Judging from the title of the article, you’ve probably already gathered that this movie is going to get a good review. So instead of wasting time talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past, I’m just going to go over how awesome it would be to work as Jennifer Lawrence’s prosthetics applicant. Oh, you’ve already gone over this in length with your friends and relatives? Okay then, movie review it is.
Man, I love the future. Remember the days of Blade fighting in front of a green screen? Or slow motion bullet time that made you want to throw up not from motion sickness, but how absolutely horrid it looked? Well thanks for taking one for the team, every movie made after the 90s, because we sure have come a long way. Every special effect put into this movie is perfected. From the sentinels, past or future, to the 100% computer generated environments; hell, even Iceman going all full-blown snowman is great (I’m looking at you, Last Stand).
My biggest gripe with CGI over the years is that films were willing to sacrifice realism for an effect. It didn’t matter that it could completely pull you out of the moment and force you to realize you’re watching a movie because James Bond just HAD to surf a tidal wave with a parachute and canoe. We get the best of both worlds in Days of Future Past: the effects and the realism. On the other side of the spectrum, I’m glad we don’t have to watch a computer generated Beast or Mystique. The makeup in this film was superb and a definite step up from X-Men: First Class. I thought Beast looked a little funky in the last movie but not here. I know we haven’t seen the last of shoddy CGI however—Zack Snyder IS still making movies after all—but fortunately the team on DoFP clearly put every ounce of effort to ensure we would get a seamless experience. Bravo to the crew.
About halfway through this movie turned into Teen Wolf: Days of Future Anal.
For years, the Marvel Universe has been building its arsenal with a fine selection of casting which we really get to see collide on screen in the best way possible. The producers managed to get just about everyone to return at some point or another without making the movie feel overcrowded. Each character gets the right amount of screen time for how they play into the story and I mean it when I say it doesn’t feel forced. The best part is that just about everyone does a phenomenal job in their role, allowing DoFP to be taken seriously, not just as a comic book movie, but as an actual well put together film. Evan Peters’ appearance as Quicksilver adds the comedic break we all know and love in these types of films while Michael Fassbender’s Magneto grounds us into the reality of combating fear and hate. With an impending doom on the line, more than ever we are sympathetic to Erik Lehnsherr’s cause and may even find ourselves siding with his way of handling things.
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier is a professor we’ve yet to encounter, one that is broken and depressed, and for once the one who is in need of guidance. McAvoy is pretty good, but there are a couple times in his performance I found his acting a little over dramatic. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique really steals the show whenever she’s on screen, not just for her great acting abilities but thanks to several impressive fight scenes, personifying sexy but deadly.
Really though, this movie has some amazing choreography. For the first time in a superhero film we get to see what can be accomplished with teamwork. The X-Men from the future are a cohesive unit combining their strengths the way you’d expect from the legendary team. Throwing Blink into the mix is genius because it creates a really fast paced flow of ingenuity. The one minor alteration I would make to the casting however is Colossus. It’s not so much that he’s bad—in fact he has some really cool scenes—I just feel the actor that needs to be playing him should be bigger. But that’s just me nitpicking.
“Look how fucking fly I look.”
Movies that deal with time travel really make me nervous, usually due to unexplained plot holes. DoFP does a really good job of working through this without creating one. Even the ability to time travel is a bit far fetched most of the time but the writing is able to explain this using an evolved form of a particular mutant’s abilities. After you’ve seen the movie and think about it, it actually makes sense. The other concern I, and I’m sure a lot of others had, was that this movie would turn into just another Wolverine show. I love the lunk, but he’s gotten plenty of screen time over the years. Again though, the writers explain why it can only really be him that makes the trip. Sure, I would like to see me some time traveling Bishop, but the fact he’s even in the movie and gets to do something is enough for me.
In the end, what really makes this movie great is the post-Christopher Nolan maturity that comic book movies have adapted. It’s not just the ‘shits’ and ‘fucks’ that get thrown around, but watching a lot of the superheroes die. I mean, some of these X-Men get pretty brutal deaths throughout this film. I’m not talking just being shot or stabbed either, but burned alive or decapitated.
God dammit, this movie fucking rocked.
My One Gripe…
So you can’t win ’em all. And while some may disagree with me in saying this was only a nearly perfect X-Men film, this one minor change probably would have done it for me. Just a warning, the next couple sentences may contain slight spoilers: This movie was action packed and featured a lot of fighting, a lot of deaths and a good amount of destruction. But for some reason I left the theatre feeling it wasn’t enough. Selfish right? But what I would have really loved to see is a fight scene between Wolverine and a Sentinel. Sure Beast kind of brings one down, but I wanted a full on tear-em-up fight with the little guy. There should have been some ankle slashing, some claws to the face, maybe some claws to the inside of the neck and all finished with a “Tin Can” wisecrack. Maybe on the DVD?
“Hey, Tin Woodsman, I’m sending you back to Oz, in pieces!”
Oh, and should you stay for the after credits? Oh hell yeah.