed Michael Fassbender. Ian McKellen is a great actor, one of the best to ever do it, but what Fassbender has done with the Magneto character has just been awesome. Fassbender’s Magneto is a total badass, the kind of person who is terrifying and brilliant and captivating and sympathetic. He’s crazy, yet you get where he’s coming from and why he does what he does. He’s a “bad guy” who you’re not actually sure is bad. Or wrong. He’s also just really cool. Super heroes are supposed to be really cool. I like this.
  • Hugh Jackman might have the most fitting last name, like, ever. I mean what else is even in the discussion? There was (maybe still is) a pitcher named Josh Outman which was pretty good, but I think Jackman is still much better. Just check out this video, which is also awesome because it’s pretty clear that Scott Pelley pitched this story just because he wanted to be able to put on tight clothes and show the world how ripped he was. Well played, Scott, well played.
  • Jennifer Lawrence>>>Rebecca Romeijn. Yeah, not even close, though, as much as I love Lawrence, as we all are apparently required to do—until the eventual backlash comes which then will be followed by a magazine cover story in which we all learn how hard it’s all been on her and triggers J-Law Love Affair 2.0—I’m not so sure she does brooding well. Which is weird because she went pretty dark in Silver Lining’s Playbook, and that was great. In X-Men, not so much and dammit, I’m now complaining again.
  • Professor X has a drug problem. Very cool. Love that these movies have made Youngin Prof. X seem like a cool guy. Not that drug habits are cool, but James Mcavoy’s Professor X is certainly not a dork, which is what he’s seemed like in the past. This is a positive. Gives him more depth.
  • Ok, letter grade time, because, well, what fun is it to write about a movie if you don’t give it a grade. I’m going B+. Tons of fun; cool scenes ( I think the cinema folk refer to that stuff as cinematography), which I probably would have enjoyed more if I didn’t refuse to ever see movies in 3D; a bit of drama, though not enough; intriguing characters. That, actually, is where I think X-Men: Days of Future Past succeeds the most. The merging of the young and old X-Men has created a stable of awesomely deep and interesting and complicated people that we now get to watch on screen semi-regularly. That doesn’t happen very often (isn’t that a major reason behind Iron Man‘s success?) To this I say, Job well done.

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