Friday, May 30, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Theatrical Release

Days of Future Blast (fan poster by Squiddytron)
Rating:  4 out 5 Mutants Thinking With Portals

Review:  This is a good movie.  It's a shitty sequel but it's a good movie.  Ostensibly this is a sequel to X-Men: First Class but it isn't, not really.  I would really classify this as more a sequel to X2 than a sequel to First Class.  It doesn't carry over any of the plot threads, tone or theme from that movie.  I dare say that it makes First Class at totally superfluous film, it negates the reason for that film to exist other than to act as a glorified appendix for a bunch sight gags and references.  I have heard it referred to as a "soft reboot" and in that sense it really succeeds because it eliminates the chaff and the mistakes made from the cash ins that were Last Stand and XMO: Wolverine.  Essentially everything from X2 onward, with the exception, perhaps, of The Wolverine, has been eliminated from cannon making those movies superfluous as well I suppose.

  Allllllllll that being said I really enjoyed this movie.  There are things that are left out, like Kitty suddenly able to send someone back into the past, but, for the most part, it's a very enjoyable movie with a pretty solid plot.  A lot of what's left out, I don't think, would benefit the movie and would just serve to increase its running time.  What's there is fun, well acted, well paced and generally good.  Acting highlights include Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask who just fucking nails this role.  I can't imagine a better actor for this.  He comes in a just knocks it out of the park in every scene.  He has just a very intense presence that serves the character well.  The second is Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  I admit to being skeptical at first.  I saw Aaron Taylor-Johnson (in the upcoming Age of Ultron) to be the obviously superior Quicksilver.  He has the build, the accent and the chops.  Evan Peters used to just kind of be "that guy in Kick-Ass who isn't Kick-Ass".  I was wrong, his performance in this is fantastic and he steals the show for the short time he's in it.  The super speed scene in particular is quite impressive and amazing to watch.  Other than that just his attitude, his fast talking, his constant questions and his general fun loving demeanor is a joy to experience.  I think those are really the two worth mentioning.  Obviously the main cast does an amazing job, they filled those roles with incredible actors.  Actors whose reputations proceed them, it would be more surprising if they sucked, as it is they put in routine, for them, fantastic performances.

  The action scenes are pretty great, the super speed scene and all the future battles are really quite good.  Blink using her powers in particular.  They really sat down and thought about how that team would work together and the way they use her portals is mind boggling, at least to me it is.  I've played the game Portal and I wasn't very good at it.  I just had trouble wrapping my mind around such concepts and I eventually gave up on the game.  But watching Blink in action it seems like someone who choreographed those action scenes was really good at it.  There's one beat in particular where Colossus goes through a portal, falls from high in the sky through another portal that shoots him in a straight line right at a Sentinel.  That sentence doesn't do it justice but pretty much any time Blink is using those portals it's a good show.  There is a dual climax that, while predictable, makes for a satisfying end to the movie.  The denouement includes a bunch of great, brief cameos that were a surprise for me so I'll leave them a surprise for you.  Apparently there was an after credits scene but I ended up leaving because I thought I heard there wasn't one.  Then I remembered that was ASM 2 which just had a preview of Days of Future Past instead of an after credits stinger so I'll either have to go see it again, catch in on YouTube or wait for DVD.

  The movie is a fun ride, especially if you're an X-Men fan and ESPECIALLY if you're an X-Men movie fan.  It seems that Bryan Singer has the best grasp on how to make an X-Men movie, which is kind of unfortunate given the sexual misconduct accusations recently leveled against him.  If those are true I kind of just want him to go to jail and see the franchise handed off.  If they aren't then I'm fine with him sitting on the franchise until he retires.

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