X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Posted in Reviews by - December 27, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

The First Class team return (Singer, Vaughn and Goldman) for another X-Men sequel-prequel which attempts an almost-convincing plot contrivance in order to fit the original cast members into the same film as all the newbies. With famous people everywhere – many of which spend considerable time blowing something up – it’s essentially an X-Men version of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble. But it’s not just celeb-spotting; there is some real substance here. In an apocalyptic future, humans and mutants are losing the war against an army of giant, genetically-modified uber-killers, called Sentinels, who have caused the likes of Magneto, Professor Xavier and Wolverine to retreat into the shadows. There is only one thing for it, then: to utilise Kitty Pride’s time-bending powers to send the resilient Wolverine back in time to inhabit his 1970s self and stop the Sentinel uprising before it’s begun (a bit like what happens in The Terminator). He will do this by finding Raven (or ‘Mystique’, played with athletic aplomb by Jennifer Lawrence) and stopping her from killing President Nixon’s chief scientist Trask (Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage), who built the Sentinels using Raven’s stolen DNA as a way of combating the mutant population. There’s more, so keep up. Wolverine needs to convince the washed out, drugged up younger version of Xavier (who is still moody after losing his childhood friend Raven to the evil Magneto at the end of First Class, as well as the use of his legs) to release the younger version of Magneto (imprisoned deep within the Pentagon for his role in the assassination of JFK) to help reign-in Raven’s vengeance. As this franchise progresses, the filmmakers employ an implied shorthand which newcomers may find distracting. But the film romps along, culminating in the usual Marvel madness with two Sentinel battles in two separate time zones. As for the performances, this is McAvoy’s film. His transformation from tortured recluse to latter-day saint displays the actor’s brilliant versatility.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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